Wednesday, November 10, 2010

If Only Obama Was Just A Little More Like Bush

Yes, it would seem that Obama squandered these two years, but a lot as gotten done and things have gotten somewhat better. While most people can express disappointment in the President: the Right that never would have accepted him - those that think the economy could be easily turned around, those that believe the lies in the media, and those that scoff at his accomplishments; while the Left who haven't gotten what they voted for - wanted Bush and Co. prosecuted for war crimes, wanted the wars to end immediately, wanted more from Health Care Reform, wanted tougher Wall Street Reform, wanted an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," wanted an end to Bush's tax cuts for the ridiculously wealthy, etc.

Unfortunately, the economy and the wars aren't easily solved problems and the Republicans never had any intention of working with Obama on legislation that could have made him popular. The President was so full of 'Hope' that he fooled himself into thinking he could work with Republicans in a bi-partisan way. Republicans spent two years playing politics, holding up bills in congress, 'compromising' by weakening the bills that did pass, and spent billions of dollars from corporate interests on attacks from Fox News/ conservative radio, and phony grassroots movements like the Tea Party to rile up the ignorant.

Most people pay little attention to politics (or news, in general) and most elections are about voting the bums in power out (mostly what 2008 was about as well). Republicans didn't win the House because they have better ideas - they just want to go back to Bush policies. Democrats lost because the disenchanted left stayed home and the voters who did turn out thought Democrats didn't do enough to fix the mess Bush left because Obama and the Democrats failed to properly communicate that the lack of progress over these last two years is due to the Republicans who think it is a bigger priority to play party politics for the sake of elections rather than focusing on solutions that this country in crisis urgently needs.

The election won't change much in Washington though. Republicans will only have slightly more power in January, so the next two years will likely be more of the same - gridlock stalling progress, while more vocal nonsense about repealing bills and impeachment. The difference now is, with Republicans controlling the House, if they disappointment their base (aka Tea Party) or if they don't make good on lowering debt or creating jobs, they'll be the bums thrown out in 2012.

If the country was actually excited to vote for the Republicans, they would have won more than just the House of Representatives in this year's election. So how can Republicans somehow think they have a mandate and have the gall to demand Obama lean further to the right than the disappointingly right-of-center he has been this whole time? While Republicans openly claim their major goal is for Obama to be a one-term president and call for 'no compromise' in extending Bush's tax cuts or undoing Social Security and reform after reform, Obama continues to play the nice guy at risk of losing his base by saying he is willing to work with the people who want to run him out of office, and in some cases, out of the country or up a tree branch.

The one good thing I can say about Dubya is that he at least maintained his base by standing firm for what he believed in (even though he was usually wrong). Obama's fault is that he is trying to make all the people happy all of the time.

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