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How bad is it?

April 20, 2010

Let’s be honest with each other for a little while. Since the end of the Bush days, everyone who follows politics absolutely knew that, barring something out of the ordinary, America was going to have a Democrat as President. George Bush’s horrid poll numbers, a tanking economy and an unpopular war all led to a chain of events that pretty much made an Republican winning near impossible. Think about it–the democrats nominated a liberal, African American, with a funny name and no experience while the Republicans nominated an experienced, familiar, moderate, war-hero–and the democrats still won. Not to mention this after Obama came out after a bloody battle with Hiliary and had more sketchy ties (Ayers, Wright, Acorn, etc.) than can be counted– and the democrats still one. Republicans never had a chance.

We can all conjecture about how our country would look if McCain one or Bush got four more years (which had about the same likelihood of happening), but that is essentially useless. Maybe in a dream world we can dream of our Country under the leadership of Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln, but this isn’t a dream (unfortunately). It is reality. So, in this reality, when one party wins, the other parties take a back seat for four years. Period. Republicans weren’t going to like the outcome of 2008 and they all knew it. The question is, how bad did we get? In other words, how does Barack Obama compare to a Hiliary Clinton, Joe Biden, John Edwards, Evan Byah or generic democrat A?

The Good

Believe it or not, there have been some good come in the last year or so. (NOTE: Continue with the entire post after reading this. Wouldn’t want you thinking I’m a lefty-communist.) And Remember, this is in comparison to other democratic candidates. Let’s begin by the President’s largest domestic policy and one of the biggest ever–healthcare. It’s easy to attack. It’s humongous and brings uncertainty.  But one point of emphasis that I would say is mostly good is that it is the public option and not the single payer (ok, so lesser of two evils). At least the public option works from the free-market idea idea of competition and is certainly preferable to the Government run single payer, which would literally be a step to socialism.

One of his better moves is to put a three year freeze on discretionary spending to help put a dent in the budget deficit. I find it hard to believe we would get the same under another liberal. Although republicans like to criticize him for his position in Afghanistan because it “took him too long” he made the right move regarding Afghanistan and regarded that decision as his highest priority and took ample time in gaining facts and details before making a decision. Also, beginning to cut the nuclear power of some of nations by putting limits on ourself and negotiating with others is a step in the right direction for peace.

END NOTE: I also have a feeling I could add to this list the President’s next Supreme Court appointee. It is expected to shift the court slightly to the right of the political spectrum.

The Bad

The stimulus bill, now known as the “porkulous bill” has too much unnecessary spending. I expected a stimulus bill under any democratic president and probably under most republican ones, but the size and content of this one was too large. Pieces of pork flowed in the stimulus bill and that’s not the way America works–not under republicans, not under independents and not under democrats.

Barack Obama was elected on the promise of changing Washington, but he must have “changed” his mind when he hired Rham Emmanuel. Commonly known as the prototype of the city, his rough tactics and below the belt campaigning are exactly what Obama railed against before the election. When trying to pass the largest domestic initiative in decades, the President and his team fought public opinion and played Washington’s game (brilliantly, I might add) to pass their bill. If you have an extra hour (after you read my post of course) watch PBS’s Frontline Video “Obama’s Deal” about the back-room working Obama did to pass healthcare.

The Ugly

One thing that comes to mind is again, in the healthcare bill, that requires everyone to buy health insurance. And personally, I don’t like anything that begins with “the Government requires”. Health insurance is a choice and it is a personal choice–not the Government’s choice. Perhaps that is why the number of uninsured was so high. Granted, there are some that couldn’t afford it and that needed to be addressed. But many simply chose the big-screen TV or the nice car over health insurance and it’s their choice, not Barack Obama’s.

Despite also being elected to break racial tensions and transcend racism, the President ignited a racial battle when he called Sgt. James Crowley of the Caimbridge, MA police “stupid” for arresting Henry Gates Jr. on his own porch then called for a “beer summit” to mend things up. Regardless of your views on the situation and the facts of what happened, anyone should know that an African America sticking up for an African American in a racially tensed situation and calling a White cop “stupid” is going to ignite a race-fused battle–especially someone with the political savvy of Barack Obama. Big mistake that could have been easily missed that took attention off things that actually matter.

Other than these policies, there is not much else that I would put under any label. Of course, there are always mistakes and missteps of any President and this one is certainly no different.

Overall, the President has been about what I would expect from most democrats, maybe even slightly worst. Had he worked harder to change Washington and transcend race and politics, he could be doing much better and received far more bi-partisan support than he has now. As a republican or independent or anyone who is not a member of the Barack Obama fan club, just remember–this is what happens when you don’t win elections. The way to really “change” it? Win next time.

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