There are many things about the Obama administration I oppose. During past several years, I have written extensively about the president’s shortcomings and missteps on PolicyMic. He has disappointed me in almost every important area.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Even though I didn’t vote for Obama in the 2008 election, I was ecstatic that he ended the Clinton dynasty. This turned out to be misguided from two perspectives. First, I now think Hillary Clinton would have been a far more effective president. Hillary will likely be the next president anyway — Bubba II is inevitable from where I sit.
Second, to elect an African American president was a huge and very inspiring event for the country, I thought. Finally, after 200-plus years of discrimination and repression, a black man became the most powerful person on the planet. African-Americans rejoiced when this man was elected — they had a true role model. Well, the president has disappointed on this front as well.
Let me be specific and present 8 of the things that I find particularly disturbing about the presidency of Barack Obama.
The jury is still out about whether Obamacare, the president’s signature initiative, will be a success or a failure. Even though universal health care is a noble objective, the nation is not ready for a new entitlement. America cannot afford the price tag of the program, which has increased dramatically since the law was enacted. It diverted the government from more pressing issues, such as the economy, and more specifically unemployment.
Republicans are trying to kill the program, weekly it seems. This isn’t going to happen because Obamacare is the law of the land, and those representing one-third to one-half of the government will not be able to repeal it. However, Obamacare funding could be squeezed and the program marginalized. In the meantime, some states are opting out, and many healthy young people don’t want expensive medical coverage. The program needs healthy people to offset the costs of the unhealthy, most of whom will enroll.
Barack Obama likes to take a cerebral approach to problem solving. He doesn’t seem to be receptive to the opinions of average Americans, or their representatives, thinking that they are not particularly informed. He indicates he wants to take care of us, but without any interference. But this “trust me, I’m on it” attitude no longer has traction domestically or internationally. A vast number of people do not believe Obama can solve problems alone based upon his performance to date.
One of the most destructive ploys in the Obama arsenal of political deception has been his propensity to degrade and demonize successful people. The constant drumbeat of “not paying one’s fair share,” “fat cat bankers,” and “the rich are doing well in this economy while all the rest of us are not” are tired characterizations. Their utility has become minimal in garnering support. Obama seems to have forgotten that he is president of all Americans, not just 99% of them. Instead of showcasing the successes of the affluent to motivate, he uses the group as a scapegoat, saying they are the reason America is suffering economically. The president has indicted everyone earning more than a few hundred thousand dollars. He has attempted to drag them down with excessive taxation, rather than elevating the 99% up with creative and new job programs and more education and training.
The Obamas are a star-struck couple. They really like to hang out with celebrities, appear on talk shows, and go on exotic vacations (similar to Bill Clinton). The inordinate amount of time they spend with movie stars rubs many Americans the wrong way. Obama treats Hollywood big shots like they really know anything about the world, politics, or economics. It is fashionable to be a liberal on the West Coast, and Obama revels in it.
Perhaps the saddest and most disappointing aspect of the Obama administration is that he has not connected with African Americans. I totally appreciate the support that this group gives the president. It makes sense — the black community is proud of Obama and expects him to watch their backs. Ironically, it has not worked out this way. Given the backing African Americans have given to Obama, one would expect them to prosper during his tenure and make strides in many diverse areas. Nothing could be further from the truth. Suffice it to say, African Americans have the highest unemployment rates and food stamp usage has reached record levels. Do I believe African Americans will abandon Obama? No. Do I expect them to demand more from him? They really should.
President Obama deserves credit for averting a major terrorist attack on the mainland. However, this fact alone does not present a clear picture about the threats that America faces throughout the world. Terrorists have not been able to effectively raise hell in the U.S., but they can affect us greatly in other places. Obama continues to brag about the capture and assassination of Bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda leaders. Additionally, he celebrates the defeat of Al-Qaeda as a unified terrorist organization. Unfortunately, the latter isn’t true. Regionally, the organization has made huge gains and has wreaked havoc on countless new targets. The president has misled Americans about the extent of current terrorist resources and ambition.
This is not the first time a president has had to deal with a hostile Congress. Logically, are we to think that the 400+ members of Congress have changed drastically during Obama’s tenure? Does anyone really believe that the conservative upstarts in the House are solely responsible for the complete lack of comity and paralysis in the federal government? No way. It starts with the president. Obama thought he ruled the roost after his election, and he proceeded to freeze out his opponents. The president lost control, and the backlash he experienced should have been expected. No president has done a worse job dealing with adversity from fellow politicians.
I hasten to remind everyone that a great part of the president’s 2008 election campaign was bashing George Bush’s policies, especially those relating to fighting terror. Well, Gitmo is still in operation, drones are one of American’s most potent weapons in the fight against terrorists, and we now know that the administration has endorsed a mega surveillance program covering telephones, emails, and social media. From these perspectives, the president has become George Bush and has yet to give his predecessor credit for many of the things still in place as we continue to fight terror.
What does this all mean? The country really needs a change. I don’t know whether a new political party is the only answer. But I am confident that a president who can relate to Americans, fellow politicians, other leaders across the globe, and his or her opponents will be able to be much more productive than the current person residing in the White House.