August 10, 2009 in Politics
According to all accounts, president Obama has been in office 200 days now and the question naturally arises: How has he done so far? For some, particularly republicans on the far right, the answer to this question is rather simple: Horrible. According to them, he has proven himself an out of control spender, who has been squandering the American taxpayers money. Those who love and support him argue that he’s been doing just fine, in fact, better than expected. Others simply say so far it’s too early to tell.
No matter what grade we choose to give him, however, we should endeavor to be fair and most of all honest when making our assessments. It should be kept in mind that President Obama inherited a country that was in deep trouble. We were fighting wars on two fronts and were in possession of an economy that was a total wreck, to put it lightly. The recession was easily characterized as the worse since that of the great depression, without objection. Virtually every major company had no other choice than to beg the federal government for help to stay afloat. Wall Street was literally on the verge of collapsing, so devastating was the condition of the economy at the time President Obama assumed office. The country was experiencing the full force of the negative effects of eight long years of failed policies and mismanagement.
Therefore, in answer to the question: How has he done so far? The answer should be better than expected, given the enormous difficulties he was handed. Through his pursuit of making stimulus monies available to faltering businesses, Wall Street has come back again and is doing relatively fine at the present moment. Some of the firms that received stimulus packages have started to pay them back. While we are no way out of the woods yet, most agree that the economy appears to be bottoming out and signs that the recession maybe nearing its end are evident. While the unemployment rate continues to grow, there is still much to be thankful for.
It is unreasonable to think that this president, or any other for that matter, would be able to turn around the effects of decay brought about by eight years of abuse and steady deterioration. To advocate such is doing an injustice to common sense and truth. It should be kept in mind that while a very talented and charismatic individual, the President is not a miracle worker and should not be expected to be so. At such a time in our history as this, all should rally to lend support to our commander and chief and make certain that any criticism is productive, justified, and not the product of political one-upmanship.
In this spirit, let us add the recent controversy over health care reform. Let it be resolved that whatever opposition we give to it, let it be based upon real and substantive points of disagreement and not a political maneuver to belittle the president in the eyes of the American people for political gain. The fact that upwards to 45 million people are without medical insurance and that people with preconditions are unable to get medical coverage is a very serious matter that must be resolved. It would be an abomination to allow these people to continue to suffer for the sake of scoring political points. There is no room in these hard times for unjustly manipulating the political debate over health in order to make it president Obama’s “Waterloo”, as stated by South Carolina’s Senator Jim Demint, Republican.
Therefore, when we assess the president’s performance over the past 200 days in office, we should do so while taking into account the totality of the difficulties he has been called upon to effectively tackle and resolve. While we are indeed entitled to expect some degree of progress from this or any other president, we should not allow political differences in regards to party or any other factor, to expect out this president that which can not be reasonably expected from any other. In short, it would be wise if we practiced to be fair.