Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's March and "Card Carrying Democrat" Joanne McPortland is Mad at the President

I’m a card carrying Democrat, the daughter of a union shop steward, New Deal and Civil Rights and Camelot all the way. In 2008 I let my son’s enthusiasm for you and all you represented woo me away from my lukewarm support of Hillary Clinton, even though I thought even then there was something too-good-to-be-true about the way you absorbed all our war-weary, Bush-burdened projections. I put a HOPE decal in my car window right next to my Go, Flyers! decal. I cheered my heart out at your win, which I truly believed was the start of better days for all Americans. (And for my fellow Catholics who want to read this paragraph as evidence for excommunication, that’s for another combox, OK?)

Since then, though, you’ve disappointed me, Mr President. Even before I returned to the Catholic faith I grew up in, and began to reexamine everything in the light of that faith’s teachings, you showed absolutely no sign of being the bridge-builder you rightly said America needed in that fabulous 2004 convention speech. In your relationships with Congress, even when you had a majority, you talked compromise and did none of it. You ramped up the war efforts you had said were stupid. You kept Guantanamo open, and gave the nod to torture. You approved a return to the US-as-assassin model of dealing with dictators you don’t like, while allowing those who serve your interest to continue slaughtering innocents. You added even more restrictions on Americans’ constitutional freedoms than the original Patriot Act dreamed of. And you wouldn’t fight to keep a single-payer health plan on the table, settling instead for a bloated patchwork doomed to displease everyone, just so you could say you passed a health care act.

But it’s been your administration’s recent cynical manipulation of “the contraceptive issue”–an agenda mandated by your supporters in Big Pharma and Planned Parenthood, and planted in the midst of the debates in order to make the religious right (which now includes extremist Catholics like Rick Santorum and Catholics-by-marriage like Newt Gingrich) snap at the bait. You have managed this really well from your end, manufacturing a “war on women”–Catholics want women to be pregnant or die!–while waging war on the First Amendment. I sometimes wish the Catholic bishops hadn’t jumped at the bait, too (because I truly don’t think this is the hill we want to die on), but you knew they would, and knew that Catholics are already hated enough (for our own sins, in too many cases) in this country to make dissing us equal an automatic double-digit bump in your popularity stats. That’s my biggest disappointment–that you’re nothing but a Chicago pol after all.
Joanne McPortland lays it on the line with President Obama, since he's in town (Dayton) and all. I salute Ms. McPortland for her honesty. I have to say, contraception mandates aside, she brings up some things that I've been wondering myself. Guantanamo, ramped up war efforts, dictator deals, and additional Patriot Act restrictions have had me asking the television more than once, "What happened to all of Obama's promises? I thought he was supposed to go in the opposite direction of the Republicans?"

Now, I didn't vote for him so it isn't as if I felt betrayed. But these were all the things that my Democrat friends rail against and here was their "Change!" guy staying the course or hitting the gas, depending on the issues. Color me confused.

Not to mention the HHS mandate debacle.

Anyway, it was refreshing to see someone who was on his side ask those questions. Even if he finally had driven her away by the time March madness hit.

Via The Deacon's Bench.


  1. I didn't vote for Obama, couldn't really, but I had higher hopes for him than what has come to pass. Frankly, I don't know that all this would have happened under Hilary.

  2. Thank you for the link, Julie. I love your blog. And I wondered about the Hillary outcome, too. Probably not possible to speculate. It's all a good reminder that in politics, what is said before the election often bears no connection whatsoever to what is done afterward, and that holds true of all parties.

  3. Thank you Joanne! Like you, I try not to think much about "what if" especially in politics. I know that when it became clear that Hillary was not going to beat Obama, I was sad because I felt she was a more moderate politician ... and I'm always going to want to steer for the middle of the road. But what's done is done ... :-)