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Dude, Where's My Obama?

January 27, 2010

In 2008, a man showed up on the world's stage promising change.

I, like most other Americans, was captivated by this man. Barack Obama proclaimed a message of hope - that yes, we can. For a country at war, in an economic recession, watching our civil liberties get trampled on by the government, and facing an uncertain future, Obama represented a bright future. Yes, we can.

But now it's 2010, and President Obama has been in office for a year now. Something weird happened, though, along the way. I think someone placed a pod by Obama and created a weird knock-off; he looks and sounds like Obama, but he's not the Obama that I voted for.

What happened to the Obama who promised transparency and to restore our civil liberties? He asked for the Patriot Act to be renewed. The Obama who was going to get rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?" Don't ask him, because he won't tell. The jobs? Well, they're coming after health care.

You see, I knew Obama wanted health care reform. I didn't know, though, that it was going to be THE ONLY issue he would be working hard for. I was willing to vote for him, even though he wanted health care reform that I opposed, because I liked what he said about the rest of the issues. The end of the war, restoration of individual liberties and freedom, transparency and faith in government - that was change that I believed in. But whatever happened to THAT Obama?

And I know what you are going to say: You get what you voted for when you voted Obama; if you don't like it, why did you vote for him? Well, compared to 2008 McCain (not to be confused with the 2000 model; something happened to him along the way with a pod replacement as well) and Palin - and don't even get me started on Palin, Obama was and still is the best choice.

But if Obama cares about staying President in 2012 - and Democrats want to stay in power this year - they need to figure something out. Health care reform would be welcomed by out of work folks, but you know what they would welcome even more? Jobs. Jobs that include health care. If everyone had good jobs with actual benefits, well, we wouldn't need a free and public health care option.

I wish Obama would go out and find that guy who campaigned in 2008. I liked that guy better than the one who's in the White House right now.