It is an annual tradition to air one’s grievances on Festivus. I began this on a previous Festivus by airing the ways in which George Bush disappointed me and let down his country. In 2007 I aired my grievances against many of the candidates who were seeking to replace him. I had the least complaints about Barack Obama:
I am still waiting for more of the promised specifics of your plans. You do show an excellent ability to at least show consideration of all views, but I’m not yet certain if this is a matter of framing or ideology which will impact the final policy. My suspicion is that in a couple of years I will be writing a number of blog posts disagreeing with some of your actions as president, but things will be far better than if any of your major opponents were to win.
My prediction came true and I will begin this year with my grievances concerning Barack Obama. On health care he abandoned his opposition to mandates. It is hard to see how remaining in Afghanistan will be worth the cost, both in lives and dollars. He has preserved some of the secrecy policies of his predecessor. He opposes marriage equality at a time when I believe we are approaching a tipping point where such discrimination will no longer be acceptable–and leaders such as Obama could make this happen more quickly if he chose to do so.
While I have grievances against Obama, I also have grievances to air against the Obama bashers, both from the left and the right. On the right we have claims that he is a Muslim, a socialist, and not an American citizen. These attacks are ridiculous, but the right wing has deteriorated into an authoritarian cult primarily made up of people who are morally and intellectually bankrupt, lacking understanding of history, politics, economics, science, and, most importantly, of ethics or morality. We can no longer be shocked by their hatred and ignorance as this is what now defines the American right wing.
What is harder to understand is the Obama bashing from the left. I am not referring to those who disagree with Obama on issues but those who act as if they were deceived or betrayed, and claim he is no better than George Bush.
Obama might not be right on all the issues but, with some exceptions (and far less than most politicians) he is governing exactly as he said he would as a candidate. Obama ran as a centrist politician who sought to find common ground with others. He did not run as a Messiah, or as a far left politician. His health care plan remains very close to the plan he ran on. He stated his intention to remain in Afghanistan as a candidate. At least, in contrast to his predecessor, he did give some actual thought to the issue. It should have been obvious to anyone listening to him that he was not likely to prosecute members of the Bush administration for their crimes and he would move gradually to reform the system.
You can disagree with him, but don’t act shocked or betrayed–and certainly do not claim he is anywhere near as bad as George Bush.
And now for some briefer grievances to air:
Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Bart Stupak, plus the entire Republican Congressional delegation for getting in the way of what could have been a far better health care plan.
The insurance industry for developing a business model based upon increasing profits by denying care and dropping customers when they get sick.
Glenn Beck, who deserves the Misinformer of the Year Award.
Sarah Palin, who personifies everything which is wrong with the know-nothing attitude of the right wing, and who deserves to be honored for telling the Lie of the Year.
The tea-baggers. I respect their right to protest, but wish they at least had some basic understanding of the issues they were protesting about.
Acorn, just because everyone is supposed to hate them, regardless of the facts.
The hackers who stole the East Anglia emails. Once the stole the emails and it didn’t show anything meaningful it was time to shut up as opposed to continuing to make claims about the content of the email which were untrue.
Michigan football which has been so disappointing for the second year in a row. (I could include the Detroit Lions for a much longer time period, but why bother?)
Buy.com–the internet company which makes its money by selling defective merchandise at a discount, and then failing to respond to complaints.
Howie Mandel for being a spokesman for a crooked outfit like Buy.com.
The big box stores who offer discounts on electronics and then rip off the customers with extremely over-priced cables.
Fox for screwing up Dollhouse and not giving what could have been a great science fiction show a real chance.
J.J. Abrams for destroying Vulcan and failing to fix the time line (but at least he did save Star Trek).