There is no joy in Mudville

caseyThere was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile lit Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Casey at the Bat

By Ernest Lawrence Thayer Taken From the San Francisco Examiner – June 3, 1888

Op-Ed Columnist Charles M. Blow actually went to the Great Louisiana football school of Grambling, so maybe I should’ve used a football metaphor, but mighty Casey seemed mighty apropos here. So many had so much hope in one person and as far as I could tell from the crowd at the old UNO basketball area on Thursday, many still do when it comes to our President. So many folks in love with one person as a symbol of so much. There was one elderly black woman wandering out side on a sidewalk sayin’ “We can go anywhere now! Anywhere we want!”

So, here’s a little taste of Charles Blow’s op-ed column from October 16th at the NY Times. blow.190v

When, Mr. President? When will your deeds catch up to your words? The people who worked tirelessly to get you elected are getting tired of waiting. According to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday, Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the country has hit a six-month low, and those decreases were led, in both percentage and percentage-point decreases, by Democrats and independents, not by Republicans.

The fierce urgency of now has melted into the maddening wait for whenever.

There is a list there, one we are all familiar with here at The Confluence of things that folks with a liberal bent to their disposition desire. Things promised and as of yet, undelivered no matter what apologies the apologists have provided.

Take health care reform. Because of the president’s quixotic quest for bipartisanship, he refused to take a firm stand in favor of the public option. In that wake, Democrats gutted the Baucus bill to win the graces of Olympia Snowe — a Republican senator from a state with half the population of Brooklyn, a senator who is defying the will of her own constituents. A poll conducted earlier this month found that 57 percent of Maine residents support the public option and only 37 percent oppose it.

Poll after poll show that people really want that public option. Just exactly who is the constituency that must be appeased by both Republicans like Senator Snow and the democratic leadership including President Obama? Who are we appeasing to go against the will of the majority?

Ah, but there’s more to list and more chances to ask that vital question WHEN?

On the same weekend that gay rights protesters marched past the White House, the president again said that his administration was “moving ahead on don’t ask don’t tell.” But when? This month? This year? This term?

Yup, wasn’t there the absolute promise to get rid of don’t ask don’t tell? Wasn’t there that firm commitment –at the very least of repealing DOMA–to civil unions, to full recognition of one’s human right to completely love, commit and protect another.

Oh, but there’s more, as Mr. Blow so brilliantly opines.

As we prepare to draw down troops from the disaster that was the war in Iraq, we may commit more troops to the quagmire that is the war in Afghanistan and the government may miss its deadline for closing the blight that is the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

You would think, perhaps, he would end there, after all this is quite a list. But just as we’ve written thread after thread here, there is more on that list of broken promises.

Obama pledged to stem the tide of job losses and foreclosures and to reform the culture of the financial sector. Well, the Dow just hit 10,000 again while the national unemployment rate is about to hit 10 percent. And the firms we propped up are set to dole out record bonuses while home foreclosures have hit record highs. Main Street is still drowning in crisis while Wall Street is awash in Champagne. When will this imbalance be corrected?

And now we’re back again to my home town–New Orleans–and the promises made and broken here.

Candidate Obama pledged to make the rebuilding of New Orleans a priority, but President Obama whisked into the city on Thursday for a visit so brief that one Louisiana congressman dubbed it a “drive-through daiquiri summit.” The president spent more time on the failed Olympic bid in Copenhagen than he did in the Crescent City.

At the town hall in New Orleans, Obama appealed for patience. He said, “Change is hard, and big change is harder.” Is that the excuse? Now where have I heard that before? Oh, yeah. From George Bush.

If I could deliver thunderous applause Mr. Blow, I would. Thank you for printing in the New York Times what is on the mind of so many of us around here. Symbols are nice but wins are much better!

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