"Instead of attending to the oil spill, President Obama had dinner tonight with his wife and children." No, that is not a real quote or headline, but it very well could be. For the conservatives, the Republicans, the Tea Party, trashing the President and winning the November elections, has become more important than the fate of the country. Although even some Republicans have shied away from Joe Barton's assertion that the President was guilty of extortion in procuring a 20 billion dollar settlement fund from BP, charges of "slush fund" still abound. During the election Barack Obama was accused of being all style and no substance. Now, even liberals are accusing him of the reverse in his reaction to the oil spill -- that more emotion and anger might somehow plug up the hole and stop the spill and make us all feel better -- maybe a new "Mission Accomplished" banner without actually accomplishing the mission.
What has produced this outpouring of condemnation against possibly the brightest president in the history of the nation? Let me count the ways: In addition to obtaining the fund to aid victims of the oil spill, he has taken steps to prevent an economic crisis and avoid a recession or possible depression; save our automobile industry; provide health care for 40 million people who did not have it; seek alternate sources of energy and end our reliance upon foreign oil; combat terrorism and reach out and seek peaceful solutions to the various world conflicts. In addition to charges of "extortion," these efforts have been met with accusations of "socialism" and "Nazism," comparisons to Hitler and Stalin and even suggestions of the need for armed revolution, and let us not forget the persistent "birthers" who challenge the President's very legitimacy.
I do not oppose criticism of the President, his goals or his methods. I haven't agreed with all of the methods chosen by the President to meet those goals. I do not agree with the decisions made in respect to Afghanistan. I did not agree with the Justice Department stance in the Arar case in which Arar was denied compensation for torture initiated by our government. But despite my disagreement, I do not want him or his administration to fail, which is what I sense the conservatives, the Republicans and the Tea Party seek. Be careful if you get what you wish for. They seek a political victory in November and possibly another in the next presidential election, and I ask -- to what end?
Of the major issues that face the country, the economy, energy, infrastructure, education, immigration, poverty, health care, security, peace, etc. -- what were the accomplishments of the eight year Republican administration? I don't know about you -- but I sure slept better and felt safer knowing that more people were carrying guns and gays could not marry. Talk about your accomplishments! Let's face it people, while we are bickering among ourselves and the Republicans reject every proposal made by the administration and filibuster the Congressional lunch menu, other nations, like China and Turkey are getting their act together and leaving us behind in almost every category.
We face some very serious problems, but it seems that getting elected or re-elected remains at the very top of the list to the detriment of all others.
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