In 2008 Barack Obama was elected president in a wave of euphoria for “hope” and “change,” but he threw away his mandate during his first year in office when he did not liquidate Deputy Dubya’s dimwit debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan. He became a predictable mediocrity after that, his two terms of office squandered on inconclusive militarism abroad and domestic enrichment of the already super wealthy while much of the middle and working classes saw their real incomes and hopes for the future decline. In other words, this poem that I wrote back in 2009 pretty much sums up what I think about President Obama today — and what I will think about You-Know-Her two years from now.
Changing Commanders in Brief
The last guy-in-charge said, “Go shopping.”
This war, he said, wouldn’t last long;
Our victims, he swore, would repay us
For plundering them for a song.
In six months, at most, we’d be winners;
The enemy vanquished and fled;
And then, with our mission accomplished,
We’d leave them to count up their dead.
Our generals trained for the last war,
Their learning-curve zero or less.
In six years they’ll figure out something;
Just what, will be anyone’s guess.
They had them a “surge” in their payments
To “enemies” placed on the dole
So they wouldn’t shoot us so often
Because of their land that we stole.
The new guy took over, saluting,
A race that had already run
Its course, ‘cause the bungler before him
Had exploited all of the fun.
The new guy got rolled up like sushi.
He blew his chance early to leave.
More “surging” has just raised the death count.
What next does he have up his sleeve?
It sounded so good while campaigning:
One little “good” war for one bad;
Except that the Afghans hate bombings
As much as Vietnamese had.
Our generals, though, won’t admit it:
They’ve taken eight years to do what?
Yet somehow they think we’ll applaud them
For not knowing doodley-squat.
They say they need more stuff and faster
Yet won’t explain what they would do
Except to extend their disaster
By breeding more pooches to screw.
In common-sense language, the answer
Replies to their “more, more, more” rant:
“You would have, of course, if you could have;
You didn’t, therefore, so you can’t.”
The new guy Obama, like Dubya,
Thinks playing Commander-in-Brief
Means mission-creep “more” and saluting
The Pentagram treasury thief.
“A trillion a year?” Oh, who’s counting?
“And all for what?” Don’t be a bore.
“And who will pay?” No one, we promise.
It’s what we call slush-funded “war.”
Obama won’t ask the right question,
To wit: “What on earth have we ‘won’?”
Like Pharaoh, he thinks he can dictate:
“So let it be written, then done.”
He cried: “Yes, we can!” while campaigning,
This slogan he sold and we bought.
In office, however, he’s changed things:
Himself. Now he says, “We cannot.”
Our Wealth Care rules out Single Payer
Our troops must remain on patrol.
The votes don’t exist in the Congress
That Democrats cannot control.
We gave him majorities, plenty,
Yet these he seems ready to blow.
Now Wealth Care and Quagmire have named him:
Commander of Old Status Quo.
Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2009.
Michael Murry is a Vietnam Veteran, gargoyle sculptor, and poet. He occupies the Asian Desk for The Contrary Perspective.