Opinion

The Great Debate

Obama, Moses and exaggerated expectations

By Bernd Debusmann
October 25, 2010

-Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own-

President Barack Obama is close to the half-way mark of his presidential mandate, a good time for a brief look at health care, unemployment, war, the level of the oceans, the health of the planet, and America’s image. They all featured in a 2008 Obama speech whose rhetoric soared to stratospheric heights.

“If…we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I’m absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs for the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last best hope on earth.”

The date was June 3, 2008. Obama had just won the Democratic Party’s nomination as presidential candidate. He was also winning the adulation of the majority of the American people, who shrugged off mockery from curmudgeonly Republicans who pointed out that the last historical figure to affect ocean levels was Moses and he had divine help when he parted the Red Sea.

Obama took to the campaign trail again this month to help Democratic candidates for the mid-term elections on November 2 and he would need divine intervention to prevent his party from losing control of the House and possibly the Senate.

The vote is in part a referendum on his first two years in office and the adoration has faded, not least because it would have been difficult for anyone to actually meet the high expectations he raised in dramatic speeches.

There is a certain symmetry between next month’s mid-terms and those four years ago, when Democrats took control of both houses of Congress (and consolidated it in 2008). The result stemmed from dissatisfaction with the economy, with the Republican Party and with President George W. Bush. Now there is dissatisfaction with the economy (much more troubled than in 2006) with Democrats, and with Obama.

And how does today’s reality match the exuberant pre-election promise of 2008? Better care for the sick, provided by the controversial health care reform bill Obama signed into law in March, is on the way but will not kick in fully until 2014. Good jobs for the jobless? The unemployment rate is stuck at around 10 percent. Slowing the rise of the oceans and healing the planet? The prospects for ambitious climate change legislation are bleak.

Ending a war? The number of American troops in Iraq has been cut from a peak of 176,000 to 50,000, whose role is to assist Iraq’s armed forces. As American forces pulled out of Iraq, the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan swelled to around 100,000. They are to begin withdrawing next summer but the U.S. military presence won’t end.

BRAND MANAGER-IN-CHIEF
Securing the nation? Time will tell whether America is more attack-proof now than it was when Obama took over. Finally, restoring America’s image. This is the one lofty promise that comes closest to reality. As global brand manager-in-chief, Obama can claim credit for having softened the image of the Ugly American in large parts of the world. This is no mean feat – being disliked makes diplomacy more difficult and is bad for business.

There are no polls on how many people around the world see the United States as “the last best hope on earth” but there are extensive surveys on the popularity, or lack of it, of America, Americans, and their president. The Pew Global Attitudes Project, which has monitored such sentiments since 2001, shows that the number of countries where a majority of citizens hold favourable views of the U.S. almost doubled from 2008, the last year of George W. Bush, to 2009, Obama’s first.

Foreign policy is the most important factor in shaping foreign opinions but a president has considerable power to affect perceptions. Or to disappoint by failing to match soaring words with actual deeds. For example, the new chapter in relations between the United States and the Muslim world Obama promised in a much-lauded speech from Cairo in the summer of 2009 turned out not all that different from the old chapter.

As a consequence, the Pew survey noted, Muslims grew disillusioned about Obama and confidence in him fell sharply, from 41 percent to 31 percent in Egypt, for example, and from 33 percent to 23 percent in Turkey. In Pakistan, the most anti-American country monitored in the survey, it dropped from 13 percent to 8 percent. That’s just one point higher than it was under George W. Bush in his last year.

In a series of campaign appearances on behalf of Democrats in danger of losing their seats in next week’s elections, Obama appealed for patience to achieve the changes he promised in lofty speeches. “In a big, messy democracy” like that of the United States, “everything takes time.”

(You can contact the author at Debusmann@Reuters.com)

Comments
72 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

yes, USA is very lucky to have OBAMA as your PRESIDENT of course he is not a magician to solve all your problems in just 2 years , but if you analize it hes really good as your president, i pray for your president even though im not american.
hes good your stimulkus bills goes to your infrastructure development making americas no. 1 again and the energy power its really huge and your health bills , you feel it after 5 years or more thats the time you will appreciate OBAMAS WORK. GOD BLESS PRES OBAMA How i wish youe parties won again, good luck

Posted by zal | Report as abusive
 

Obama did have the adulation of the people that elected the Democrats in and everyone had high hopes.

Guess what – Obama waffled on everything and took a weak stand – in middle and conciliatory and ultimately gave watered down results not close the to hearts of Democrats.

You talk to Republicans and they hate Obama. That is understandable. You talk to Democrats and they are so disappointed he went only a wee step forward when he had the clout to actually make a difference.

The one that sticks in my craw the most is the health care crap. All we needed was to break up the 4 Insurance cartels and bring in competition. Instead we saddled the taxpayers to subsidize health care costs that are now skyrocketing out of control.

I guess he had to answer to the people that put him in office.

Posted by Butch_from_PA | Report as abusive
 

As an Iraq Vet it would have been nice to hear a Democrat say “everything takes time” while we were in harms way trying to fix a bad situation. Instead we got “failure” and “General Betray Us” type comments thrown at us. Turns out that given the “time and resources” we were able to turn things around. So I have a hard time buying into Democratic positive talk when all they threw around was negative talk to gain political advantage while me and my buddies were in harms way. Granted, with hindsight being 20/20 Iraq should have been handled differently, but once you are in the midst of combat that argument doesn’t mean much. The funny thing is that just like Somalia, once a democrat is in office the media turns its attention away from the war until something goes terribly wrong and even then the Democrat gets a break in the media.

Posted by Bdy2010 | Report as abusive
 

Well Put

Posted by dlewis17 | Report as abusive
 

@ginchinchili

We should have removed Hussein in the first Gulf War. We didn’t because we knew what happened in Iraq in 2003 would have happened back then. If you supported the removal of milosevic based on his crimes against humanity, Hussein should have been gone many many years ago.

I supported and still support the removal of both tyrants. Sunni Iraq may have had nice hospitals and a good economy, Kurdish Iraq and Shi’ite Iraq was starved, gassed, and acid dripped for years. Their quality of life has risen and the Sunni’s has fallen.

I invite you to go back and read the address for the reason to invade Iraq. Nuclear weapons was a very, very small part of that speech. We invaded due to resolution, after resolution, after resolution by the UN that was ignored by Hussein. Clinton had no problems attacking Iraq, for the same intelligence that was used when we went in the final time. Not a single Democrat stood against Clinton, and less than 2% stood against Bush until after the fact. They politicized Iraq, and Obama was dead wrong when he said the surge wouldn’t work. That is our commander in chief now, the one who is copying Bush’s strategy in Afghanistan and wondering why it isn’t working. He doesn’t have a clue, all he knows how to do is fire generals who disagree with him.

Posted by Trooth | Report as abusive
 

Republicans historically have done better things for the country. There is corruption in both parties, but the best chance for America to prosper at least financially and morally is the Republican party.The Democrats know the game is up for them so they been pulling out the heavy artillery like nationalized health care, higher taxes,
(keep capital gains taxes,) pro abortion for the most part,
and all sorts of things that most Americans in general oppose or dont want!

Posted by godstheanswer | Report as abusive
 

Helen Thomas, former WH reporter, once said that she never knew a president who wanted to be a “war president” – until George W. Bush. Bush and Cheney wanted to be a “war administration” for 2 reasons:

1- to boost their personal “machismo” after both avoiding conflict in Vietnam as younger men.

2- to assure reelection in 2004, both realizing that the American public wouldn’t change an administration at war.

Al Gore had it right when he said that Bush/Cheney couldn’t find or get Bin Laden quickly, or at all, so they decided to make Saddam pay for 9-11. The diversion from the Afghan theatre of operation in 2003 is what we have been paying for ever since.

Posted by Skillin7 | Report as abusive
 

ginchinchili. You laid this down clear and as someone outside of America, I really hope things go well because I lost a lot of faith in America and they have a long way to win back people’s trust.

What should be done first is to heal the country. After that the World image should be gotten back. I pray God heals the world in the mighty name of JESUS.

Posted by Nsikanew | Report as abusive
 

@Skillin7: …on second thought, your analysis is too silly to bother commenting on.

@ginchinchili: Nice rehash of old Iraq war criticisms. Your view that it was George Bush, alone and solitary (maybe with Cheney) who approved of going to war, is patently ridiculous. The decision was entirely bipartisan — almost every major Democrat backed the decision to go to war. And, no, Bush did not coerce over 20 autonomous countries’ intelligence bureaus into concluding that Iraq had WMD (Britain and Italy still contend that he had them until shortly before the war; or do they persist in that folly because they are just afraid that Bush will come get them?). Hussein violated UN resolutions for over a decade. Our “allies” helped him violate those resolutions. And, despite the fact that our allies wanted to keep on with those profitable violations, they still concluded, independently, that Iraq had WMD. We don’t even have to go into the humanitarian reasons for getting rid of Hussein. Is Iraq perfect today? Far from it. But, its people have a chance — a chance that they would have never had with Hussein — to form a better country, a country where their kids can grow up in something other than a totalitarian nightmare. And Muslims now have an example of democracy — messy as it is — to inspire them to overthrow their dictators; dictators who oppress women, crush dissent and fund radical Islamism. It is possible that Iraq’s nascent democracy is the beginning of a transformation of the Middle East. Likely? Who knows; but definitely a possible beginning (and try to think beyond your own lifespan; it may take decades, but you have to start somewhere, rather than just condemn people to perpetual subjugation, as the world was happy to do with Iraqis, and so many other peoples around the world, like Darfuris and Tibetans). That is more hope than the people of the Middle East have had in centuries.

Posted by Welred | Report as abusive
 

Bernd: the least important of all of the things you listed for the President to do is improve what other countries think of us. Perhaps those countries, such as Pakistan, should worry more about their own country, such as it is, riddled with corruption, poverty and illiteracy, and an intelligence agency that has no government oversight. I’m not terribly concerned about improving the US’s standing with individuals who delude themselves (or are simply ignorant enough to be fooled) into thinking that the US or the Israelis perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. I shudder to think what those “morally superior” citizens of other countries would do if they had the power of the US in their country’s hands. Thank god the US possesses that power. Pity it is currently in the hands of Obama, who apparently does not understand anything about the history or spirit of this country.

Posted by Welred | Report as abusive
 

Obama is detested in the U.S. for several reasons that delve more into our heritage as a nation than with who OR what Obama is. FIRST, he is a “snake charmer” who has demonstrated his despise for the average American because of his “one track” pursuits and only pretends to listen to the populace when he feels threatened that HIS agenda might fail. Culturally INDEPENDENT Americans, which Obama is NEITHER, do NOT stand for being TOLD what they are going to HAVE to do…by ANYONE ! With regards to the Health Care, HIS BLIND pursuit of this ONE goal was done in a PARTISAN way that even the most uneducated American saw through, while the economy suffered and a MAJORITY questioned how any stimulus should be applied. Even some of the Democrats who strongly supported him have seen this. Like Clinton once said about Bush…” he just doesn’t get it” ! Obama acted more as a dictatorial proctologist than a leader…..”bend over here it comes, one way or the other” ! SECOND, Obama was, and still is, ill prepared to serve as President of the U.S. To the novice, he SOUNDED good, but to the fewer educated, it was easy to see the “puff WITHOUT substance”. The African-American electorate have even become disillusioned with him because they have seen their “Great BLACK Hope” abandon them. His political statements have become the mere rhetoric that he has pontificated on before, that they have become so predictable. THIRD, while many in the World hate America, it has been borne out that the MAIN reason is that they are envious of what we HAVE…FREEDOM…or at least HAD ! Over the years we have admittitedly flaunted this attitude to our detriment, BUT, we were more oft than not, the FIRST, and sometimes the ONLY source of aide when disaster hit. Many times this was greeted with “biting the hand that fed them”. Being a cultural NON-American, Obama should have had MORE and BETTER relations with other world countries. He has NOT ! Why should he have a high rating when he has NOT earned it for US. As for the future of America under Obama ? The new Congress, will ham-string him so much because of his PAST attitudes, that we WILL suffer under him. He, likewise, will use his Executive powers to veto future Congressional laws “he” feels to be anti- Obama ! A last thought provoking comment for NON Americans. Would YOU, Germany, France, Japan, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Nigeria, China, Australia, Norway, Honduras, Denmark….and so on right around the Globe,…EVER, …EVER…allow a NON cultural(fill in the cultural heritage blank) person, like Obama IS, be voted to the top political office in YOUR country ?

Posted by CHINMUSIC | Report as abusive
 

WELL FOR ONE THEY NEED TO STOP PUTTING ADD INS IN BILLS EACH BILL SHOULD BE ABOUGHT ONE PARTICULAR ITEM NEED TO BE ADDRESSED. NUMBER TWO THE PRESIDENT CANT DO EVERYTHING BY HIMSELF HE HAS TO HAVE A MAJOR VOTE TO PASS A BILL. NUMBER THREE I THINK AMERICA SHOULD JOIN JAPAN AND HALF THE OTHER COUNTRIES IN ADOPTION TO THE CLEAN ACTS BILL LIKE CALIFORNIA. NUMBER FOUR YOU WHANT BEABLE TO SEE WHAT GOOD OBOMA HAS DONE FOR A COUPLE MORE YEARS BECAUSE OF HOW SLOW EVERYTHING IS. NUMBER FIVE WHY CAN AMERICA HAVE FREE HEALTH CARE LIKE 90 PERCENT OF THE REST OF THE WORLD

Posted by JOHN200408 | Report as abusive
 

Obama as 2 more years to go and counting!
God bless this country and the american people we are heading for the pit!!!

Posted by maverick7 | Report as abusive
 

ginchinchili – The least of our worries right now, possibly ever, should be whether you, not an American, have lost faith in America. America has been there during times of trouble for virtually every nation on this planet. Those same people, recipients of our generosity, ridicule America regularly. Not our problem. If we’re so bad, stop taking aid, military assistance, and every other kind of help we offer. Not just our government, but the American people give more charitably to help other nations in times of trouble than people from all other countries combined.

Posted by Lubywa | Report as abusive
 

Thank you for trying to understand what’s going on here. But from this American’s point of view, the best part of your article was the title – yes, both Obama and Moses were beset by their flocks, impatient for change. Perhaps we are a stiff necked people here in the States – and if so, it’s from watching too much infernal TELLY. And boy do they try to TELL us – CNN, FOX, the lot of them – what to think: For example, they’d have us believe that little or nothing has been accomplished in the short 2 years that Obama has spent basically extricating us from the muck that George W. Bush left us in. It’s a tribute to the Right Wing Spin Machine that more Americans don’t realize that the first steps to the proper changes HAVE been made. To give up on O after less than 2 years, given the state of the Nation when he took the reins, shows an incredible susceptibility to being fed the dankest hogwash- and unquestioningly swallowing it. The Change IS coming – you of all people should realize, it doesn’t happen overnight. How long has your Empire stood? – Tom father of 2, musician, New Yorker -

Posted by tommym | Report as abusive
 

Too much rhetoric and not enough sense and sensibility.
Let Obama be. Put the past behind us. To err is human. To forgive is divine. In retrospect, Truman was a good pres, Nixon not, and W will linger on in infamy. John,200408, you are right. A president can’t do it all by himself. But we need balance in Congress. We need to care for our earth. God left it for us to care for. So, the health care plan is not so great. It’s better than the Republicans deserve. Maybe some day we can catch up with other countries – to their standards of health care. I’m still proud to be an American. How about y’all. Thanks for letting me share.

Posted by BJtoo | Report as abusive
 

you may think it’s a joke to compare the divine with the intellect of the present Government, But for sure, we need a major miraculous move. In the time of great need comes prophetic advice, “it’s time for a Jubilee” and a Jubilee is a National Trust in the Almighty’s Power to assist and Redeem. To start over, even at the enemies threat’s, whoever they be… God has humbled the most powerful of men, fear not!
IF we continue without the Prophets Blessing, which is set up in “Divine Order” we certainly will find our own way to fail most miserably. Still power belongs to the King. (presidents and governors of states) May he be wise and seek the wise and the true prophetic view, after all Moses was a Prophet. So much more required to whom much is given, And the Lord shall do nothing in the earth lest he reveals it to his prophets…

Posted by 4acause | Report as abusive
 

To the poster, BJtoo – I appreciate your post. Agreed 100%.

To the poster, 4acause – May the Power you believe in bless you with an independent mind to make your own decisions and not be too dependent on outside sources for your strength.

Posted by tommym | Report as abusive
 

The person who wrote this!

(yes, USA is very lucky to have OBAMA as your PRESIDENT of course he is not a magician to solve all your problems in just 2 years , but if you analize it hes really good as your president, i pray for your president even though im not american.)

What? First of all, your not American so go away your opinion means nothing!

But if you can tell us what country, we’ll be glad to give him to you. He’ll need a new job in 2012. And PRAYING won’t do any good, he does not pray to the same god most of us do.

http://www.politicalshoutout.com

Posted by PoliticalShout | Report as abusive
 

Unfortunately, there are millions of Americans in total opposition to our president simply because he is who he is. They would rather see American fail on all fronts, than attribute a measure of success to the efforts of the President. As presidents go, this guy is giving it his best; but for some his best is not good enough. I wonder what the Muslim view of this country would be if there was not a constant spill of bias and hatred pointed toward this group every day in the media. I have not heard President Obama say one negative thing about Muslims since taking office. Since its happening on his watch though, I do not see the “Leader”, President Obama not taking responsibility for the ignorant racist contributing to this unfortunate statistic. Everyday, I DO MY BEST TO ASSIST THE PRESIDENT MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE. I ENCOURAGE MY IMMEDIATE CIRCLE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME. I can look back at twenty years of military service, and I have served under presidents I had absolutely no respect for as men; who did not serve, and left the country worse than it was when they assumed office. We all have faults, problems, issues, whatever. And so does this President. However, when I see President Obama the family man (some give more respect to a president who cheated on his wife in the oval office, than they do President Obama who epitomizes family man), the athlete, the courteous person, and the man who leads; it makes me proud to be an American. The funny thing is, things happen in my life when I served under presidents I had no respect for, and I was proud to be an American. So for all the haters, lets do our part to make the world better and stop looking to one man to do all the grunt work.

Posted by 304050 | Report as abusive
 

Unfortunately, there are millions of Americans in total opposition to our president simply because he is who he is. They would rather see American fail on all fronts, than attribute a measure of success to the efforts of the President. As presidents go, this guy is giving it his best; but for some his best is not good enough. I wonder what the Muslim view of this country would be if there was not a constant spill of bias and hatred pointed toward this group every day in the media. I have not heard President Obama say one negative thing about Muslims since taking office. Since its happening on his watch though, I do not see the “Leader”, President Obama not taking responsibility for the ignorant racist contributing to this unfortunate statistic. Everyday, I DO MY BEST TO ASSIST THE PRESIDENT MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE. I ENCOURAGE MY IMMEDIATE CIRCLE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME. I can look back at twenty years of military service, and I have served under presidents I had absolutely no respect for as men; who did not serve, and left the country worse than it was when they assumed office. We all have faults, problems, issues, whatever. And so does this President. However, when I see President Obama the family man (some give more respect to a president who cheated on his wife in the oval office, than they do President Obama who epitomizes family man), the athlete, the courteous person, and the man who leads; it makes me proud to be an American. The funny thing is, things happen in my life when I served under presidents I had no respect for, and I was proud to be an American. So for all the haters, lets do our part to make the world better and stop looking to one man to do all the grunt work.

Posted by 304050 | Report as abusive
 

@ginchinchili (and everyone other person having more faith in government than God)

My son is currently serving in the Marines, and he has been to both Iraq and Afghanistan. The VAST MAJORITY of the people in those countries love the fact that America has defeated Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but most soldiers agree that President Obama has no clue how to run a war, based on the ridiculous rules of engagement he has imposed. For example, despite having state-of-the-art night vision technology, the US armed forces are not allowed to attack at night based on the excuse that the president does not want to risk ANY civilians hurt. Knowing that, so when do you think the enemy meets, plans and regroups? How great is it that the US military is fighting these wars with one hand tied behind their back! Obama was strongly against the surge in Iraq, and now that it has been proven successful, he is “taking credit” for ending the war – how morally bankrupt is this man?!

And speaking of bankrupt – since the government is in so much debt trouble, how does President Obama propose to fix it? Well, by adding more regulations, nationalizing industries (like auto companys, banks, etc.) which require the continued expansion of government, the printing of more money and the raising taxes – brilliant!

Look at the facts for once and cut past the BS of the “elected elites” – the only industry that has CONSISTENTLY added jobs over the last 10 years is the government!!! (look it up yourself at ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/suppl/empsit.compa es.txt). From Jan 2000 to Dec 2009, the Total Private Employees went from 110,210,000 jobs to 107,107,000 (~3% loss), while Government (All Employees) went from 20,571,000 to 22,481,000 (~10% gain!!!). Just to support a single government worker, it will require about four (4) taxpayers making the same salary as the government worker (they usually make less) to support him/her based on a 25% income tax rate!

The government at ALL levels (especially Federal) is out of control, spending more money than they have because they do have to be efficient or make a profit – all they have to raise taxes! I cannot wait until November 2nd – I pray that America wakes up to the politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle who have no integrity, accountability and/or common sense!

Posted by tonyruba | Report as abusive
 

A part of Obama’s speech that seems to be overlooked is the first sentence quoted here: “If…we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it…”

That’s IF WE are willing to work, fight, believe. Nowhere in there does it say “bicker, infight, or hamper progress. And nowhere in there does he say “I’m going to fix everything. You just sit back and relax.”

Until we can stop bickering, infighting, and hampering progress due to myopic selfishness, nothing will change, and that’s not Obama’s fault. Few among us seem willing to do what it takes. Fewer in Congress seem willing to let the man do his job without interference or the threat of undoing everything he’s done. Obama is the President… not God, for God’s sake. Stop expecting him to wave his hand and clean up the debt and debris left behind by the previous administration.

And be willing to do YOUR part even if it means having to give something up. It’s our national gluttony that fostered these messes. We can’t fix all that needs to be fixed while living the way we did during the BuSh administration and the two decades leading up to it.

Posted by JohnQPubliq | Report as abusive
 

“Turn things around? After spending nearly a trillion dollars (and rising), a war that Bush refused to pay for (as better American presidents in the past always did, requiring Americans to do their share by paying for the war with our tax dollars), has left Iraq in tatters and our country broke.”

Now, do you mind telling us which American President EVER paid for a U.S. war?

WHICH war have we NEVER had to pay for since Lincoln took office?

Posted by DannyCarlisle | Report as abusive
 

Most of what Moses did was pretty good although a few billion arabs would agree that pointing across the Jordan to the “Promised Land” wasn’t wone of them. What Obama has done is take liberty, money, and labor and waste it. Like the meathead he is, his lack of wisdom and practical experience allows just about everyone to run rings around him. Healthcare? no, it is just an insurance grab. Banking? no just more for the bank companies and more headaches for citizens, Bail-out? Stimulus? No it funds things that churn money without providing any leverage. AT least when Bush spent on weapons we could sell them abroad and bring needed cash into the USA and stimulate the education required to make technical things. Obama would have us washing each other’s bicycles and call that two jobs the talent required for that job would be a masters degree in bike washing (another totally useless education which fits into his education poolicy of “teachfor teaching’s sake” or a mind is a terrible thing to waste but we do it with pride.”) Everything he has done either took liberty or wasted money. There are some comparisons with Moses though. “thou shalt not put any God before Obama.” Sounds like the press and his cadre of meatheads have bought into the Obama as their new idol to worship. Dumb, really dumb.

Posted by jabusse | Report as abusive
 

Most of what Moses did was pretty good although a few billion arabs would agree that pointing across the Jordan to the “Promised Land” wasn’t wone of them. What Obama has done is take liberty, money, and labor and waste it. Like the meathead he is, his lack of wisdom and practical experience allows just about everyone to run rings around him. Healthcare? no, it is just an insurance grab. Banking? no just more for the bank companies and more headaches for citizens, Bail-out? Stimulus? No it funds things that churn money without providing any leverage. At least when Bush spent on weapons we could sell them abroad and bring needed cash into the USA and stimulate the education required to make technical things. Obama would have us washing each other’s bicycles and call that two jobs the talent required for that job would be a masters degree in bike washing (another totally useless education which fits into his education policy of “teach for teaching’s sake” or a mind is a terrible thing to waste but we do it with pride.”) Everything he has done either took liberty or wasted money. There are some comparisons with Moses though. “thou shalt not put any God before Obama.” Sounds like the press and his cadre of meatheads have bought into the Obama as their new idol to worship. Dumb, really dumb.

Posted by jabusse | Report as abusive
 

I’m Proud to be American, served with 101st, blessed with good health and work everyday. No status of the rich,decision makers,or power to draw lines in the sand that divide one-from-another.Didn’t Vote to send jobs overseas,Loved Magnavox,General Motors; Don’t think it’s a good idea to invest in Japanise goods,Cell Phones,Etc.,I believe WE CAN produce our own, Oooh! I forgot “they”, do-it Cheaper…Do they really! Or is it that those in decision-maker…cut deals that continue to make the RICH…RICHER and the rest of us …well, do your best, with LESS.Sounds like Wal-Mart. On my desk is a calendar of 43 pass/prior Presidents that I look at each time I sit at my keyboard and try to figure which has done anything that SOME have NOT agreed with,cut-ah-deal,do-it Cheaper,make themselves Rich. It is for this belief over my 65 year I have NEVER VOTED FOR PRESIDENTS, and/or ANY Politician…Until 2008, ah NEW voice asking to unite a Country that Grows itself like a ballon over-filled with (air) stuff that will cause it to buss…The voice of no deals overseas,no more cheaper and they get richer, 40acres & Mule equal to Jobs,Education,Health Care. Americans-Helping-America Grow. THAT’S The Best I’ve Heard and I’m proud to have voted for the MAN…Oooh! He’s Black! Yea, the Calendar I spoke of…No Black, Mexican,Asian,or Female and/or any race/gender other than what is viewed as the NORM.The NORM of the USA is where we live,schools, job position,So-Call “Shot Caller”, Deal Makers,Wealth or Embezzlers. Well the ballon is busting and we can’t stop it…PRESIDENT Obama, Keep trying to slow it down, thats the best of the fame “44″, I’ve witness in 65 yrs, Oh! Yea,as a veteran the Commander-in-Chief of the Military,Country, and this Nation is Due RESPECT from all on her shores…American’s Start Showing Respect as you’ve done for the other “43″. I’m Voting for Him Again and will for anyone with his agenda. The Best Is Yet To Come!SOON!!

Posted by roos | Report as abusive
 

Two things went wrong for President Obama; one, republicans never had any intention of ever working with him and two, Many Americans are predjudice, and while they hide behind accusing him of being muslim, they are really just afraid because he is black. America has become weak, crooked,and the republicans are an embarrassment. If I could move from the USA, I would.

Posted by sunnydale | Report as abusive
 

In no prticular order:

The First Gulf War was primarily paid for by payments from a number of the middle Eastern countries (Saudia Arabia,etc.), as well as airspace and land passage for logistical staging of military forces. These contributions came with conditions, primararily that the coalition NOT invade Iraq. Thus Bush Senior was bound (by some degree) to honor this constraint, as well as understanding the longer term quagmire that an invasion would entail.

Secondly, Democratic legislators backed Bush Jr. beause they were presented with the rationale that in order to be taken seriously by Suddam, “W’s” administration had to be viewed as having the backing of Congress to use all means..including war, to adevance our demands on Iraq. A number of Democratic legislators have stated on the record that they were assured by “W’s” administration thatthere was no real intention to “actually” invade Iraq.

Posted by Tellit | Report as abusive
 

I totally agree with ginchinchili. He is very informed and he knows what he’s talking about.
Now, I will make use of my logic and say this:
1. Since Bush 2 took the power, ah, what a gentleman was Clinton and how he turned the country to Bush with no debts– he claimed that all the world is US enemy. He started to threaten left and right whereby the attack from 9/11 and all the subsequent hate he inseminated in the middle east. And all this continued with the war in Iraq and with spending and spending of tax payer money and loss of human lives to serve a few Oil Kings, whose hunger to get richer and richer never ends.
2. The Republican Party exported our jobs overseas (computer field belong to Bangalore, the commodities, food, clothes, kitchen-ware — all made in China) for higher profit margins between their cost and the selling price to whom, to us, the middle class Americans who kept being devoid of more and more job opportunities.
3. It all culminated in September 2007 with the Wall Street, and the House Market bubbles which caused a big turmoil all over the world, and for us here it meant the end of the ‘American Dream’.
4. Obama is elected in the middle of this disaster, and we all expect him to make miracles overnight. Let’s be serious about it, no one will be able to handle the hole in which we are now and if you think the Republicans are up to the task, well, guess what, they won’t care about creating jobs for you guys, they will care to restore their wealth, their American Dream, on the back of all of us. They will resume the export of jobs overseas, and for sure won’t put our nation back to work. However, I wish they do the right thing, but I very much doubt. The education of our children will suffer, the Health Care will suffer, small companies won’t be able to pay for health care in such a fragile economy and they will shortly succumb under financial pressure and lack of marketability for their products and services – if you buy cheaper from China, or if the Operator from India costs less why should we employ our own ? The big Corporations will laugh of how stupid we were. I hope I don’t know what I am talking about, and that this won’t happen, but I bet we will end up worse and worse with them Tea Party-ers.

Posted by gheorghiua | Report as abusive
 

1. If we had a Republican President, how would he change the economy? Does it matter what political party President we have in this Bad Economical Time.
The TRUTH:
A. It would be hard for either Presidential Canidate.

B. In 2 years, can you change your economical status from poor to rich? My bad, that was a huge question.

C. Can you do better?

D. If you were the only one in your house that tried to better the family could you make it work?

E. If your spouse was cheating on you, could you stop them from cheating?

Posted by perkinsgo | Report as abusive
 

The expectations for any President of the US are and should be high. Obama wanted the job but could not deliver on his promises. He said he would fix the economy that was taking a downturn under Bush and instead he made it far worse. The election results reflect his poor performance. I hope he is the one to pay the price in the elections of 2012, but the electorate who is on the public dole could put him back in office. We can only hope reason prevails.

Posted by BelieveNothing | Report as abusive
 

Was i the only one listening when obama said that the problems we had were going to take more than 4 years mabe even 10 to fix which meant that even if he had 8 years it wasnt going to all get done. he is not a miracle worker. thats the problem with americans never want to invest time in anything you want something immediate. well the economy didnt fall over night so now its suppose to be fixed faster than it fell? until people stop thinking republican democrat, and the promises that come out of everyones mouth when they run for election. and actually think about if the change can really occur. your going to continue to be let down.I could promise you wealth, good health, and happiness to will you vote for me?

Posted by bcwilson | Report as abusive
 

I understand the frustration that the economy and unemployment are in the ditch right now, but what I don’t understand is why do people keep voting to put people, like John Boehner,in office when all they do is say “NO” to everything and sit back and do nothing at all. If I had a job where my paycheck came from the taxes everyone paid I would feel some pressure to get things done in congress and senate…to see some progress. But it upsets me to hear Republicans just say that they are just going to oppose everything the democrats are for and then sit on their ass and do nothing else. What the hell are we paying these people for.

Posted by wildlycyte | Report as abusive
 

For everyone who is Against PRESIDENT Obama and I capitalized president due to respect he is the president whether you like him or not. Rome wasn’t built in a day , and America can’t be fixed over night. The mess that was handed to Pres.Obama when he was put in office is alot for anyone to deal with at any given time. So if you feel it can be done better, by all means run for office.
As far as the war is concern unless you were, or are a soilder. Your comments about that mean nothing to me because I served and seen first hand what war can do to people no matter who you are.In my beliefs there is Absolutly no justifiable reason to be at war.God created the World to be at peace it was man that disruppted that peace and continues to do so until this day. Because of my loyalty to my contry I did and said things that I am not proud of but I have asked for forgiveness from GOD and owe nothing to anyone else.

For ChinMusic, speak for your self unless you have sat down in every African Americans living room as talked to us you have absolutly no idea what we think. How do you know he is non-cultural, because some one on T.V., the radio, or the internet told you so. Have you sat down and talked to him your self.Do you really know anything about him. Unless you lived in Chicago,IL and talked to him face to face found out what his true veiws are Dont assume that you know all the answers because someone put a DEAD bug in your ear. Because what you see and hear in the media has been edited, revised and edited again 10 times over way before it hits your ears and eyes.
It has only been two years since he has been in office alot of the things he has done won’t be felt until later on down the line if you knew anything about politics and history you would know that.

As for everyone else that doesn’t like the President, Sooo you feel like Republicans are the saviors of our country.Just about every Republican I know is a racist, a bigot, they are deceitful, a untrust worthy people that will turn on their own kind to save their own behind and to get ahead.But you don’t see me walking around saying I hate them and I dont judge them because they are still people. Almost about 85% of all our presidents were Republic and as history has shown they care about one thing lining their pockets and how rich and fat they can get off the sweat,blood and tears of another Human being.

Face it the only reason the Republicans are so upset is Because our president is Black there are to many Innuendoes to say other wise. Just a couple of hundred years ago white People (here in America) Mostly Republic thought black people were animals and uncapable of being educated let a lone run for office. Republicans fought against the abolishment of slavery while Democrats fought for it, seeing that it was truly inhumane.And here it is a well educated Black man, who graduated with honors (unlike our former “C” student president) has been elected president and trying to clean up a mess that has gotten out of control way before he took over. Ever heard of the saying ” it will only get worse before it gets better”? He is only doing the best he can as have his predicessors. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. At least he as the gumption to at least admit some of his unlike others who sweep it under the rug and hope no one is looking.

The health care bill may have been a bit much, but you know what it was only a bit much because we were use to the old ways, in life everything has to change thats why its called a life cycle. Everyone should be allowed healthcare no matter what.It works in Canada. People walk around and complain about Pres.Obama, so I guess they would have rathered have Sarah Palin in Office right? Talk about poorly educated in politics and in history. Ooh, but lets see, alot of Republicans voted for Pres. Obama because they rather have a man in office than a woman and the fact that no one really wanted the seat at such a crucial time in history. But now that the major spot light is off of Plain they wanna revert their negative ways and thinking back to Pres. Obama. The way I see it Politics is a game and a big joke. they used Pres. Obama as a scape goat because of the economy being so bad, and america has been flipped upside down and really no one really has the slightest clue on what to do to fix it.

You people call yourselves christians, uuuummm funny because all I hear and see is a bunch of people being judgemental to a person they really Do Not know outside of what they see and hear in the Media. He who is without sin and flaws cast the first stone.
At the end of the day the American people have to be responsible for themselves because when its time to stand at the pearly gates and attone for your sins, God isn’t going to ask “WHO DID YOU VOTE FOR IN THE 2008 ELECTION” he is not going to ask “WHAT POLITICAL PARTY DO YOU FALL UNDER” He is going to read from his book of judgement and see all the wrong or right you have done in your lives and past judgement period.Will you be ready?. And last time I read my Bible only God himself can pass Judgement on any person. Too me the world is the way it is because people are too busy being judgemental and selfish, instead of helping less fortunate people around them, they step on them or by pass them and look down on them. If I were God I would be dissappointed in the world I created. Because God created the world and people to help one another and be at peace not to hate and do only for self. Maybe if we were to try to help the situatons at hand we wouldn’t have such a big mess. We got to many Chiefs and not enough Indians.
There is only one true ruler, king, president whatever you wanna call him and that is GOD. Im quite sure God did not intend for people to have someone to dictate to them what they can and can not do, because as a person created in GOD’s image you should know right form wrong.

So say what you want about me or Pres. Obama cause GOD is the only being that can Judge me. I will not lose sleep at night and Im quite sure Pres.Obama being the GOd Fearing person he is won’t either.

One thing is for certain about people, THEY ARE GONNA TALK AND SAY NEGATIVE STUFF ABOUT YOU REGARDLESS IF YOU DO POSITVE THINGS OR NEGATIVE THINGS , so its darn if you do and darn if you don’t. Heck people talked about Jesus so why expect anything less.

Start focusing more about self and what you can do to help a fellow Human being succeed in life, then what the President is or isn’t doing. The change starts from within. Get your “house” and “lawn” in order first before you go passing judgement on someone elses…. PERIOD

President Obama, You keep doing what your doing cause God got your back and I lift you and this country up in prayer all the time.

Lord God keep him and this country grounded, guide him onto the path on which he should go. And open the minds and hearts of those who are ignorant to you and your world. AMEN

Posted by mrsolawumi | Report as abusive
 

Well said. I Agree! Double AMEN.

Posted by MinL4JC | Report as abusive
 

Returning to Iraq, not one American in a hundred ever heard of Project for a New American Century. This was a right-wing study group that believed America had the means and the moral right to rule the world through military might. They advocated a massive military build-up and such things as small scale nuclear weapons for ground combat, placing nuclear weapons in orbit, and the invasion of Iraq for the purpose of controlling their oil and using the country as a permanent U.S. military base.
Founding members included Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others who formed the core of Bush 2′s administration. PNAC was active before 2000, yet the American press completely failed to alert the public to the dangerous views of someone running for Vice President. What we got from these people was much of what PNAC was proposing. Bush just kept tossing various phony reasons for invading Iraq until one of them stuck. The true reasons were oil and military presence, plus the fact that various contractors including Halliburton, who bought Cheney, walked away with billions. A tragic situation for America, Iraq and the Middle East.

Posted by hotspringsfreak | Report as abusive
 

Its not Barack Obama or Obama….He is the president of the united states and you and everyone else needs to repect that and call him President Obama, Mr. President or whatever and stop disrespecting the Man.

Posted by marcussalaam | Report as abusive
 

Of course Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3) No doubt that put him in a better position to receive divine help :)

Posted by AndThenAgain | Report as abusive
 

ginchinchili,
Your comments are well said.

Posted by Amadeus12345 | Report as abusive
 

I expect my representatives in government to vote “NO” on anything that is stupid, counterproductive or corrupt. Those of you deluded into thinking the Republicans did nothing but say “No” apparently don’t read. The Republicans were CUT OUT of all deliberations on every bit of legislation. They were not allowed into the conversation. Of course they would vote “no” on the garbage that came out of those breathtakingly corrupt Democrat backrooms. Republicans proposed alternate legislation on every action taken by Obama and the Dems and they refused to even consider those alternatives. They are to blame for the “no” votes, and the “no” votes were a godsend — as we now know, post election day, that most Americans agreed that the “no” voters got it RIGHT. Obama was never a bipartisan politician, ever, in his career. He has governed as a hyper-partisan, cutting out the opposition at every chance. No president had ever done that on legislation as important as the healthcare mess he signed into law. No one is to blame for the mess Obama created other than Obama and his Democrat partners. Much of what people write in these comments is so ill-informed that at least I now know how Obama and the Dems get votes, and I also see how we can easily correct that: please, get off the couch, read, get informed, participate in a MEANINGFUL (not just a regurgitative) way, and we may yet be able to throw off this socialistic yoke and move forward as the powerful country we once were.

Posted by Welred | Report as abusive
 

Indeed Mr. Obama promised a lot and was faced with a myriad of difficult issues. In the end, growing disenchantment with him and his administration was not due to over promising. It was due to the reality that he promised a new type of leadership, a new, open and transparent era in bi-partisanship. Instead, Americans witnessed an extraordinary level of behind-closed-doors deals, a total lack of transparency and far too much Washington-as-usual. During the health care reform debate Republicans offered many legitimate suggestions including opening up competition among health insurers across state lines. Window-dressing aside (such as the Tort Reform “Studies”) included in the Bill, virtually none of these suggestions ended up being included in the final legislation. Yet special interests such as Big Labor were protected and have been given carte blanch access to the Whitehouse. In the end, voters became fed-up with Obama the man. The man who promised with lofty rhetoric to be different and in the end has proven to be just another Pol, telling people what they wanted to hear and then doing what he damn well pleased. He didn’t think they’d notice…but they did and now he is paying the price.

Posted by GoldenBoys | Report as abusive
 

@mrsolawumi

What are you talking about? How you can say Obama is a God fearing person? The most pro-abortion president the USA ever had could be a God fearing person? The same who want to repel “Dont ask dont tell” policy? Surely you think he fear another god because the God from the Bible couldn’t be in anyway feared by your loved president. Go and do your homework, learn that Obama is probably and Universalist, who call himself Christian (but that doesn’t mean he’s a real one), who is making your country less secure, less rich and less respected around the world. I’m a peruvian and I can tell you that the dolar was the currency we used to like more, but now, the dolar is losing it’s worth every day, now the people in Peru prefer to save in our currency because the dolar is turning weaker every month. And please, don’t shame other christians like me with your words, I don’t say AMEN to your words..

Posted by Sion | Report as abusive
 

Obama is struggling not because of what Bush did, Bush struggled because of what Bush did. But that was his theme and what he failed to se is responsible voters didn’t buy it.

There is nothing complicated about what he did, He made 2 serious mistakes.

1. He forgot that the greatness American once had was predicated on a primary principle called “FREEDOM”.
2. He ignored what the people were saying. He took his advantage and used it to promote his ideals rather than those who gave him the power. And when it failed he blamed someone else!

This election was NOT an endorsement of the Republicans, It was sent to everyone in Washington, let the past go and take care of business. And if the current representative don’t get it they will be replaced again until someone gets it. The power is in the people.

Posted by fredrs01 | Report as abusive
 

People just need to remember what he said before the last elections “They are the enemy. Let’s keep them in the back of the Bus”. If a Republican would have said that it would had all hell break loose. Number one the Republicans wouldn’t have said that. What you have seen in the first two years of his term is how Chicago works not how old politics works. Ya see he doesn’t know the difference.

Posted by dryrider | Report as abusive
 

You say that but the congress was controlled by the Democrats for his last term. The Republicans basically voted against all of the things that Bush is blamed for. Barney Frank said that all of the bad real estate money would be transferred to Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae then wrote off. Bush stood before the Democrats begged them to reinstate the rules that Clinton took out during his last term.

Posted by dryrider | Report as abusive
 

As I type this message I wonder how many of you anti Obama people have jobs? How many of you are selfish? The saying goes give a man a fish and he’ll eat for the day, teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. How many of you know how to fish? How many of you feel that it is the governments duty to teach you how to fish effectively? How many of you feel that the day you don’t catch a fish your government should put one for you on the table? While it may be true that America has lost lots of jobs it should not give anyone reason to blame the government nor the president. If you bought a house in a trend fashion without considering the outcome or properly funding your asset then my friend your learning how to not fish. Lesson learned. The other day I was talking to a friend he came to me for help with an investment plan. He wants to buy auction cars and sell them. Now here in california it is a great thing to do with $600 possibly even less you can make profits over 40%. He had $400 two weeks ago but decided to buy an Xbox instead which he now has to pawn. Is the government to blame in this case. Has Obama not done enough for this man. Or has this man not done enough for himself. In your scenario have you over the past ten years invested your money poorly. Have you made some selfish decisions with out thinking it through. Most importantly have you educated yourself enough to respond in a reasonable manner if that money ever reaches your hand again. Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. For all the angry frustrated citizens in the U.S I ask you have you ever thought that maybe if you had put your money in U.S stocks instead of attempting to buy property or purchasing a luxurious car with $3000 worth of rims or buying a $400 entertainment system that wastes your time you’d be better off. Instead of investing in your business investing in someone else business you chose to selfishly buy. The consequences have arrived and they are yours to pay I hope you learned your lesson and waiting for the president to help you Democrat or Republican is the equivalent of asking god for salvation. Also if you are reading this and are attempting to reply with hatred toward the President or my comment or any other for that matter please do us all a favor and go to craigslist. If that fails go stand outside of home depot, Osh, All American listing your traits. If you have no traits go back to Craigslist offering to volunteer in exchange if you cant find anyone to volunteer for go back to school if you don’t have the time take an internet course. If you still cant manage to catch a fish after that move to China because capitalism is not your strong point. If you think you can’t move to another country learn its language tolerate, accept its culture deal with bigotry look around you. God Bless America

Posted by maestrochingon | Report as abusive
 

Well now i think that you have a nice grasp of thing of someone who truely wants some change

Posted by supernova72611 | Report as abusive
 

But you fail to grasp the overall scope, first you have a country that has failed polices overall for the last 40 years, some people did a good job (Reagan, Clinton, and the house and senate at those times)one rep. one dem. but that fact still remains that people are, or will only fix what is not broken, but take away from it till it is broken like SSA, and the once free Medicare system then complain that its broke and needs to be fixed after stealing 20billion for planes that were not truly needed, and even if they where I personally would have only had 4 made instead of 12 at a 1billion each, Truly it does not take a PHD to run things in this country as Abe proved and think all it takes is good Judgment and Common know how and a good connection of the things going on in the country or the state in which you live, I sent ideas to the president about how to fix SSA, 401B-1 retirement plans , and Federal debit and doing it in 8 years while creating 20,000 plus jobs quarterly for each state during that time period, will they use it no. Judicial system and overcrowding of Prisons is also a problem that posies an easy fix but they won’t do that either because they would rather set back and spent tax payer dollars on other things and not fix truly what needs to be fixed. If you would like to see the plan email me at supernova72611@yahoo.com people have been telling me I should run for office with my ideas and one other thing that bothers me is the fact that most a people who run has forgotten one thing, it’s an honor to serve your country not a job. They should not be paid a small or large fortune to be there, I myself would only take what was need to live and pay my bills for the time I would serve and work a night job on top of that for extra moneys to pay for anything else.

Posted by supernova72611 | Report as abusive
 

I suppose to feel the need to blame Bush, or Obama, or the Republicans, or Democrats, is only natural.

For me, after experiencing this mid-term election process and witnessing how partisan the politics turned out to be–especially in the last two years, and most revealing in these last 12 weeks–it became obvious that there are powers far greater than the principles behind the Red, Blue, Green, and Indi politics at play.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Republicans used the Supreme court ruling to usurp campaign contribution safe guards and enable elite financiers, with exceptionally personal and partisan agendas, to strategically target and finance political ads that supported or attacked others from across the country, or around the world, with impunity.

It is also equally revealing that the same parties at play that orchestrated THAT political theatre, also laid the original objectives for the “tea party”. Unfortunately for them, the tea party movement got out of hand as true-grit American fundamentalists jumped on that bandwagon to champion causes far more idealistically honest and patriotic than the pseudo-patriotic objectives the party’s ‘real founders’ intended for the group.–Ooopseee.. it cost them the Senate!

If the Democrats were the true target of the peoples angst, it’s my opinion the senate would have turned over regardless of the effort projected to protect it. The fact that that did NOT occur, is what makes the whole thing stink of fraud. It, to me, suggests a more sinister motive was at hand, one supported openly by both the Senate and Congress minority party leaders who’s own public admissions were to turnover the congress, to make sure Obama fails–is a one term president–and at any cost. That’s what they set out to do… and nearly achieved it (and probably will). That is about as unAmerican an act as I’ve witnessed in my life time… and NO ONE is holding anyone accountable for it… and the party picking up seats.. just smiles. This smacks of civil conspiracy…. but is anybody jumping up and down and screaming about it…. not that I can tell.

Regardless, this is all smoke and mirrors. George Carlin said it best… we are OWNED by the banking cartels…. OWNED… Too many politicians are indentured to the banking and corporate elite. We… the people…need to Reclaim our Independence… and it’s time to UPDATE the Declaration of Independence.. That’s where I think the Tea Party needs to focus…. not on politicians, abortion, tax codes… come on.. get real folks it’s the entire premise of our Free Market Society….that’s corrupt….the only group our laws protect in the end, are the bank owners.

Posted by asleepleskn1ght | Report as abusive
 

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