One Hundred Days of Obama in Poetry

All Barack and No Bite

One Hundred Days of Obama in Poetry

Aaron Goldstein  Bio

By Aaron Goldstein  Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There will be a litany of post-mortems written on President Barack Obama’s first one hundred days in office.  Many of these pieces will be in opposition to the changes he has initiated.

So what makes my critique of President Obama different from the rest?

Quite simply my critique will be done through poetry.

Since January 20th, I have written nearly twenty poems inspired by President Obama or by the collective reaction of our nation to him.  Most of the poems are critical of Obama’s policies while others are critical of ourselves for believing the things we wanted to hear.

I thought I would share three of these poems with you.

The first is titled, “Ten Page Footnote.” It is inspired by the Department of Homeland Security’s recent report,” title=”Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”>Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.

You know the one that accused our returning veterans of being potential terrorists.

Ten Page Footnote

Who is the greatest threat to our national security?
Al Qaeda?  Hezbollah?
No silly, we’re not at war with Islam
Mexican drug lords?
You crack me up
They’re just budding entrepreneurs
The greatest threat to our homeland
Is our returning military veterans, of course
Hide the children
There are angry white males
Coming to a neighborhood near you
Behind the face of every soldier
Is the heir apparent to Timothy McVeigh
Waiting to be recruited by right-wingers
Appalled by the election of an African-American President
And ready to take action
So if you see a corporal watching Fox News
Or a private first class with a “Don’t Tread On Me” bumper sticker
Then do your patriotic duty and contact
Your local branch of the Department of Homeland Security at once
And we will have our crack team
Operation Red Herring on the case
Oh wait
You meant no offense
It wasn’t intended for public consumption
Intended or not it was pretty hard to swallow
So you now regret that footnote
A ten page footnote
That cost millions of our tax money
To have wrote
Your only regret is that we now know
What you really think about
The men and women who volunteer
To serve our nation
Only for you to thank them with damnation

The next poem is titled, “Take a Bow.” I think it is fairly self-explanatory.

Take a Bow

Mr. President, for thee the children sing
As you kneel before the Saudi king

Mr. President, with your overture to Iran
An American journalist stands trial in Tehran

Mr. President, when a missile was launched by North Korea
You told Japan, “See ya.”

Mr. President, your talk in Turkey
Turned America’s shining beacon murky

Mr. President, three cheers, three cheers
Attacked by pirates for the first time in 200 years

Mr. President, when you are told to get on your knees
Do you ask, “Can I have another please?”

Mr. President, you’re changing America and how
So on behalf of all of us take a bow

For all my cynicism I cannot deny that President Obama currently has an approval rating of 68%.  That’s two out of every three Americans.  Then again when Obama is more likely to be asked questions about which dog he is going to pick for his children than about the consequences of his economic policies for our children is it any wonder?  But we must take a certain amount of responsibility for this state of affairs.  Perhaps we have elected the President that we deserve.  With that I will leave you with this poem titled, “All Barack & No Bite.”

All Barack & No Bite

Here’s our brand new dog
Look at all the tricks it can do
Sit, Barack, sit
Good dog
Barack, roll over for the Russians
Good dog
Barack, lie down for Iran
That’s a good Obama
Barack, now shake hands with Mr. Chavez
Good dog
Barack, don’t take the money and toss it out the window again
What did I say about digging a hole for yourself?
Bad dog
Now, tell the whole world that you’re sorry
Good dog
Here’s a treat
Barack, look at the mess you made on Wall Street
We constantly have to clean up after you
We might need to keep you on a shorter leash
But you look so cute with that shiny Teflon coat, oh yes you do
You’re going to win that talent show again, oh yes you are
You’re going to get America to vote for you again, oh yes you can
Oh yes you can

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Aaron Goldstein was a card carrying member of the socialist New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP). Since 09/11, Aaron has reconsidered his ideological inclinations and has become a Republican. Earlier this year, Aaron put out a chapbook titled Oysters and the Newborn Child: Melancholy and Dead Musicians. Aaron’s poetry can be found on and Aaron lives and works in Boston.

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