Grasshopper Soup: Obama mania’s wake-up call |

Grasshopper Soup: Obama mania’s wake-up call

By Bob Sweigert

President Barack Obama has already given those of us lulled into the blissful euphoria of Obama-mania more than sufficient reason to wake up and take our country back.

On a more trivial note, we are still waiting for him to deliver on his promise to post information about the activities and plans of his administration on the internet for five days to promote accountability and transparency. That is only a miniscule example of the new president’s broken promises which, we hope, he will not continue.

But so far, behind closed doors, he and his administration rationalize abuses of power in secret meetings, where they also conjure up the propaganda necessary for selling their unprecedented schemes to the American people. The only thing that has changed in Washington so far is, who has the power. And they want more.

Renegade (as the new Commander in Chief is appropriately called by the Secret Service) has hijacked the function of the U.S. Census Bureau and placed it directly in control of the White House. This is the first time in American history this has ever been done. The Census Bureau was, for good reason, always regarded as, and intended to be, a non-political entity. It had been, until now, administered by The Department of Commerce. The Obama administration has given no reason as to why they felt it necessary to change that. Can Obama groupies fathom how serious this situation really is? Do you think this new power will be used ethically, with no regard for the political future of Democrats?

This gives the new administration carte blanche control over redistricting, which determines the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Besides determining Congressional districts, the census also determines the make up of the Electoral College, not to mention how, and where, massive amounts of federal funds are spent.

The implications of such a power grab in a free, democratic society are so ethically questionable, Senator Judd Gregg turned down the president’s offer to become the Secretary of the Department of Commerce. Senator Gregg didn’t want any part of such subversive shenanigans, saying “irresolvable conflicts” between he and the White House influenced his decision. That makes Judd Gregg the example of accountability and integrity we voted for, not Barack Obama. Renegade should be emulating Judd Gregg who, by the way, is a republican.

The virtually unintelligible and politically ponderous stimulus bill also was a factor in Gregg’s decision not to play ball with the new administration. It was basically a rough draft 1,075 pages long, riddled with penciled-in corrections, changes, explanations and references. It contained little, if anything, to address the mortgage and home foreclosure crisis. That will come later, in spite of the economic fear mongering the president used to pass the so called “emergency” economic stimulus “package”.

I am convinced that, even if the economy were in perfect health, the same bill would have been written and passed by the Democratic majority. It may help to get the country going in a better direction, but nobody really knows. Most of them didn’t even read it.

It should be clear now to those easily caught up in, and mesmerized by, the emotions of political campaigns, and the rhetoric of politicians, that we do not elect presidents. They persuade us to vote for them. We do not give politicians power. They use their own power to make us think that a vote for them is a vote for some higher good, some magic love potion that will make everything all better. They are motivated primarily by power.

It is not the fullness of one’s character that we vote for. The character of a politician is always yet to be determined by the challenges of future events. For that reason I am still willing to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt. But I see no reason for anyone to be particularly impressed by what has transpired so far since he took the oath of office.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.

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