This is my open letter to President Barack Obama:
Dear Mr. President,
Why are you playing right into the hands of your enemies?
For years, I have been defending you in print and verbally against the jerks who have been hounding you, nipping at your heels, sabotaging everything you proposed and accusing you of insanely ridiculous charges – everything from not being a born American to being a socialist destroyer. The attacks against you, in fact, have been so baseless, so unrelenting, so racist and so disgusting I was – and still am – eager to defend you.
However, in recent days, I have become crestfallen by your rather passive reactions to the chorus of accusations against you concerning three troublesome issues: Benghazi, IRS and the Associated Press. One or more people in your administration, on your watch, put a public-relations spin (or flat-out lied) about the security lapses that led to the deaths in Benghazi; one or more people in the Internal Revenue Service zealously pursued audits on ultra-conservative organizations, such as the Tea Party; and one or more people in the White House tried to intimidate and obstruct reporters trying to do their jobs.
Those kinds of tactics are more worthy of a president like Richard Nixon, who had an “enemies list” and who broke the law by trying to “get even” with his political opponents.
Mr. President, you shouldn’t waste another day downplaying those issues or dismissing them as just more examples in the long line of Republicans’ ridiculous charges. If you don’t answer those charges head-on, letting the chips fall where they may, the rest of your presidency will be truly “lame duck,” to put it mildly. If their charges are not true, if you did not know about these things, then say so loudly and clearly.
Obviously, there has never been a president in history who has not made mistakes and who has not told a lie now and then. To give just a few examples: President Lyndon Johnson lied about an attack in the Gulf of Tonkin that got us heavily involved in the long senseless war in Vietnam; Nixon was impeached and had to resign because of his lies relating to the Watergate scandal; Reagan was less than forthright in dealing with the scandal of illegally selling arms to the contras in Nicaragua; Clinton blatantly lied when he said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
Being president of the United States has got to be the most difficult, loneliest job in the world. It’s hard to imagine anyone in his or her right mind wanting such a job where crises are always ready to explode in your face, dealing with a deadlocked Congress would be enough to drive anyone crazy, your every utterance and action is scrutinized mercilessly – often by hostile opponents. Being a president must be like having to hole up in a bunker with attacks coming from all sides. And that is probably the root of the problem – that bunker mentality that sets in. All of the presidents mentioned above developed a bunker mentality to one degree or another, and all of them stonewalled or lied now and then.
We’re told you, Mr. President, are slow and deliberative in your decision-making processes, that you are not a schmoozer and your approach to problems is cool, detached, cerebral. However, while those may be qualities to some degree, they can just as well be drawbacks. They can lead to disconnection and even distortions in a president’s perception of reality. In recent days, Mr. President, it has become painfully plain that you are not using your leadership skills.
I have been absolutely astonished by your grace under pressure, the way you held your head high while having to endure the steady barrage of lies and character attacks from the ultra-right-wing paranoid-fantasy fringe. It’s understandable why you would go into a defensive mode, having to deal with lunatics like that.
Nevertheless, it is time to level with all those who, like me, enthusiastically voted for you twice. If those who are now accusing you of so many things are not on the level, say so now to prove how wrong they are and then lay out the proofs. Or if one or more people in the White House, the State Department or the IRS did wrong, fire them immediately. You’ve already taken some of those steps, but do more. Be more forthright.
Mr. President, your enemies smell blood; they are licking their chops. Do something decisive, even if it hurts. Be a courageous leader we elected you to be. Don’t let those bloodhounds salivate any longer.