Recently, I feel transported back to the Clinton impeachment. You remember: a married man who received oral pleasure from someone other than his wife was caught lying about it to the Senate. At the time, America couldn't figure out whether the infidelity itself or the lying was worse; either way, the Republic was certainly doomed! Strange then that Hillary has exchanged Senator for Secretary and Bill has proven the most civic-minded former President since Jimmy Carter. (Love 'em or hate 'em as individuals, you've got to give it up for Habitat for Humanity and The Clinton Foundation.)
What brings this to mind is the rage surrounding Barack Obama. From conservatives and centrists (with jobs), we hear that Obama is a thinly veiled socialist who is dragging a liberty-loving country into the clutches of socialism. Illegal immigrants run wild - murdering, pillaging and occasionally picking strawberries. The unemployed lollygag on public assistance, paid for by hardworking Americans. Meanwhile, taxes are choking the country to death. (Never mind that the tax burden under the mighty Reagan was a good deal higher than it is now.)
Equally, the left despises the President but for totally different reasons. Obama has failed to deliver on health care, gay marriage, immigration, the repeal of don't ask / don't tell, reducing unemployment and the ending of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After eight years of Bush-Cheney, there was supposed to be real change, not pragmatic centrism.
The one thing that both sides seem to agree upon is that Barack Obama is clearly not up to the job. Every day, it seems that someone has a new angle on how our President is failing to save or is actively destroying America. There's virtually no regard for the fact that he's chief executive - not a king - and that we have two other branches of federal government.
I'm not saying that the President is perfect, but truly, I can't think of a person who would be doing any better at the moment. And apparently, no one else can either. I've been conducting an experiment over the past couple of days. Every time someone expresses their disappointment, I ask them to name the ideal man/woman who they would install today. Off the bat, no one has proven capable of identifying anyone. True, I've gotten a few, feeble McCain's (eventually) but a dumbfounded stare is the common response.
So let's give the guy a break. Barak may not be the perfect guy for the job but no one else is either.
Follow Michael B. Laskoff on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AbilTo