Dear President Obama:
Your Mr. Smooth routine, like the one you pulled Friday night on Barbara Walters, isn’t working. Hopefully those stitches from the b-ball thwacking will humble you, but my suggestion is iksnay the suave large-and-in-charge persona. It’s a tired act and just confirms how removed from reality you and Michelle really are.
I’m writing after my Thanksgiving feast at the household of a solidly working-class, college-educated, liberal-leaning Black family in small-town Louisiana. By anyone’s account, next to the phrase “Obama’s base” in the political dictionary would be a photo of my girlfriend’s family, the lovely folks who fried a turkey and cooked up yummy greens and sweet potatoes for our holiday table.
The patriarch of the clan, who’s retired on a union pension, arranges his dinner hour around watching Rachel Maddow. His wife is a hospital administrator and their 23-year-old daughter, a former Southern University cheerleader, is living in Houston as a physical therapist. His three middle-aged daughters all went to prestigious schools and have solid careers, though one has recently joined the ranks of the unemployed, moved in with her folks and subs at the local elementary school a few days a week for $65 a day.
Of the family around the table, almost all had donated to your 2008 campaign. A couple of them admitted to not voting for the first time in their adult lives this past midterm election.
Extended family stopped by, as family members do over the holidays, and they enthusiastically agreed that your reaching over the aisle to collaborate with the right-wing rabble who scorn you as a “Kenyan anti-colonialist” is maddening. Your utter lack of, and even indifference toward, a mass jobs program to put folks to work is baffling to them.
Since the poultry plant and paper mill shuttered in the last two years, this town has lost 1,300 jobs in a community of 13,000. Folks in town are exasperated and even a bit disgusted.
I went to the local Wal-Mart on Black Friday afternoon to return a PC laptop my girlfriend’s stepmom purchased around 5 am that morning for $298 (don’t ask). Despite the TV frenzy of ads and deals, deals, deals!, the massive Supercenter was a ghost town.
Get off your high horse, President Obama. These folks don’t want to hear you chortle about how you notice Michelle’s new dresses and that you can’t be bothered giving any thought to Sarah Palin. They certainly do!
People are scared and the world has never seemed more precarious. They want you to cut the crap and fight.
And get this, Mr. President, not one person raised a critical eyebrow at the political arguments that this Jewish lesbian socialist raised. The notion of building a left alternative to the Dems may not be on their immediate agenda, I understand, but it certainly isn’t beyond the pale either.