Dear Liberals: it’s not “King” Obama’s fault—it’s ours.

Via elephant journal
on Mar 28, 2013
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Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 2.48.41 PM

{Update: part of taking responsibility is finding out for ourselves what the bill actually says and what it means for us as consumers. Here is what we need to know about Section 735 of HR 933, in lay terms.}

A Culture of Slacktivism?

Self-righteous Liberal Slackivists unite! But let’s not bother getting up from our couches.

We featured this article, yesterday:

With Nation’s Eyes Elsewhere, President Obama Signs Monsanto Protection Act into Law. ~ Kevin Macku

It’s a great article, and went viral on a grassroots level, fast, and drew many self-righteous (lefty) comments along the lines of “Shame on you, Obama.” And a libertarian Obama-hating friend gleefully posted another such article on his wall, and said “just another instance of Obama selling out!”

Kevin’s article, above deserves reading—many folks, I think, only read the title, and shared that, and commented on that.

Still, the title itself is misleading, in a way (see below). President Obama’s only as brave as we allow him to be…I take responsibility. He’s there to serve, not lead…in a democracy, we need to do more than make noise after the fact…we need to make it happen. (PS: I’m glad folks are pissed, now…where was the noise over the last few months?). ~ ed.

One reader (I hope he read it, first), replied eloquently. I appreciated his rebuttal, and asked him if we could share it, here. He assented. Here ’tis:

king obama monsanto

The problem is not Obama, it’s us.

Via Thomas K. Turner:

With all due respect, this is a bit of an exaggeration–and those of you placing blame solely on the President (“Kevin Macku, come on down!”) need to just stop.

The problem here is that the “Monsanto Protection Act” (section 735) was attached (anonymously) as a rider to a short term spending bill (HR 933). “The President does not have line item veto power; it’s all or nothing. This is called a poison pill. As part of the short term spending bill, President Obama had to sign the resolution in order to prevent the federal government from shutting down today, March 27, when the current funding was set to expire. He doesn’t get to cherry pick what parts he signs into law.

He either lets the government shut down or he signs the poison pill.” See:

Attaching riders such as this is an awful way to conduct government–especially when the *anonymous* legislator behind this knows that the blame is going to be placed on the President for signing it instead of where it should be: on the legislator who left the king obama monsantoadministration with no choice but to sign it. Can you imagine the public consternation if President Obama said, “I’m going to let the government shut down because…”? I’m not saying that he had *no* choice; but the Monsanto Protection Act can be rescinded [this is when you should be directing your ire at your state representatives, y’all); the more immediate problem was that allowing a government shutdown to occur because of this would have a greater short- to intermediate-term effect.

For those of you wanting the issuance of an executive order, please note how toothless an act that would be in the present environment: “An executive order cannot make new law; only Congress can do that. […] Here’s the real kicker: Even if President Obama were to sign an executive order to label our food (we have no indication as to whether he would be inclined to do so), Congress could deny funding its execution, just as they have with his order to close Gitmo.” So what’s the point, other than symbolism?

While I can certainly appreciate your disappointment, those of you jumping into this conversation simply to say “Shame on Obama” or “I couldn’t be more disappointed”…stop. President Obama didn’t craft this law. President Obama isn’t the reason why this law ended up on his desk. Your anger and disappointment are misplaced, and remind me of commentary from last summer: “liberals speaking out don’t want a president, they want a king.” Albeit a liberal king — but still a king, who would be unrestrained by Congress as well as the checks and balances enshrined in our Constitution.

But here’s the problem. Barack Obama is not a king, he’s the President of the United States. For those who may have forgotten the ‘Schoolhouse Rock”‘cartoon of ‘How a bill becomes a law,’ Congress needs to first pass the bill before it has any chance of becoming a law.

To me, the liberals who are so very disappointed with President Obama either had unrealistic expectations for him, viewing him as a messianic figure who would magically solve all of our nation’s woes, or simply refuse to grasp the reality of our American political system. In either case, the answer is: “The problem is not Obama, it’s you.”

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 2.48.22 PM

And, to be fair, here’s Kevin’s reply:

I’m not certain if you read the article. I’m not putting the blame entirely on Obama. I’m calling out a few different parties for the mishandling of Section 735: the anonymity of the rider as well as its timing, the mainstream media for saying nothing on it, and the democratic party-majority Senate for its hand in events.

The use of Obama’s signing of the Act is only to serve as a timeline of events.

An executive order may be toothless and symbolic, but what we need is to be sending a message; right now, we’re sending the wrong one. By calling out back-room dealings, we’re demonstrating that we’re aware of their existence in a new and volatile way, and even with the mainstream media’s silence, we are going to spread the awareness of those processes—and our anger towards them.

I appreciate what you’re saying, however. But we’re not lawmakers. We can’t, or at least I can’t, walk into Congress and say what they’re doing is wrong. We use the tools we have available to us; in this case, information and social media. When the power to do more makes itself available, if we can show that there is a unified electorate, then we can act, but we can’t do so if the electorate is uninformed as to what is going on.

monsanto is so oooo oo great

And…here’s mine!

Kevin, respectfully, I think you and elephant as indie media are doing our part, but I don’t think blaming Obama for things he can’t control without blaming ourselves, first, for not having made the noise necessary to scare the living daylights out of our representatives if they dared to vote against popular opinion is necessarily helpful. That said, your message clearly struck home, for which I give you respect and kudos and appreciation. ~ Waylon

Bonus, an educated comment from someone who actually read the bill:

No he didn’t.

That little rider your little conspiracy theory is up in arms about does not protect Monsanto from prosecution.

What the rider does is simple. To plant a restricted crop, the farmer needs to have permission from the federal government. The bill does not change that part because the farmer always needed permission to plant restricted crops.

Where the bill comes into play is right now. If a farmer has permission to plant restricted crops, but the paperwork gets lost somewhere, the farmer is protected from lawsuit. As long as he can prove he has permission beforehand, he will not get sued or anything of the sort.

Before, if a farmer is caught planting restricted crops without permission, he could face fines and be ordered to destroy the crops. It does not matter if the farmer gets permission before hand.

Nowhere in that rider does it give Cargill blanket protection from lawsuit.

BTW, “Monsanto” is a corporation. Quit using it like it’s a buzzword.

The reason why it’s Mosanto and not Archer Daniels Midland or Cargill is simple: Monsanto is the only one that sounds sinister. ADM sounds like a family style restaurant. Cargill is the name of that nightclub you went to as a young adult.



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24 Responses to “Dear Liberals: it’s not “King” Obama’s fault—it’s ours.”

  1. Christina says:


    Now THIS is the kind of stuff I want to read. Thank god for people who choose to use their brains.

  2. samitee says:

    The real story of course, is that there's no such thing as the Monsanto Protection Act. It's an entirely made up term.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    That's mentioned above–amen.

  4. Mweb says:

    There are a number of good points in both the article, and Kevins response. As for what the "Educated" readers response was… Lets be honest, the use of the term "Farmer"/Farm are euphemisms for Monsanto Corporation (NOT ADM, Cargill) because of the GMO issue, and Monsanto is the Corporation that created, sells and plants, these seeds which COULD become a restricted crop. Small "Farmers/farms" are not 'likely' to have a crop of any sort that would be "restricted". This (restricted crop) is the buzz word/term for GMO's. And this wording is just vague enough to allow Monsanto the continued use, and distribution of, those seeds should they become "restricted" after some scientific evidence comes forth. Monsanto is a corporation, "Farmer/Farm" is the buzz word.

  5. His campaign promise in '07 was to immediately label GMO's, so if it was part of an overall bill, he could've refused to sign it altogether. This acceptance of his lack of responsibility is overwhelmingly becoming ok in this country, as in he signed it however it's not his fault. Ludicrous.

  6. lisa says:

    this article presents a classic psychological double bind: i am under-reacting (slacktivism) and over-reacting (because i am too stupid to understand what really happened/"conspiracy theory") at the same time. no options, no solutions and i am to blame. double-binds are the hallmark of a toxic relationship. the message is "shut up and accept things as they are." i cannot believe e.j. approved this for publish. ridiculing the president by dressing him up in cartoon costumes is a visual passive-aggressive move ("haha, i'm just jokin' you").

    e.j. i'm breaking up with you.

  7. Lisa, this is one response to the situation, which I agree, offers little that's useful.

    Here's another:

  8. lisa says:

    thanks for an article which presents a rational approach to this situation. i'm disappointed in this turn of events too…especially as a holistic nutritionist..however there is no ONE person who has the power to change things by her or himself.

  9. guest says:

    I agree, Angela…Obama is sleeping with the enemy…he has appointed more than one to the FDA that used to work for Monsanto. He pulled a bait and switch… he is a disgusting human being not to mention a deceptive president.

  10. Orion says:

    I think if this act is true or not is good that people are talking about Monsanto, the light on this matter is that the rider was slipped in there and done anon. ?? Shady much? and did it need to be in there? no.. So i hope people freaking out about this DOES make them do something.. GMO foods are dangerous and untested, organic foods are safe but scrutinized at every turn.

  11. Linda V. Lewis says:

    So why all the photos making Obama a king?

  12. Kia says:

    i believe it is called photo shop. our president never ever claimed to be a king

  13. Kia says:

    oh man i wonder what people will do without this new technology called PHOTO SHOP

  14. Yo Bammy says:

    But he is the Messiah right?

  15. shawn says:

    Oh yeah, that right the guy the promised to label GMOs, then appoints Micheal Taylor. Totally not his fault, must be Bush.

  16. Bartry Gillespie says:

    Mweb. Sorry but you are wrong. Here is teh actual wording from the bili. "That all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the Secretary’s authority under section 411, 412 and 414 of the Plant Protection Act." In other words, if the USDA later determines that a seed is harmful, once it has done the scientific work needed, it can stop distribution and use of the seeds. Monsanto doesn't have the power to continue to use/seel the seeds once the USDA says NO.


    Actually, what you are missing in your response here is that the Secretary respond only to the conditions set forth in those sections of the Plant Protection Act. Other than that, for the six-month deregulation period, no action can be takin should unforeseen risk arise. The USDA cannot say "no" during the six month period. This is an unfortunate precedent to set, giving corporations such free reign, even for a set amount of time.

  18. guest says:

    Please tell me why this is ALL Obama's fault? Did either of you even get anything out of this article? (doesn't seem like it)

  19. Linda V. Lewis says:

    No kidding! Rather than raking him over the coals, he is trying to reduce fossil fuel consumption. His newest anti-pollution plan would reduce sulfur in gasoline and tighten auto emissions standards. The EPA is thrilled. This means billions of dollars saved in health benefits from reducing smog and soot forming pollution. California already uses the sulfur standard.
    Of course the oil industry and Republicans are opposed. They are busy pushing the XL pipeline, to hell with health and the environment. They are the self-appointed kings!

  20. Nancy says:

    Monsanto was protected from much of its destruction , when was classified as a miliatary contractor when it created agend orange and polluted the area around it, the company had Romney for an attorney and Clarence Thomas too, due to the status as miliatary contractor they cannot be held responsible for any damage they caused at that time. Research it! It's disgusting, though a massachusetts community recently sued Monsanto for using a well known cancer causing product in the plumbing when building schools, Lexington, ma

  21. toyotabedzrock says:


  22. Calahan says:

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  23. Yes, READ ABOVE. The guy lacks responsibility for his own actions, plain and simple, as do millions that follow him expecting handouts.