Stealth Post: An Open Letter To The Congressional Black Caucus

 

 

Since 2005, I have believed that anyone who took on the presidency after the Bush-era would be a “lid loosener”. That person would work to undo as much of the damage as possible, but would be unlikely to turn the country around. It would be the second president after the Bush-era who would whip off that lid and reap the accolades and the rewards.

Or worse, the second president after President Obama would return to the path of destruction that Bush and the Republicans have carried out so well.

President Obama has done incredible work so far but the most remarkable problem is that we, the public, do not know it. No media source, except for MSNBC, has even touched the issue of the changes that he has made or the corrections that he has enacted. The same goes for Rep Pelosi, who has only been credited once with the accomplishments that she has made.
.
Just as we sat back and watched Bush tear our country down, one big blast at a time, we sat back and allowed the charismatic creeps of the Tea Party work their way into power that goes far beyond their true numbers.
.
In one respect, the media has painted a picture of President Obama and the Democratic Party as doing nothing but to pander to and cave in to the extreme right-wing on every issue. When it became clear that Obama was doing everything that he could to disassociate from the left and from Black America, the Black Caucus should have been as loud and demanding as the Tea Party, banging on the White House door, banging on every other door, and speaking up to represent  not just Black Americans, but all Americans.
.
It is time for the Black Caucus to realize its full potential and to do just what it is doing: be heard, advocate for the invisible ones, and make the Democratic Party pay attention and show some respect.
.
It is good that the Black leadership in Congress did not wait until it is too late to speak up and to make a difference.
.
The potentially fatal blow to the odds of a second term for President Obama has come from his insulting and disastrous “sacrifice” message. He has shown an inability to leave academic behavior behind and to get into an executive behavioral mode.
.
It is time for him to show some progress toward becoming one who executes, not one who stands behind the lectern, sits behind closed doors, or avoids getting up close and personal with the human beings in Congress or on the many “commissions” and “committees” that he is so fond of.
.
He misses the point entirely, needs to stop lecturing, needs to learn the fine art of delegation, and must start listening.
.
We are not his students. We are his teachers and school is in session.
.
Worse is this never-ending call for “bipartisan” support that President Obama is never going to get. No great leader tolerates being humiliated again and again. No great leader uses capitulation as an ongoing strategy, but wisely does as Muhammad Ali did when he used the “Rope a dope” strategy against his opponent. The American people will tolerate an occasional “rope a dope” strategy, but only if the fighter wins.
.
Worse than that has been a failure to even acknowledge us, as if we would jeopardize any of the benefits that he believed would be gained from relentless pandering to the extreme and racist right. Those people have made it perfectly clear that his demise is their first priority, yet he will not listen.
.
What are we being asked to sacrifice in support of that kind of behavior? More poverty? More disenfranchisement? Fewer and fewer of us belonging to his beloved middle class?
.
A call for sacrifice (as if we have not been sacrificing already) is the last thing that the formerly middle class, veterans, disabled workers, evicted homeowners, the unemployed, the ripped off, the hopeless, the students, the disenfranchised, the elderly, and any other exhausted citizen needs to hear.
.
As an example of failure to execute, I have never seen worse misconduct and failure to perform from the claims processing wing of the VA. The VA Secretary is the most aloof, distant and publicly absent officer I have ever seen. There is no excuse, three years into a presidential term, for delays of 2 to 4 years for the same sloppy and corrupted veterans claims processing that was going on at the start of President Obama’s term.
.
I will not be able to help with sacrificing for those who want to redistribute what is left of our national trust to the insanely greedy and unjustly rich. I truly resent being told to sacrifice even more to cover for the problems that I did not create, the disaster that I have no control over, and the political fortunes of anyone who panders to my worst enemies.
.
I say to the Black Congressional Caucus,  “congratulations” for standing up. Congratulations for letting President Obama and the Democratic Party know that we can take our own direction.
.
It makes me ill to think of losing President Obama and taking the risk of subjecting the nation to more of Bush-era politics.
.
Be that as it may, congratulations, Rep Waters for having the courage to say the words:
.
“Let” and “Go”.
But we have no more tolerance for cynical political marketing plots and ploys. This effort has to be  carried to the finish and failure is not an option. 
.
Here are my comments on specific matters, for what these are worth.
.
We need to recover as much of the looted national treasure as possible and to get it back into the national treasury. We need to put our national infrastructure ahead of global hegemony and interference. We need to put our politicians on notice that they answer to the people, not to the corporations.
.
We need to stop feeding on those who engage in silly sex scandals and to go after those in high power and high office who have engaged in the most destructive of misconduct. There has been rank cowardice in these matters, and we never stopped wanting justice brought to those who have corrupted our government and bankrupted our nation.
.
We need to end two pointless, costly wars and to stop funding the world’s dictators. We need to cut a nation’s foreign aid by $100,000 for every unskilled immigrant, opportunist, or asylum seeker that they send here. We need to cut a nation’s foreign aid by $500,000 for every citizen of theirs who is incarcerated in our prisons.
.
We need to put people to work on our infrastructure before it collapses, but we need to do it right, putting auditors to work to recover the last penny of any fraud, waste and abuse of funds that occurs.
.
While we work on our infrastructure, we need to start apprenticeships to create skilled workers in all fields. High school graduates have to be ready to go to work, not directly into massive debt to earn entry-level job credentials at expensive private technical schools. Strip out the garbage courses and teach those kids something that can help them get to work.
.
End that general academic testing nightmare and restore the choice of a technical school track in high school education. Give the employers a tax break for funding college courses while an individual is working.
.
Our environment is priceless. We have opportunities to clean up the environment and to manufacture the most technologically advanced “green” products. We can do this in urban centers and poor rural areas. We can put people back to work while we do it. 
.
We need to punish the corporations that are hoarding stimulus finds, are engaging in overseas tax dodges, have sent jobs overseas, and have not created the jobs that they promised to create.
.
We need to outlaw any government support or approval of financial products that are solely based on theoretical possibilities, and not on real goods or production. We need to regulate and enforce against predatory consumer banking schemes.
.
We want it acknowledged that jobs that were sent overseas had been invented by, built by, and refined by American workers, not the corporations. We need to tap into that creativity, innovation and quality to get our jobs back. Give a painful financial consequence to any corporation that hands any more of our jobs and our brain trust over to another nation.
.
We need veterans and Social Security cost of living calculations that cut out the costs of luxury items and consider only such costs as the food, transportation, housing, medical care and utilities that the majority of veterans and Social Security recipients actually spend their money on. Those costs rise every year.
.
We want to shine a light on corporate lobbying and on the direct access that corporations have to Republican and other lawmakers. The lawmakers need to stop writing custom-made laws after secretive and unofficial meetings.
.
Restore the will of the people, not the will of the corporations or the extremist and racist fringe as the guiding force in government leadership decisions. 
We need to get veterans their benefits decisions within 9 months, and to do so without the ineffective and corrupted claims processing bureaucracy and system that exists today.
.
We need to break up the cozy relationships between the self-perpetuating “service organizations” and the Veterans Administration claims processors. Those service organizations have representatives who are not even doing the proper records requests, follow ups or case preparation. They simply lead the veterans into believing in them while discouraging the veteran from taking any action on their own.
.
There must and end to bonuses that are paid to VA claims processors until the disastrous delays and problems are stopped, and claims are processed within 12 months.
.
The veterans service organizations need to be audited and a claims processing success or failure rate identified. Publish the resulting scores to allow veterans to make informed choices.
.
In summary, I applaud the Black Caucus for speaking up now, when their efforts will mean something. You must not let anyone or anything stop you in your progress, as you are now the only voice of we, the “invisible”, but definitely not helpless or powerless people.
Photo Credits: c2010 Edith R Allen, All rights reserved
Advertisements