Brent Meersman
Brent Meersman

The problem with Obama

Most of the world, with the notable exception of the miscalculating political leadership in Israel, is breathing a great sigh of relief that Barack Obama has prevailed over Mitt Romney.

The vote for Romney was a negative vote, an anti-Obama vote. Of those voting for Romney many were not voting for the man, since it is almost impossible to predict what he would do if elected to the Oval Office. Other than wanting the job, Romney stood for very little, having flip-flopped on dozens of issues, in some instances even during his campaign.

Likewise, many votes for Obama this time round were actually votes against the horrific prospect of a country club presidency and a Tea Party vice-presidency. Yet as the majority vote will show Americans are exceedingly unhappy with President Obama.

Possibly the most erudite, cerebral, knowledgeable, not to mention handsome man to be president, Obama was seen as the great hope of liberals, of the poor and downtrodden, of the faltering middle class. It was of course naive to think that once in office Obama would really rock the boat.

In the euphoria of his initial election I was criticised by his fan base for not being very enthusiastic. Yet I believed I had identified the fatal flaw in Obama. Perhaps it was the responsibility he felt as the first black president and a yearning to belong, but Obama wanted to be the most popular man in the history of America. He wanted to unite America and not be seen as the reason for further polarising the country. He also wanted to be re-elected to a second term. His strategy has worked for him.

President Obama soon put distance between himself and that great outpouring, the inspiring groundswell that had brought him to office. Instead, he decided to play politics the old-fashioned way, the dirty little game behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, not to put too fine a point on it – the corrupt way.

Without encouraging his popular support to maintain pressure on him in the White House to do the right thing, to pursue his mandate with the same vigour that Republicans muster as soon as they get in office, Obama squandered his advantage. Remember, at this time, Democrats had both houses of congress.

The next time the electorate spoke the disillusionment among Obama supporters in his mid-term became apparent. Obama’s self-inflicted wounds and all the compromises he made in the vain hope of saving conservative democrat candidates in vulnerable seats in the congressional elections backfired. And despite his conciliatory actions, the opposition to him only became more emboldened, the attacks from the right increasingly strident, and often, yes, racist. America is today as polarised, if not more so, as the day he took office.

Obama’s appeasement tactics are inherently wrong; they are about making political deals and not honouring his campaign promises. Obama’s defenders (and apologists) point to an unsalvageable political system. But he undoubtedly imposed limits on himself.

What cannot be denied is that Obama never built on his massive popular support. Instead he allowed it to dissipate. It was a one-night stand. Hip-hop was never again going to be on his campaign playlist. The more resilient gave up on him and started Occupy Wall Street. Tellingly, Obama kept them at a distance too. The revolving door between the White House and Wall Street was in full operation. The rich were richer than ever, the Bush tax cuts extended. Climate change was dropped from the agenda. Obama stopped telling the American public the truth. Obama’s health plan turned into Romneycare from years back. Not only is Guantanamo Bay still open, but Obama signed into law the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial (it’s worth noting that even many Republicans disapproved). The war in Iraq was privatised. Torture continued through proxies. And something just as shameful, as vile, as unconstitutional, as indefensible as torture, became standard operating procedure – drone strikes and assassination, not only against foreign but American citizens, by his executive order.

Contrary to popular belief, Obama has been a very good president for the economy and possibly his single greatest achievement was rescuing the US if not the world from entering a depression after the 2008 meltdown. And ironically, he has been a lousy president in bringing about “change”, what his popular support hoped for and Republicans feared.

On the eve of his second term, the question remains: will Obama now finally do what all those who dreamed of a new America and placed their hope and trust in him asked? And if he is stonewalled and filibustered and hamstrung by the political system, will he at the very least speak out for what is right? Will he start to tell America the truth?

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  • 51 Responses to “The problem with Obama”

    1. Obama’s problem is the opposite – he is too honest and too cerebal. He appealed to reason. Romney appealed to emotion and fear.

      Definately he has made mistakes, but hopefully he has learned from them. One of his mistakes in this campaign was NOT to spell out how much worse off the USA would have been had they continued Republican policies.

      But I got the impression he was under tremendous pressure. Call me an idiot but I got the feeling that he was not only afraid of letting down the American people, but also his hero Nelson Mandela.

      November 7, 2012 at 12:28 pm
    2. Denis Allard #

      Dear Brent, despite all the economical and worldly realities out there, it still feels like the only possibility and the only enlightened president out there. Making the world a better place and that’s why the majority voted for him.

      Best regards from Joburg,

      Denis

      November 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    3. Zeph #

      Nope he will not. He is part of the engine and it needs a block, moving parts, initially some current and, most importantly, plenty of gas.
      He ain’t no hybrid; he’s my Cadillac!

      November 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm
    4. Tofolux #

      @Brent, you are still giving him far too much credit. I, too am of the view that there is no difference between Obama or Bush. This was evidenced in the most horrific campaign/attacks on Palestine- how-anyone-could-possibly-forget-that(on his watch) and the continued attacks on resource-rich-sovereign states (on his watch) notwithstanding his war talk which sounded much like Bush at times. But I am not sure if we really understand the election machinery of USA. Obama, for all his blackness would never had made it where he was (is) whichever way you look at it, if he did not have his handlers. In fact, no American President or elected Mayor for that matter, makes it anywhere in American politics without the mafia-type behind the scene shenanigans. As shown, his oratorial skills were only that, a skill. But clearly he has and will not have ANY influence on anything. We might think that this is some Hollywood script and sure, Hollywood will invent some script to romanticise him. But that is all it is, a potential romance story to be shown on tv in the near future. I am surprised that we do not unpack the nature of their state apparatus in America. Also, how is it that we have not identified the class character of the American state machinery(ps diff frm apparatus). In my personal opinion, this state operates like a modern-day feudal state with all the trimmings of expensive wardom. Obama for me, is a mere tool to be played in world politics. Nothing more and nothing less.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm
    5. Lennon #

      One of the reasons Romney lost out is because a fair number of conservatives and libertarians opted for Gary Johnson.

      But I guess nobody here knows who he is because the media blatantly ignored him and all of the other candidates. Again.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm
    6. Brent Meersman

      No, I think it matters a great deal who sits in the Oval Office. The US president is not a dummy. The damage Bush did is clear evidence of this power when it is in the wrong hands. If you’d woken up this morning to hear Romney had been president, the world would have taken a very dark turn. The fact that a candidate as bad as Romney – who not long ago had been written off almost completely – could do as well as he did is very sobering. Had Obama kept up his popular support the Tea Party would never have gained the traction they did.
      Someone outside Washington must hold Obama’s feet to the fire. Obama must lead the country in a new direction. He must start walking the talk on human rights, the environment, transparency and accountability in government. He has the chance Jimmy Carter never got.

      November 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    7. Peter #

      Astute analysis of the Obama conundrum. Make no mistake, Obama’s second term will be no different, but it is still preferable to any Republican Presidency, ’cause Obama at least values the pretense of coming across as human.

      “Obama’s problem is the opposite – he is too honest and too cerebal. He appealed to reason.” Naive assessment, Lyndall Beddy. Obama, perhaps more than any president in recent memory, is aware of his public image, the aura of amiability that he exudes. That’s why he does all of his nasty dealings away from the public eye. He is the consummate Washington insider and that’s why he was so hellbent on winning the favour of Rebublicans so early in his first term. He operated like someone who wasn’t given a mandate for change, the very thing he campaigned on.

      He is not a model leader and will never be one. He is a celebrity more than he is a Statesman, but still preferable to any Rebublican.

      November 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm
    8. PM #

      The thing about being the President is that all sorts of people start to project THEIR issues on to the President.

      Sorry you are disappointed that he hasn’t singlehandedly changed the way that Washington DC works–as well as the world. In addition to saving the US and world economy (nice of you to acknowledge that tiny point, btw), he has also changed US health care policy dramatically (something that Dems have been trying to do for decades) as well as re-regulating the financial industry, and has also laid the basics for re-working US tax policy. This election was basically a referendum on those issues, as Romney ran to change all three of them.

      And, frankly, Obama’s re-election is enough to ensure that all three of those efforts will continue. If he is able to do any one thing in this next term, I expect that it will be immigration reform–which will be another major policy shift for the US, and will make Obama’s legacy as one of the most transformational US Presidents secure.

      Sorry if he doesn’t get to the things that you personally happen to think are important…..

      November 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm
    9. Brent Meersman

      @ #PM Not what I “personally happen to think are important”, but what he campaigned on.

      And nobody in their right mind thinks Obama could do it single handedly. My point is that had he shown leadership and kept the popular groundswell support encouraged (in the way the Republicans used their Tea Party so effectively to win back the congress) he could have held congresses feet to the fire. He could have taken them to the cliff – which Clinton did do and won.

      of course it isn’t easy, but there are too many excuses being made, when Republicans with less support have managed to bulldoze ahead their agendas.

      November 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm
    10. HD #

      Obama is many things, but not a great politician. He has shown little enthusiasm for Washington politics. It remains to be seen if his 2nd term will be more like that of Clinton, but I doubt it…

      The candidate of hope / change four years ago won on a campaign of fear / slander. He did more to divide the American electorate in this campaign choosing to play crass class and cultural politics. Sure, Romney was uninspiring, flip-flopped and ran a bad campaign – he still got very close. That has to say something…

      I for one hoped the Obamamania bubble would burst and people would look at Obama more objectively – you know the guy that bailed out banks, auto-companies, authorized assassination of US citizens, extended the drone program, added more debt than any other US president, held less press conferences that Bush jnr, lied about Benghazi, enacted an unpopular health care reform through executive fiat (not a single GOP vote), could not pass a budget for most of his term, eroded free-speech on many fronts and did nothing to address the US’s unsustainable Medicare and social security programs…etc

      But hey he is a D and an good looking articulate black progressive candidate – that seems is all that matters. So we will have to put up with four more years of an unquestioning media and sycophant talking classes adoring Obama.

      You clearly don’t understand the Tea Party. Stop parroting biased cliched liberal talking points…try some actual political analysis.

      November 7, 2012 at 6:54 pm
    11. Good Grief you are a lot of wingers! Obama performed a miracle! I thought he would win, because Americans tend to believe in giving Presidents a second term, but I thought it would be by a much narrower margin.

      Plus what makes you think that Romney won’t get in next time?

      November 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm
    12. Sterling ferguson #

      @Beddy, Romney made a fool out of himself when he got the healthcare bill passed while the governor of Mass. then he came out against the one Obama got passed. Romney was against helping the auto industry and then tried to get these people to vote for him in these states like Ohio. He came out against the Latinos and this group punished him with their votes. In the US there are a lot of groups looking to have their interest protected by the government. This is why I believer in direct election because every vote counts.

      Finally, Romney shouldn’t not have tried to link the meltdown and recession to Obama because the American public didn’t buy it.

      November 7, 2012 at 9:43 pm
    13. isabella vd Westhuizen #

      Zapiro summed it up. Vote Obama he is better than the other right wing nutter who wants to start world war III

      November 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm
    14. Sterling ferguson #

      @Tofolux, as I told you before that Obama has a Master degree in political science and understand politic. Oprah gave a dinner party in Chicago that was attended by Obama and his wife. She was very impressed with Obama and brought him on her show and he was introduced to the American public.

      Obama wrote a book and it became a bestseller in the US among the young crowd. He setup people on the grassroot level to go into the communities to take his message. He setup a social media to contact people all over the country that paid off for him. Obama had no handlers and most people didn’t take him serious until he started to get people to vote for him. By the way, the DA is following in Obama’s footsteps by sending people in the communities taking their message.

      The issues you raise in your comment about the Middle East are none issues in the US politic. The Mafia type that you talked about is found more in the South African government than in the US politic. In the US having a lot of money doesn’t gunarantee that your party will win. The people in the US have the final say in what happen in the US politic.

      November 8, 2012 at 12:35 am
    15. Sterling ferguson #

      @Beddy, this was the year of the women power in the US election, you see what the voters did to the Republican senator with his remarks about a woman being rape?

      November 8, 2012 at 12:38 am
    16. La Quebeçoise #

      Hello Brent,

      It is my opinion that President Obama showed, during his first term in office, that contrary to popular opinion, the US President is NOT the most powerful man in the world. He said as much during the Campaign; he is the Head of the Executive Branch, not of the Legislative nor of the Judiciary.

      US power is based firmly on what President Eisenhower called The Industrial-Military Complex. He has a narrow avenue on which he can tread, and his progress depends on the cooperation of the Republicans. If, as is broadly said, the Republicans gathered post-Election 2008, and vowed to work together to defeat every piece of legislation Pres. Obama proposed, then he has done well indeed.

      As a Canadian I hope he will not authorize the X-L pipeline, and if the Americans want more jobs, then they’d better get US companies to bring back jobs from Asia, and learn to make do with less. It’s a good idea for other countries also. Our objectives should be to make life better for our own citizens, not to worry about citizens of other countries. South Africa is in the same boat, I believe.

      November 8, 2012 at 2:25 am
    17. Your reading of Obama shows your utter naivety of American political theater.

      Obama had to tread carefully in his first term to lay the foundation from which to launch the real changes you will see in his second term. Healthcare, foreign policy, immigration, education and financial reform etc. His progressive vision of securing the middle class requires slow incremental changes that will be hard for the rabid Republicans to roll back using the courts – similar legal shenanigans used by your white tribal DA party here in SA to slow down our governments progressive transformation initiatives.

      November 8, 2012 at 9:27 am
    18. Enough Said #

      Obama was dealt a terrible hand. Two wars and virtually a depression caused by the Bush administration.

      The forces against him were very powerful. Plenty of discontent, US homeowners losing homes hand over fist, jobs and the economy down.

      That was the fertile ground for the Tea Party and right wing. They don’t have an iota of principle, they just want raw power to practice their stupidity and bluff themselves they are correct. The Tea Party were also sponsored by big business, among others the Kock brothers who were riding on this national discontent to further their own political/economic agenda.

      I believe Obama was cornered and had no choice but to play the last four years by boxing with one hand tied behind his back.

      While most people do not take astrology seriously, some of us do. A serious astrologer predicted with an in depth analysis of Obama’s birth-chart (horoscope) that he would run two terms, that was over four years ago before he was even elected for the first term, and so-far this astrologer is correct.

      Another serious astrologer has recently pointed out that Obama’s horoscope shows he will be much more powerful as president in his second term than first, so I will put my money on “Obama [will] now finally do what all those who dreamed of a new America and placed their hope and trust in him asked”.

      Lets chat again in four years time. :-)

      >>

      November 8, 2012 at 10:00 am
    19. Enough Said #

      PS. I do not believe in the horoscopes printed in newspapers for fun and amusement. I am talking about highly qualified astrologers doing in depth analysis of an individuals birth-chart/horoscope.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:04 am
    20. David #

      The REAL problem with Obama is that he is not really concerned with anything other than staying in power. Like other “socialist” politicians, his policy really just comes down to one strategy – buy as many votes as you can using tax-payers money. The fact is that it was the Democrats under Clinton that caused the sub-prime disaster that led to the housing price collapse which in turn sunk the whole economy. Clinton did this as the usual with socialist programmes designed to buy votes and keep him in the White House. Under his administration banks were literally forced under his perverted policy of “equal rights for all” to give mortgages to people who never had a hope of meeting the monthly payments. With so many new buyers on the market, house prices soared and people kept buying beyond their means. Many thanked Clinton and the Democrats for “giving them a house” only to find that they could not pay the mortgage. The banks did the only thing they could and sold the debt on by packaging it with other loans.As the housing market became flooded with many now desperate to sell – house prices collapsed. This gained momentum under when George Bush was president – and if anyone could claim to have inherited an economic disaster it was him!. Broke Obama tells a disingenuous lie when he claims HE inherited the economic problems – he certainly DID inherit an economic disaster but not from Bush but his buddy Clinton. Obama refuses to acknowledge that these problems were created…

      November 8, 2012 at 10:04 am
    21. The Creator #

      PM, it is true that Obama was able to get the Affordable Care Act through, but it is a very conceptually flawed system (very much in the hands of the insurance industry — sort of like putting our healthcare system under the control of medical aids). And, since it only kicks in around 2014, it’s far from clear that the proposed budget cuts will leave it standing.

      Obama did not re-regulate the banking industry and he did not change the tax code. I’m afraid you’ve either been bamboozled there or you’re trying to fool us for some reason.

      On the whole I think Mr. Meersman has called it absolutely right.

      November 8, 2012 at 10:09 am
    22. Reducto #

      @Harris: Actually, I think you’ll find that the ANC and the Republicans are more alike in their attitude towards the courts: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/8966616/US-elections-2012-Newt-Gingrich-suggests-activist-judges-could-be-arrested.html

      Both the ANC and the Republicans have been rather aggressive in their attitude towards the judiciary.

      And be honest, the Constitutional Court decisions that make the ANC so angry have nothing to do with transformation. The ANC just does not like being held accountable. Which is why they were so uppity about the decision on the Hawks in the Gelnister judgment, they wanted to get away with disbanding the crime fighting body that was holding its members to account.

      November 8, 2012 at 11:45 am
    23. Anti-Stupid #

      How intelligent are the Tea Party Republicans?

      At a rally protesting the Obama health care system, one Tea Party protester was injured in an accident. Because he had no healthcare insurance his mates had to pass a hat around to get him medical care for his injuries.

      These Tea Party fellows were not bright enough to work out that if the US had universal health care like the rest of the industrial world, their mate would have had free health care.

      They were protesting against something they really needed, what a bunch of silly noo-noos.

      November 8, 2012 at 11:56 am
    24. Juju Esq. #

      The federal spending the Republicans don’t want you to see. Since 1982 under the Republican presidents the US government has spent far more taxpayers money than under Democratic presidents. And Barack Obama has been more frugal with US taxpayers money than anyone since 1982.

      View the graph the Tea Party Republicans live in total denial of:
      http://www.thepragmaticpundit.com/2012/05/democrats-v-republicans-debt-and.html

      >>>

      November 8, 2012 at 12:24 pm
    25. The Creator

      I totally agree with you. If ALL Americans get Health Care why is an insurance middle man needed to erode the profits? The only reason that Insurers are involved with Medical Aid is that they have to assess individual and group risks. There is no point to assessing anything except to exclude some catagories.

      We are going to have exactly the same argument about the need for Middle Men Insurers here in SA. The original National Health system that the Brits brought in after World War 11 is much more effective, and much better and cheaper.

      We used to have a middle of the road system here – the Rich and Middle Class had medical aid and the poor got treated for free BUT the medical aids had to pay the state hospitals if their clients were treated in them.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm
    26. Enough Said

      Would not all USA Presidents be more powerful in their second term because they know it is their last term?

      Sterling

      I did notice the Republican Comment on Pregnancy from Rape – America is still the last bastion of the Roman Catholic Church. Italians and the Romans stopped listening to the Pope decades ago – they have the lowest birth rate in Europe.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    27. Sterling

      Africa, which is riddled with Patriarchy, Overpopulation and Aids, is denied birth control and condoms by the Roman Catholic Priests. Not surprisingly Roman Catholic Churches are continually attacked – and the Americans always assume it is by Muslims!

      November 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm
    28. Brent #

      America does not deserve Obama, an empty drum that sounds good but Romney is certainly not the answer: Romney lost because he refused to provide an alternative to any of the world’s problems for fear of being labelled a warmonger, flint-heart or social reactionary. He refused to engage with any of the issues that made this Presidential election so truly momentous. Up against the bullying of the totalitarian left, he ran for cover. He played safe, and as a result only advertised his own weakness and dishonesty. Well, voters can smell inconsistency from a mile away; they call it untrustworthiness, and they are right.
      Obama began his job with bailouts, stimulus and borrowing all for the rich and powerful and the banks not the struggling householder. Just did exactly what Bush had just done only on a grander scale. Bush racked up $5 trillion debt in 8 years and Obama $8 in just four years. Obama followed Bush’s withdrawl plan for iraq to a tee 9even kept Bush’s defence minister) and exactly matched his iraq ‘surge’ in Afganistan. Guan. Bay still operates in spite of closing it being a ‘promise’ in the first year of being president. How about transparancy, promised to put impending legislation on the net at least 5 days before being voted on in congress. Never done, Pelosi even said about the Health bill: ‘we need to pass it as soon as possible so you the public can see what is in it.’ The US gets the leader the media wants/deserves.

      Brent

      November 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm
    29. Sterling,

      To satisfy the Roman Catholics George Bush linked all Aids to Africa ONLY to hospitals which did not perform abortions. Which is one of the reasons we have more than the number of clinics we need, and not enough hospitals.

      November 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm
    30. Interesting stuff #

      Obama’s resounding victory:

      “By the time Romney conceded at 1 a.m., Obama had a 250,000 popular-vote lead, and it grew to roughly two million by dawn.

      He was on track to win a majority of states and more than 300 Electoral Votes – at least 303 and, with the right result in Florida, 332.

      Obama’s win was at least the equal of John Kennedy’s in 1960 (303 electoral votes), bigger than Richard Nixon’s in 1968 (303 electoral votes), bigger than Jimmy Carter’s in 1976 (297 electoral votes), bigger than George W. Bush’s in 2000 (271 electoral votes and a popular vote loss).

      And, significantly, bigger than George W. Bush in 2004, when Obama’s predecessor won just 286 electoral votes, and faced serious challenges to the result in the state that put him across the 270 line: Ohio.”

      The answer to Brent’s question in the articles last paragraph: “And a president who has been comfortably reelected ought not think small. He should “spend his capital” on projects worthy of the trust Americans have afforded him.”

      More: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/07-0

      November 8, 2012 at 2:25 pm
    31. Call for honesty #

      The USA currently has a total debt of in excess of $16 trillion (R140,000,000,000,000) which on the current trajectory will reach $20 trillion before Obama completes his second term.

      Obama needs to come up rapidly with steps that will balance the US budget in a realistic time frame say four years AND a clear plan to pay back this debt within one generation say within twenty years from now. A failure will mean the greatest depression ever to hit the USA.

      Obama needs to encourage the private sector to create a massive number of jobs – no government in the world can succeed in a country the size of the USA to create sustainable jobs in the numbers needed. A failure to create jobs is the reason why they have spent over $75 billion (R660,000,000,000) on food stamps in 2011 and why all their welfare cost are around $1 trillion a year and steadily increasing.

      If Obama cannot steer the USA on a different course to deal with debt repayment, to a balanced budget (living within their means) and to real job creation (not more government jobs and government gimmicks) they are indeed going to be hit by a debt Tsunami that is going to make the Great Depression of the 1930s look like a weekend hangover in comparison.

      Am I optimistic? Looking back at Obama’s first four years certainly not. Most of the comments do not consider any of these critical issues. If Obama fails it will not only hurt millions in the USA but all over the world.

      November 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm
    32. Call for honesty #

      Sorry I forgot to add a striking visual link to help put these astronomical numbers in perspective:

      http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/us_debt/us_debt.html

      This is a brilliant site – look at the other examples

      http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/us_deficit/us_deficit.html
      For 2011:
      – The US Government SPENDS $10,460,188,800 (~$10 billion, 460 million) per day (both portions)
      – Of the total money shown above, the US Government BORROWS $4,506,849,315 (4 billion, 506 million) each day.

      November 8, 2012 at 6:43 pm
    33. Observing #

      The article, and the comments that follow, are reasoned and sound. Only ‘Harris’ manages to be unutterably illogical, absurd, abusive and ridiculous at the same time. It must be beyond tiresome for normal human beings.

      November 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm
    34. Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time. But we’re starting with the biggest lines. We have already identified two trillion dollars in savings over the next decade.

      November 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm
    35. Bernpm #

      Thank heavens for Obama. Romney, major shareholder in the US arms industry, would have been in Iran under pressure of the Jewish community, reinforced by his own interests in producing arms. The US has not had a serious chance to try out their latest goodies for almost ten years. Romney would have been their champion.

      Obama does not have this pressure. I wish him well !!

      November 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm
    36. Peter #

      “Possibly the most erudite, cerebral, knowledgeable, not to mention handsome man to be president” – Brent, what are you smoking? Obama is only good at reading speeches written by others off a teleprompter. Have you seen what happens when his teleprompter goes down? Look at the hole he has dug for America during his first four years. Also go and find out about his academic credentials, his senate history and his employment history. And how is increasing the national debt by $5 trillion a good thing for the American economy? And why are there now 46.7 million Americans on food stamps, up from 32 million when Obama took office?

      November 9, 2012 at 12:40 am
    37. Sterling Ferguson #

      @Brent, the sub-prime meltdown was caused by Clinton signing off on the bill to repeal the Glass Stragal act. Many people said that clinton was being threaten by the R- party to impeach him for his behavior with Monica L.

      Speaking of the US doesn’t deserve Obama, the US is lucky to have a person of Obama cablierr. In 2007, there was a meltdown and the US government used a secret fund to bailout Wall Street. It was hush up by the government and the media about the impending meltdown. Many of these people were able to take their money out of the market and put it in a safe haven. However, in 2008, the ship had so much water in it, the ship was on the verge of sinking. The US had to take actions to stop the ship from sinking because it would have taken the world with them.

      When Obama came to office there was an impending economic collapse and two wars to deal with that Bush had left for him. He help saved the auto industry that Romney wrote in the NYT that, it shouldn’t be saved. Million of people are working that wouldn’t be working and they punished Romney with their votes in Ohio. One war has ended and he is trying to wind down the other war. The stockmarket went from 5000 to 13000 and the unemployment rate has gone down. The health care bill was passed that five presidents tried to get pass and failed. Ben Laden was snuff out after ten years. The US economy is growing but not at a verey fast rate as the government would like to see.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:33 am
    38. Sterling Ferguson #

      @Brent, this is what Obama did that caused him to lose some friends like D. Trump, he had laws passed to restore regulations in the banking sector. The excessive gambling on Wall Street with retirees money has slowed down. The overvalued homes have been slowed so, many people aren’t stuck with these fake loans.

      A ggod example of how the Obama haters can act up, when the oil wells in the gulf of Mexico blew up, some people were killed and injuried. The CEO of the oil company was called to the White House, a deal was worked out to compensate these worker and their families. One R congressmen from Texas and another one from Georgia called Obama every dirty name in the book. However, Obama had stayed up all night reading the laws covering these workers and found out none of them were coverd in international waters. He got Congress to pass laws to protect these worker working on the oil rigs in internationa waters. Brent, name me five things Obama has done wrong.

      November 9, 2012 at 9:08 am
    39. The only way America can reduce its deficit is to reduce Military expenditure – which is going to leave a lot of people unemployed.

      Let me issue a warning to China – EVERY Empire has collapsed from the cost of maintaining an expensive and unproductive military – including the Roman Empire and the British Empire and now the American Empire.

      And, in fact, the vast expensive of the standing army in North Korea is also what is crippling its economy. Soldiers COST money without producing anything to sell.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:34 am
    40. Kofi Adams #

      I think Romney is a decent and fine individual. The problem is with the Republican Party. The party is rotten to the core and even with Christ as the candidate against Obama, Obama would still have prevailed. The demographics of USA has changed so is the voter preferences. The GOP is going through soul searching and one hopes the party will realize they can depend on only white males to bring them back to power. The white race in US is shrinking and sooner later American will be nation with non white as majority.

      November 10, 2012 at 9:20 am
    41. Sterling Ferguson #

      @Adams, very good comment and Obama was able to win with forty percent of the whites votes. The T-party has taken the R party backward and this isn’t the party of Lincoln.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm
    42. Sterling Ferguson #

      @Beddy, a very good comment about the US has to cut its military spending to reduce her debt. Why do the US needs troops in Germany and Japan seventy years after WW2? The US is making fighter planes that cost $300 millions each and aircraft carries that cost $10 billions each. The US defense budget is the largest in the world and nobody come close to what the US spends.

      November 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm
    43. Sterling

      I hafve noticed 3 immediate positives since Obama’s re-election:

      1. The idiot head of the CIA, the military general who pushed the USA into both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, has been got rid of. Your head of Intelligence should NEVER be from the military!

      2. A school education programme is starting in Pakistan – which means the Jihadists won’t be able to take the brightest boys from the villages and indoctrinate them in madrasses.

      3. The Syrian opposition has elected a leader and is getting support.

      November 10, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    44. Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder #

      @ Tofolux

      “I, too am of the view that there is no difference between Obama or Bush”

      With respect, this is a RACIST comment. Mr Obama is not perfect. But he is black and Mr Bush is white. To claim that this makes no difference is very offensive. Race matters!

      November 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    45. Michael Osborne #

      Brent, I was surprised to find tacked on to your bill of indictment, almost as an afterthought, the line: “Possibly his single greatest achievement was rescuing the US if not the world from entering a depression after the 2008 meltdown.”

      If that is indeed so — and some would argue that a depression was averted not because of Obama, but despite him – that would be an achievement of monumental proportions, for which America and the planet should be enduringly grateful.

      Also, I think your dismissal of Obama’s health care law no more than “Romneycare” is too swift. Romneycare was itself a great achievement in Mass. If Obama achieves nothing at all in his second term, he will be remembered as the president who succeeded where so many other Democrats have failed, in ensuring that every American is guaranteed some form of health coverage.

      Your critique of Obama is premised upon him having failed to measure up to the unattainable promises of his 2008 campaign. So yes, he can be knocked for duping legions of starry-eyed college kids into sacrificing their 2008 summers to work on his campaign. But I am cynical enough about politicians to expect that all politicians everywhere makes promises they know they cannot fulfil. (See Mandela.) Better to compare Obama not to a Platonic ideal, but to the actual alternative available – McCain and Palin.

      My expectations for Obama’s second term are correspondingly modest. If he can restrain Israel from bombing…

      November 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm
    46. Mikhail Dworkin Fassbinder #

      @ Peter

      “go and find out about Obama’s academic credentials”

      Thanks for the tip, Peter, I did as you advised. I learned that Obama was once the editor of a journal called the “Harvard Law Review.” What is this? Is it any good? Can I buy it at CNA?

      November 11, 2012 at 4:50 pm
    47. @brent what you say makes 100% sense to me. For some inexplicable, to me anyway, reason Obama abandoned the very people, who voted him into power, and what they wanted for America and instead got into bed with the very people whose activities are destroying the planet. Perhaps, as you say, it was a desire, unrecognised even by himself, to be accepted by the planet destroyers, a fatal acceptance in my view.

      November 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm
    48. Michael Osborne #

      To complete my truncated paragraph above ,,,

      My expectations for Obama’s second term are correspondingly modest. If he does no more that restrain Israel from bombing Iran, curb the deficit, begin reform of immigration law, and appoint one or two Supreme Court Justices who will advance gay rights, that will be cause for celebration.

      November 12, 2012 at 8:58 am
    49. Mr. Direct #

      I think Obama has positioned himself as “hope” for the American people, a change in presidential stereotype to the decades before (all American rich white man). I think he was a better choice than Romney, though all areas.

      I must admit though, there was one republican candidate, Ron Paul, that I thought was very interesting.

      He termed himself a constitutionalist, and positioned himself along side the constitution in all topics, i.e. bound his political will with the contract between government and the people.

      I suppse party politics played a part, and also that he lacked the presence to win over the American public, but I liked many of his ideas, such as the US removing itself as world police, reducing government spending by reducing the size of the national government (decentralising decision making and giving the responsibility to the states instead).

      He also had fantastic ideas on the war on drugs, legalise and tax the drug dealers (less than the cost of smuggling I am sure though).

      Shame he retired after the nominations. There are lots of youtube clips on his thoughts, really interesting stuff.

      All I can say is I hope Obama comes good on his promises in the end…

      November 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm
    50. Ariel #

      I think that Obama is the right man at the wrong time… i believe he is sincere in his intentions… but he understands that politics does not operate on sincerity and intentions and understands that if you want to get some good done in a broken political system… you have to get your hands a little dirty…

      For me… Obama’s election is an example of how our modern day political “democracy” needs some fundamental changes… we have the same problems here in SA… at the core of the problem is the fact that politicians ultimate incentives are to “get elected” and this does not necessarily line up with “do whats best for the country”

      January 2, 2013 at 8:35 am

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