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Dancing With Those Who Brought You

by JIM GOODMAN

I’m not sure if Presidents make New Years resolutions or not, they are, I suppose regular people, so they probably do.

Promises made are promises easily broken as we well know, especially it seems, when they are promises made in the quest for political office.

So, I propose a New Years resolution for President Obama, there are lots of things he could do, should do, things he promised to do, led us to believe he would do, but never followed through on.

As Molly Ivins would say, it’s time to dance with them what brung ya.

After his inauguration, President Obama was popular and inspirational; the leader who most represented hope around the world. “At this moment Obama occupies a unique position in the eyes of the world” observes Stephen J. Weber of WorldPublicOpinion.org. ” His communication skills and the change he represents create an open door for him to engage people around the world.”

In Cairo, he reached out the the Muslim world, quoting from the Quran, the Talmud and the Bible — and closing to a standing ovation — Obama said his address was an effort to “speak the truth” about U.S. relations with the Muslim world. Several times during the hour-long speech, members of the audience shouted, “We love you.”

Now he is being burned in effigy in Afghanistan.

We are sick of war, the people in Iraq and Afghanistan are sick of war, and now a third front in Yemen? Obama has listened to the generals who want “more boots on the ground”. Of course they do, war is their business.

It’s time to dance with them what brung ya.

Formerly a proponent of single payer health insurance, he dropped the ball. Instead he listened to the drug companies, the health insurance executives and members of Congress who rely on those same folks for millions of dollars in campaign contributions.

They were invited to the White House, but single payer advocates were excluded despite consistent support for single payer health insurance.

It’s time to dance with them what brung ya.

As a candidate, he told President Bush to help Main Street, not just Wall Street. He talked about “fat cat bankers” on 60 Minutes yet they are the ones who have his ear and were, without question, bailed out.

What about Main Street, or the rural roads, where the people who elected him live?

He listened to the generals who build careers on war, the bankers whose yearly bonuses  can exceed the income of entire towns in rural America, and the drug and insurance companies whose only motivation is profit.

It’s time to listen to the folks who have no health insurance, the ones who have lost their homes, their farms, their businesses, those who have lost hope — hope, the message of the Obama campaign.

In 2010, it’s time to start dancing with them what brung ya.

JIM GOODMAN is a dairy farmer from Wonewoc WI and an IATP Food and Society Policy Fellow.

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Jim Goodman is a dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin.

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