I Want My Money Back! (Pres. Obama!)

By Marie Marchand

June 29, 2009 "" --
I want my money back.

I gave $20 a week for seven months, plus $60 every once in a while for a t-shirt and sticker. I gave of my modest purse joyfully. Once I add that all up, it makes a grand total of... $106 billion?! Wait a minute, I thought I was supporting change I could believe in, not more of the same bloodshed and war!

Betrayal is a part of life. After awhile, you just come to expect it. Yet, the initial shock always hits you as a surprise. Alas, the nature of betrayal. Humans are vulnerable to being betrayed because underneath our husky shells, our pain and hardened hearts, we are soft and trustful creatures. We want to believe in people.

I'm not that young, so I possess some cynicism. But I'm not that old either, so I manage some idealism. Sure, I am used to being betrayed by my government. But I thought my days of calling the White House in tears were over. To think that Barack Obama preyed on this naive hope in me and millions like me is unforgivable.

I expect the Republicans to throw money at the Military Industrial Complex. Yet, from the Democrats, I was promised a different direction (like OUT of the Middle East). Regrettably, there has been miniscule change. There is still nothing to believe in.

It is against my religion to say the Pledge of Allegiance. (I am a Christian so I pledge allegiance only to God.) I did, however, pledge my time and treasure to Barack Obama. On November 4, 2008, I danced in the streets waving the American Flag, feeling proud to be an American. I was pathetically close to bustin' out some Toby Keith ditties.

It's not just the $106 billion that makes me feel betrayed. It's not just the fact that Gitmo probably won't be shut down after all. It is not even the president's assurance to Republicans that he will not release the photos of detainee abuse.

It is the rumors of intimidation and strong-arming that are, to me, the greatest betrayal.

That President Barack Obama sent Rahm Emanuel and Nancy Pelosi to bully anti-war Democrats into voting for the supplemental (and threatening to withdraw the leadership's support for their re-elections if they didn't) is a shameful misuse of power. Where's the humanity I once saw in Barack? It's just more of the same and I can't stomach it.

I knew I was na´ve; yet like millions of Americans, I had no choice but to believe. Our hearts were desperate for hope. We saw Barack Obama as an oasis in the desert. To think that he may be just a mirage is heartbreaking.

When you have a minute, give Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold a call at (202) 224-5323. He was the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against the war funding (along with three Republicans and an Independent).

Oh, and please consider supporting my grassroots campaign to get my $680 back so I can donate it to the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center. Thanks.
Marie Marchand is executive director of the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center in Bellingham, WA.


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