Monday, January 3, 2011

Obama's Minority Report


Hmmm.....so, I have other things to write but didn’t feel right putting them down here unless I first (briefly) tackled what I now generally thought of Obama’s presidency.
Well, while he certainly is no W. Bush and I don’t regret voting for him at all, I’m not entirely sure yet that I would vote for him again.

A Facebooker once expressed that presidents need one term to settle into the Oval Office seat and a second term to truly get down to action. On the one hand, people would’ve obviously ate chapstick for a year before having W. Bush as commander-in-chief a second time, and yet he snatched the seat again, with numerous environmental, war and civil crimes under his belt to prove it. So, I don’t see why we should not grant Barack a 2nd chance as well, since a majority of his first term was spent bickering with Senate Republicans and the people over things like the 2007-2010 Financial Crisis and him handing over tons of money to the banks to bail them out (so the people wouldn’t receive foreclosure on their houses), him pulling troops out of Iraq but raising their numbers in Afghanistan, this recent issue on the Bush Tax Cuts, and the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

On the other hand, it’s that inclination to constantly seek the approval of conservatives, alongside promises unkept, that destroys his original 2008-2009 liberal image. His original supporters deserted him over his decision to keep the troops in Iraq, whom he promised he would withdraw immediately during his campaign (and eventually did, the last combat brigade was withdrawn on August 19th, 2010). Furthermore, his continual seeking of a compromise in ending/continuing/altering the Bush Tax cuts (which had the rich pay the government less in taxes) with the conservatives hurt his public image even further, although his attempt at this compromise did allow unemployment benefits to be extended and funded. In general, a lot of people aren’t sure what they voted for anymore.

He did bring a bit of redemption lately, however, by repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which basically states that if military personnel find out and determine (with evidence) that a soldier is gay, they have the right to kick them out of the military. Obama himself has never agreed with homosexuality, or at least he doesn’t agree with gays being allowed to get married. But he at least had the civility to respect their right to serve our country, which matters a lot to me since I don’t see how the fingers that pulls triggers and place bombs and drive tanks rely on the sexuality of their owners to be able to perform their service. He also, this morning enacted the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides funding and medical help to those who are sick as a result of helping out with recovery efforts after 9/11, something no rational human being can see the reason for not being in place a long, long time ago.

So, as it stands now, he is in purgatory. The liberals are starting not to like him because he keeps looking like he’s more conservative than they originally thought (which leaves me not understanding why conservatives are complaining). I don’t fully understand where his administration is coming from in telling the government workforce to stop looking at WikiLeaks articles and asking other governments to restrict Julian Assanges’ travels in response to the WikiLeaks situation (both a person and situation that I’m very interested in and will be blogging about later). I’m still waiting for the news to blast a bunch of reports on new bills passed and government investment into improving the infrastructure of the Native Americans (which he also promised during his campaign), although he understandably has a lot on his plate as it stands now. I certainly and staunchly want a liberal in the White House, but until I see a truly progressive fire in O’s belly, I’m not sure he will get my vote again.

1 comment:

  1. As David Cameron/Nick Clegg are discovering here in the UK it's very easy to make policy promises when not in office, and quite a different thing to keep them once there

    I think part of Obama's problem is that there was such a high expectancy placed on his shoulders - he hasn't delivered on all of his promises, but when do they ever?

    I think the truth is that probably we can only shove things in a certain direction and hope - Obama had a lot of obstacles to overcome, as will Cameron/Clegg here - a Labour party that bet on our future heavily and lost.

    But equally Clegg (Liberal Democrat) promised in the election run up that he would not increase student fees - but now he's sold his party to the Tories the story isn't quite so clear

    So i, like you, am wondering who to vote for next time

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