The Obama Identity




In The Bourne Identity, Jason Bourne is sent on a Black Ops mission, one that he fails to complete and in the process is injured and winds up with amnesia. He spends the next two hours of screen time trying to figure out just who exactly he is, and by the end of the film, although there are still a lot of pieces missing, the puzzle starts to take form.

With a few variations, the same thing happened to President Obama. In the President’s movie, he defined his own mission, one that those of us on the left quickly embraced. (Of course, the right wing will argue that his was also a Black Ops mission.) We elected him President and sent him out to get it done: get rid of the Patriot Act; close Guantanamo Bay; stop renditioning; create a new health care plan and kick ass on Wall Street. Lofty goals, I admit, and I don’t think any of us expected perfection—it’s The Bourne Identity, not Chinatown. But what we never counted on was Obama suffering a head injury (how else can you explain it?) and subsequently, amnesia.

Now, the right wing has its own story to tell. In their minds it all started fifty years ago in a little village in Kenya. There, a wonder child is born, false papers are fabricated, and the child is shipped off to Hawaii, where he is fed a steady diet of borscht and vodka, and is no doubt steeped in the ways of Bolshevik propaganda in preparation for his takeover of America in 2008. In this film, Obama is one of The Boys from Brazil, with the small change from Fascist to Socialist. Well, it’s a little more confusing than that. They call him a socialist but they also compare him to Hitler a lot. Perhaps he has Lenin’s brain and Hitler’s good looks. I liked both movies but I’m going with Bourne as the more plausible. Let’s look at the facts.

Health reform: Obama pushed for health reform saying there had to be a public option, but somewhere along the line his amnesia kicked in and the public option part got left on the screening room floor—some socialist. We were left with some improvements in health coverage for poor children, and for those with pre-existing conditions—which is good—but the rest of us are no better off than we were. I still pay $5000 a year for health insurance that basically doesn’t kick in until I’m bankrupt and lying semi-conscious on the operating table hoping there’s enough coverage to afford an anesthesiologist. Was he reaching across the isle to make the right happy, or was this his amnesia kicking in, causing him to forget he had the power invested in him by the American people to cure a terminally ill health system?

Our Constitution: “America doesn’t torture; we’re better than that.” That’s what he said. Here’s what he’s done. Prisoners are still lingering in Guantanamo—some for as long as ten years—without a trial or any hope of one. Some of them have already been deemed safe to release and yet there they sit. On the bright side, I hear they do have televisions now. Perhaps they have even seen The Bourne Identity and are hopeful that Obama will also regain his memory. It gets worse. Obama recently signed into law a bill that allows indefinite detention of suspected terrorists or supporters of terrorists (whatever that means), without a trial. American citizens can be picked up at will, put on a plane and sent half way around the world to be questioned—tortured?—because, well, Americans don’t torture, so, out of sight, out of mind. Obama claims he will never do this, but he does have the power, as will whoever follows him into the Whitehouse. Is this disruption of the Constitution more forgetfulness on Obama’s part, or did he just want to make the Hawks like him, convince them that he’s tough on terrorists?

Wall Street: To be brief, not one CEO has been brought up on criminal charges for the financial disaster that has brought this economy to its knees. More amnesia? Elizabeth Warren was supposed to head the new Consumer Protection Bureau, but Obama threw her under the bus. Did he forget that she was the one who came up with the idea for the Bureau, who spent months organizing and hiring staff to run it? Did he forget his promise to go after Wall Street before or after he hired Eric Holder? Check Holder’s history and see for yourself if he’s equipped to prosecute the very people he has worked for in the past, and for whom he will no doubt return to work after he leaves his government job. It would be like hiring Jerry Sandusky to prosecute child molesters.

But, back to Jason Bourne. In the sequels, Bourne recovers his memory and puts his house in order, amassing quite a body count in the process. Perhaps that’s Obama’s plan. Spend his first term giving everybody a little bit of what they want—build dramatic tension—so that in the sequel we will re-elect him for a second term. Maybe he thinks he can make up for all the votes he will lose on the left with new support from the middle and the right who, having rejected The Boys from Brazil theory, will have come to believe he is not from Kenya, doesn’t want to euthanize our grandparents and actually cares—a lot—about corporations. Then, unencumbered by election concerns and with four years to wreak havoc, his memory will return and he will get to work completing the mission he created in the first place. He can even one-up Jason Bourne by singing “Let’s Stay Together” over the closing credits. Now that is a Hollywood ending.


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17 Responses to The Obama Identity

  1. David Panno says:

    He didn’t hit his head. He never had one clue or qualification to be the principal of a inner city elementary school, let alone president of the United States. He rode in on the backs of the bias news media a democratic party that were shell shocked when Hilary didn’t get the nomination. “What do we do now Bob, we didn’t count on this.” We better go with his black half. Ya, but his black dad was a drunk and womanizer. I know but all of the gullible uneducated voters and the dimwits in hollywood will vote their black guilt. Besides, they throw great parties and have lots of easy money to throw around. We’ll just keep downplaying his white grandmother who raised him and we’ll be fine. No one will care or notice that he’s never done anything significant. So, no big suprise here. He’s just a rank opportunist who I sure said what Redford said in the last scene of “The Candidate” after being elected. “What do I do now”

    • admin says:


      Really, it was black guilt that got him elected? I don’t mind your lunatic right-wing drivel, but now you just sound like a racist. The sad part is, you don’t even know it.

      • David Panno says:

        First of all, thank you for calling me a racist. I forgot, the left’s only weapon is name calling. So much for polite discourse. I still haven’t heard one qualification Mr.Obama has to be president. I guess you were too busy thinking up a name to call me. And yes, I do think the only reason he got elected was black guilt. I didn’t say the guilt was warranted. I have no guilt where black’s are concerned. Unlike the Left, I don’t look at everything through a black or white prism. The color of someone’s skin means less than nothing to me. My point was that he had no other qualifications. He still doesn’t. Again, my opinion. But as we’ve learned from the militant Left expressing your opinion is grounds for attack. Rest assured this will be my last post to your blog. As always I wish you continued success.

        • I never said you were a racist. I said you sound like one. But that’s the way the right likes to spin facts. I’m glad you have no “black guilt” but when you say that’s what got him elected, that is a racist statement. Qualifications? The guy was a senator who also happens to be a Constitutional scholar. Your boy George Bush can barely use the English Language. You and I are never going to agree on anything political, Dave, because your mind is closed. You get all your “facts” from Rush and Fox news and you think that makes you well-rounded. There is no militant left in this country. Wake up. As far as polite discourse, every time I try and debate politics with someone on the right they just start yelling. You chose not to post anymore, that’s up to you. Just remember it was your choice, that the “militant left” didn’t ban you.

          • David Panno says:

            Wow, now its a fact that I sound like a racist. Why, because you said it. My boy George Bush was a governor of one of the largest states in the union. I know that’s not as impressive as being a community organizer. And I’m trying to remember who voted absent 95% of the time. Oh wait, I remember, Obama. David Letterman made fun of one of his speeches, so he has no command of the English language. Gee, and I have a closed mind. That’s right, because I don’t agree with you. Mike, you’ve become so angry and bitter, for some reason, I can’t understand. You also made the comment that I was spouting right wing drivel and I wasn’t smart enough to know it. You’re the one who needs to listen to himself. But, it’s okay, as I said we will forever agree to disagree. Some of my earlier comments were actually tongue in cheek, but as we’ve learned listening to Stewart, Maher. the View, the Left has no sense of humor when it comes to their guys in office. I know I’m not being forced off the blog, but apparently it’s not good for our family relationship. I’ve have great respect for you as my brother, so better to leave politics out of it.

  2. Great delivery. Solid arguments. Keep up the great work.

  3. Norm says:

    Mike: I go back in history to establish what enabled the true game-changing presidents to make their marks on the political and social evolution of our country and the world in which they found themselves. I believe that, even though we might judge them to be incredibly solid and unmovable in their beliefs and principled stands, nearly every one of them compromised and whittled off critical parts of their original ideas and legislation to get what they ultimately are identified as being responsible for. From Jefferson to Madison to Lincoln to Theodore R to FDR to Johnson and on, the ability to govern well and wisely often includes beating your swords and browbeating ways into conciliatory compromises that appear awfully bowdlerized for their value, but end up being the best the system could allow.

    I don’t excuse failure, but I do forgive those who plunge on into further attempts to make stuff right, even after having to initially settle for less than the best. The key thing for me is the momentum towards a virtuous, civil society. There is a great risk in America of losing our way in the midst of fear and polarization, and the need for a faith that trumps the insecurity of rationality. The mindset of the conservative American is reactive, reeling back in disgust and anger at what appears to be the loss of the True and Sacred, the known and the safe. They need comforting, and cannot find it in the complexity of a world where America is not delivering a mandate that elevates the individual over the communal, the past over the future, and for many, the God-given over the Human-muddled. We have gone through such times as a nation at tipping points in the past, and persevered, and the world has rolled along. Times, while changin, though, don’t always come around to the ways they were before, and the country and world we allow to emerge may indeed be less livable, and may be becoming more full of the kind of energy that divides us as families, communities, nations. We become the instrument of Shiva, the destroyer, the monstrous multitude of upright bipeds scurrying over the surface of Gaia, seeking to protect what we think is ours, but have in doing so lost sight of the souls which, engaged together, truly possess so much of the richness of the consciousness of the planet. God save us all, laughing all the way….at least, in this context, for four more years….

    • mike panno says:


      I certainly never envisioned Obama getting through his term as President without having to compromise. But what I’ve seen is his continuos extending of the olive branch only to have the Republican Party finally come to his house and cut down the tree. When the best that the system will allow is mere crumbs, perhaps a different approach is needed. What if Lincoln had reached out to the South and compromised on Slavery? What if FDR has struck a deal with Hitler and let Germany have Europe?

      Am I suggesting the current Republican Party is akin to the above examples. Perhaps not in the depth of their (the South and Hitler) immorality but certainly in the Republican’s obstructionist approach to all things Obama. In fact, I think it is Obama’s inability to get any compromise from the right that has led him to such hawkish reactions against terrorism, even if it means stepping on the constitution. Funny thing is, they (the right) won’t even give him credit for his successes in that department.

      I agree with you completely that the right is reacting out of fear of losing their idea (illusion) of the past that they are clinging to. In the end, it may not be so much the country that we allow to emerge but rather the country that must emerge, for, at the end of the day, the past and the future cannot exist on the same plane.

      In a twisted sort of way, if we desire less turmoil, Romney may actually be the best choice for the country. The Republicans will have deposed of their anti-Christ, and in the subsequent glow of their righteous victory may actually start doing some work. Obviously they will be working for their corporate masters, but the vitriol will vanish, as the left has no stomach for confrontation. And perhaps we will have, at last, the government we deserve.

  4. Jim Quealy says:

    Hey Mike,
    I read your blog and enjoyed it! Hope you don’t mind me throwing in my two cents in regards to

    The Obama Identity (paragraph 4)

    If I only had the option to spend $5000.00 or more per year for a decent health insurance policy
    I’d be pretty thrilled, but I, like millions of other Americans, don’t have that option or anything close to it. Implementation of the “Affordable Health Care Act” will guarantee me coverage and repeal of the act will guarantee me non-coverage.

    I am one of those 9 to 25 million people with pre-existing conditions who are currently being denied any health coverage. My particular preexisting condition is an aortic insufficiency. I am one of the 2% of the population born with a bicuspid aortic valve. {2 flaps instead of the normal tricuspid valve with 3 flaps}(bicuspids allow blood to leak back into the heart} These Edsels of aortic valves were a bad idea and I do hope some heads rolled.

    They must have had a great ad campaign! A great ad campaign can sell anything.

    So anyway, my aorta has narrowed and my heart muscle has enlarged and at some point open heart surgery will be necessary in the coming years. Arnold Schartznegger {one of my 2%}
    had elective surgery 15 years ago to have this valve replaced before further damage to his heart. I think the ex-gov may appreciate, that is a luxury most of us can’t afford. Might explain why he was the only Republican Governor to endorse the bill

    So here are the possibilities:

    Scenario #1 The Affordable Care Act is not repealed. I can buy health insurance on January 1, 2014. I have the recommended cardiology preventive care. When the it’s time for a new valve, I have the procedure, pay the deductible and the insurance company covers the rest.

    Scenario #2 The Affordable Care Act is repealed and I remain uninsured. Preventative care is not a financial option; the condition progresses, any ordinary day turns into an ambulance ride to the ER, then surgery, then recovery, if I’m lucky. Obviously, I won’t be able to afford these procedures, so who will pay? Taxpayers (multiplied by 25 million or so) That makes me a Free Rider. Repeal of the Affordable Care Act will force millions of to be Free Riders. I don’t want to be a Free Rider! I want to buy insurance! Let me buy Insurance!!

    I’ve been hearing a lot of nonsense about Low Risk Pools and crossing State Lines and bla, bla, bla.
    Believe me, I’ve been researching this heavily, for my own selfish reasons, for some time now.
    That Shit Ain’t Real

    Obama Care is not perfect. I believe that a
    “Single Payer” system was a better idea but had absolutely no chance of seeing the light of day. No Chance!
    I have to believe if they didn’t get this act through there would be nothing in it’s place and If it is repealed, there will be nothing to replace it.

    The Affordable Care Act has not had an effect yet on how high your premiums are.
    Not much can change until the biggest part of the bill kicks in 2014-2016
    We may not know exactly how it all plays out for a decade, but when the insurance industry
    Spends over $200,000,000.00 to lobby against it, you can be sure propaganda will rule the hearts and minds of many who want to believe what they are led to believe.

    A Good Ad Campaign Can Sell Anything“

    • admin says:


      Thanks for the response. Sorry it took so long to reply but I’ve been very busy. I’m on your side with this, I just wanted Obama to take it further. But, I also need to remember just who the opposition is (like the night at your gig) and how lucky we are to get anything done.

  5. Greg Morgan says:

    Hey Mike, I am not sure what book it is but the exchange between you and David seems to be a common american condition. My brother and I have the same type of polarized views and have given up on even trying to talk politics. We have grown up seeing the same realities of the political process (and the histories that are portrayed) and have very opposite views. We both want to see “Truth, Justice and the American way” but cannot come together on where to go from here. And that leaves all of us on the sidelines, unable to compete with the big players who seem to have an agenda that keeps the ball away from the general public.

    Keep up the dialog – my best to you and your brother.

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  8. David Panno says:

    Congratulations, your president got another 4 years. No sour grapes here. The worst domestic record in history, and he still pulled it off. Good for him. Only now, he has to really to take responsibility for what happens. No more blaming Bush for the 16 trillion deficit or Hillary Clinton for Benghazi. It’s all on his watch now. The man child has to grow up and be president. All eyes will be on him and him alone. Shame on conservatives for not mounting a better offensive. We had what should have been an easy win, but we blew it. So, Mr. Obama, put this on your wall, The buck has come to a screeching halt.

    • Here’s what I think beat Romney: The Republican Party. He appeased the far right to get the nomination then he tried to swing back to the middle to win the election and I think it left people wondering just who he was. I believe he is a moderate Republican at heart (old school) and at the end of the day it was his own party that defeated him. As far as Obama goes, all eyes should not be on him alone but on the Congress and the Senate along with him. Maybe Mitch McConnell can make the country his first priority instead of being an obstructionist. We shall see.

      • David Panno says:

        Actually, hold on to your hat, I agree with you. 3 million registered Republicans did not vote. But, you know as well as I do every president takes the heat for the economy, jobs etc. Crying obstruction, just sounds,for the most part like more blaming. I was no Clinton fan, but he and Gingrich balanced the budget and passed welfare reform. Clinton also, moved to the middle to get elected. Democrat candidates will never admit to being liberal, because they know liberal doesn’t get elected. My point is , he’s inherited his own record. Let’s see what he does with it.

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