In the interest of full disclosure I am not a fan of Barack Obama. I didn’t think he was qualified to be the Democratic nominee, and I still don’t believe he is qualified to be president. While I don’t ever want an American president to “fail,” I would’ve preferred to not be put in the position to have to rail against the bulk of his agenda – which is bad for our country in many ways. I was one of those people who felt America would regret electing him, despite the historic circumstances surrounding his victory. Sadly it appears I was right. Only 43% of Americans say they would vote to re-elect him today, and he loses head-to-head against potential 2012 candidate Mike Huckabee in a recent poll. In fact, self-identifying Independent voters – who usually make or break presidential elections – favor newly-elected senator Scott Brown over Obama by 12 points in a hypothetical 2012 match-up! His approval rating plummeted from his high of 69% when he entered office to 47% in December, an all-time low for a first-year president.
After a year of the most dismal presidency since Jimmy Carter, and perhaps ever, it’s hard to understand how so many of his supporters are still standing firmly behind him. A friend directed me to this quote this morning, and I found it very appropriate:
“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – Reuters.com user
However, 2012 is a long way away. Odds are most Americans will be more caught up in the Mayan Doomsday philosophy than the presidential election. Short attention spans are as prevalent in our society as Apple iProducts, as we move from one distraction to the next often failing to remember what seemed so important days or weeks ago. It seems the things we forget the most are those intricate details that define issues and events that affect us the most.
As I wait for Barack Obama’s historic first State of the Union address, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight what his supporters claim are his major accomplishments. After all, when Obama lists his “successes” tonight, they are unlikely to come with a disclaimer. Enjoy:
Obama instructed his cabinet to cut $100 million.
This amounted to 1/37,000 of his budget plans. That’s like saving 68 cents on a $25,000 car, or having your boss cut your $50,000/year salary by $1.35. Way to go Mr. President!
Obama began the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Of course the date was agreed to by the Bush Administration and the Iraqi government, but I guess Obama only blames Bush for the bad stuff.
Obama respected the Freedom of Information Act.
Unless it pertains to actual information: The Obama Administration honored just 42 of 245 requests for information by Judicial Watch under FOIA, prompting some to call his administration “more secretive than Bush’s ever was.”
Obama said “lobbyists won’t find a job in my White House.”
Even CBS News says Obama and his administration have met “early and often” with lobbyists since entering the White House a year ago. Furthermore, 11% of his senior officials, as of May 2009, had lobbied within the past 5 years.
Obama removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research.
However, a few days later he signed a law preventing federal funds going to “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”
Obama pledged to close GITMO within one year.
Well, it’s been one year and five days and GITMO is still open. In fact, his proposal to close the detainment facility includes relocating prisoners to Illinois, aka GITMO North. What’s the difference between an open detainment facility in Cuba and one in Illinois, you ask? Ask the people of Illinois.
Obama saved the U.S. Auto industry.
After spending millions of tax payer funds on GM and Chrysler to stave off bankruptcy, both companies filed for bankruptcy anyway, here and here. Chrysler had no new models on display at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, yet plans to air a $2.5 million Superbowl ad after receiving a $15 billion taxpayer bailout. Meanwhile Ford, which opted to not receive bailout funds, is on the mend.
Obama helped those with bad mortgages.
ABC News: “On September 9, 2009, the Treasury Department announced that the program had helped 360,165 homeowners reduce their mortgage payments. However, that is only 16 more homes than received new foreclosure filings during the month of July, according to RealtyTrac.” In addition, the plan did not lower principal, even for homeowners who owe more than their house is currently worth.
Obama passed a $787 billion economic stimulus plan.
Widely accepted as a failure, there is still $522b unspent as reports now come in that the stimulus plan will cost taxpayers an additional $75 billion. The Obama administration claimed that unemployment would rise above 8% if they did not pass the bill, yet unemployment has been around 10% for some time now. Furthermore, even Obama had to abandon his “jobs saved or created” spin, when the reality became too much to ignore. There are no jobs.
Obama put an end to earmarks.
Well, there were only 9,000 in the stimulus bill, so that’s progress, right?
Obama saved the banks.
All of the tax payer money funneled into the banks has done nothing to increase lending. It has only served to fix the books at these banks. Even former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich gives the Obama bank bailouts an “F” grade.
Obama went after huge bonuses.
No, Obama went after huge bonuses at banks and AIG. The ones given out by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “too high,” according to Rep. Barney Frank, but were ignored.
Obama ended U.S. torture policy.
Tying the hands of intelligence officials has made us less safe – bottom line. Because of Obama’s weak policy on terror suspects, the Christmas Day bomber was not even interrogated. He spent 50 minutes with the FBI and no time with the CIA prior to being Mirandized. In fact, the High-Value Interrogation Group, a unit of terror specialists Obama said he would create to deal with terror suspects captured abroad, wasn’t brought in – and still isn’t fully operational.
Obama improved our image abroad.
Really? There are people out there that believe this? Here’s a quick rundown of how miserable Obama’s foreign policy has been: First Interview Fail, Great Britain Fail, France Fail, China Fail, Japan Fail, North Korea Fail, Middle-East Fail, Iran Fail, World Tour Fail, Engaging the Muslim World Fail, Afghanistan Fail, Honduras Fail, Missile Defense/Eastern Europe Fail, Russia Fail, Copenhagen Fail, Copenhagen Fail II, And thanks to the Washington Times:
“Other embarrassing Obama moments on the world stage include: giving England’s Queen Elizabeth II an iPod with his own speeches on it; giving British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a collection of DVDs that were not formatted to the European standard (by contrast, Mr. Brown gave Mr. Obama an ornamental desk-pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, among other historically significant gifts); calling “Austrian” a language; bowing to the Saudi king; bowing to the Japanese emperor; releasing a photo of a conference call with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the president was showing the soles of his shoes to the camera (an Arab insult); saying “let me be absolutely clear. Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s”; saying the United States was “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world”; suggesting Arabic translators be shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan where Arabic is not a native language; sending a letter to former French President Jacques Chirac when Nicolas Sarkozy was the president of France; holding a town-hall meeting in France and not calling on a single French citizen; referring to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when he meant Cinco de Mayo; and failing in a last minute personal appeal to the International Olympic Committee to hold the 2016 Olympics in Chicago. Mr. Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize capped the year by drawing attention to his lack of achievement.”
Obama implemented consumer credits for hybrids and the Cash for Clunkers program.
Obama ended no-bid contracts.
Oops, not so fast! A $25,000,000 contract to a big donor to the Obama campaign and DNC just went out last week.
Obama appointed the first Latina to the Supreme Court.
A controversial “Latina” who said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Also, 60% of her cases which later reached the Supreme Court were overturned. Sounds great!
Obama limited salaries of senior White House aides to $100,000.
That’s great, except that the number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession.
Obama pledged to unite the country, and change the way Washington works.
Obama pledged transparency.
Apparently, pledges are meant to be broken.
Obama focused on domestic policy.
Watch the State of the Union address or don’t, it hardly matters. Obama has proven that he doesn’t say what he means – nor means what he says. I don’t expect anyone to remember any of this for the 2010 elections, let alone those in 2012. However, these things matter. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, liberal, moderate or conservative – these things matter. We elect (hire) these people to do a job, and when they don’t, we should hold them accountable – regardless of our ideologies. When people like Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid pretend to represent the best interests of the American people, we need to replace them with people who actually deliver. It’s as simple as that.
*The views expressed in this blog are the author’s, and do not necessarily represent the views of Right Pride or GOProud.