Madness in Madison – Obama’s Lies

By YeOldeScribe ~ March 14th, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

Progressives are sometimes written off as liberal lackeys, falling step in line with the democratic party. It’s a stereotype, but like all stereotypes, it has its roots in fact. It’s undeniable that most progressives tend to lean left – ThinkProgress.org lists the “radical right-wing agenda” as things they’re fighting against. Even this very blog has taken a lot of time critiquing Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker and Republicans in the Senate and Assembly in America’s Dairyland.

However, progressivism is not a political party. Progressives can – and should – come from both sides of the aisle. On the flipside of that argument, both parties can make decisions that are not progressive. No one is perfect, and no one is all wrong, just as no one is 100% progressive and no one is 0% progressive.

September 9, 2009, Congressman Joe Wilson made it history for shouting out “You Lie!” at President Obama’s state of the union address. The outburst gained so much media attention, Wilson’s two-word rant even has an entry in UrbanDictionary.com. (which we love).  The representative from South Carolina wasn’t the firs person to call Obama a liar – and certainly not the last – but he does happen to be the most famous for it.

We don’t think Joe has to worry about losing his title from us, but Joe and PoliticalProgressives.com do agree on one thing – Obama is a liar. While Mr. Wilson called Obama out on an immigration question, we’re calling the president out on a campaign promise he made almost four years ago. Obama was quoted then as saying:

“If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

Well President Obama, we’ve got a shoe for you – it’s kicking you in the posterior for reigning on this promise.

Obama offered some casual support to protesters in Wisconsin by saying that Walker’s bill “seemed like an assault on unions”. But especially after Republican criticism from that comment, Obama has backed away from the situation in Wisconsin, saying things through officials and not even commenting on the story directly. An Associated Press article points out that union leaders would have been happy just to get Vice President Joe Biden to come to Madison in Obama’s place, but even that was refused.

One of the common cries heard around Wisconsin these days is “shame”. It’s usually being cheered by protesters upset with the Budget Repair Bill passed by Walker and the state’s Republicans. However, in this case, PoliticalProgressives.com would like to start the same chant, but aimed at President Obama.

The simple truth to the matter is you shouldn’t promise on what you can’t deliver. Obama’s excuse that it would be improper for him to meddle in a state’s affairs doesn’t hold any water – first, Presidents always meddle in state affairs, and second, if Obama wasn’t willing to do so, he shouldn’t have campaigned on the issue. This weekend we roasted (and not in the funny way) Gov. Walker for not campaigning on collective bargaining if he planned to repeal it all along. We’ll do the exact opposite for Obama here – it was wrong for him to open his mouth and make a promise that he had no intentions of fulfilling. It was a political stunt designed to sound buzzworthy and be picked up by national media and unions to get more votes. The problem with that is because the phrase was so buzzy – and because it was delivered in promise form – people expected him to keep his word. And if we’ve learned anything from the situation in Madison, it’s that the public has a very short fuse for politicians who don’t fulfill their duties.

Since the creation of this blog, we’ve been using PolitiFact.com fairly extensively as a reference because the site didn’t win a Pulitzer Prize for nothing. One of the really cool things the site does is to track the promises made by political leaders and show which ones they’ve kept, which they’ve broken, and which fall somewhere in between. Right now, they graciously have Obama’s labor pledge marked as stalled. For all the wonderful things PolitiFact does (seriously, it’s an amazing site – check it out), they’re wrong here. Obama has no intentions of fulfilling this campaign promise, and even his rhetoric doesn’t really back up the fervor and intensity of the original claim.

President Obama, it’s wrong to make promises for political gain only to break them. Shame on you for doing so.

Or, to quote our friend Joe: “You Lie!”

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2 Responses to Madness in Madison – Obama’s Lies

  1. Michele

    In my opinion, you’ve simplified things way too much here. You’ve also put your opinion down as a fact, which is fine because this is a blog, but should still be noted.

    There is no way you can know his intent, then or now, on the issue. Perhaps there was a trade-off we know nothing about. Perhaps he’s walking a thin line to ensure he can keep health care around, or to ensure he has a shot at staying in the white house for another four years. (I’m not saying these are good or bad reasons to not keep a promise.) Whatever it is, there are other complicating factors and your analysis is shallow, with an overstated tag-line. I agree that a promise is a promise though, and I agree that it should be kept if possible. However, I do not agree that he never had the intent, nor will he ever follow through as your post states.

    I mean no offense, just my opinion.

  2. Archie Elvis

    Your thoughts and opinions help me see the light. Thanks.

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