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No Pass For President Obama

The conservative contenders for the White House are a sorry bunch.  Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is considered by most to be the front runner.  But this man has about as much personality and common man sensibility as a hay stuffed scarecrow in the middle of a rundown cornfield on an abandoned farm.  Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum might be considered the number two contender.  But since his rise in the polls this master of the sweater vest has gone off the deep end with his social issues rhetoric that would rival the most ardent Christian church lady.   Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is up to his old ways of burning bridges in an attempt to enhance his conservative credibility and will lash out at anyone he thinks he can use as a stepping stone to the next bridge burning.  And last but certainly not least, Texas Representative Ron Paul is doing his best to play Texas conservative Ron Paul.

If the polls are any indication, these four don’t really have much to run on to show how they would take the country into the next four years other than to say that they’re committed in their collective effort to assure that Mr. Obama is a one term President.  That might have played well if the country’s economy had continued to stay stagnated with unemployment numbers that refused to budge.  But despite the inertia associated with trying to muscle a fifteen trillion dollar economy into change direction, it looks like the economy is actually beginning to change course for the better.  So now that the main complaint with Mr. Obama’s performance has been nullified, at least for now, the people looking to replace him are essentially grasping at straws like the one that claims Mr. Obama is relentlessly attacking our religion freedoms.  That one ranks right up there the claims that his birth certificate is a forgery and he’s really a native of Kenya.  The most recent criticism against Mr. Obama is from Mr. Santorum who calls the President a snob for saying who wants to make sure all students have the opportunity to go to college.

Despite all the conservative campaign comedy, the last thing non conservatives need to do is to give Mr. Obama a pass back to the oval office because his competition is so lame.  A good portion of the support that helped Mr. Obama win the White House back in 2008 hasn’t really been all that thrilled with his performance since he’s taken office.  Time and time again Mr. Obama has allowed his policies to be gutted nearly to the point of ineffectiveness in an often futile attempt to obtain bipartisan support from people whose only official response to anything Mr. Obama does is rejection.  There may be some exceptions to this assertion.  But for the most part, based on his track record, a lot of people who supported Mr. Obama the first time around for whatever reason are a bit apprehensive to put their support behind Mr. Obama for a second four year round.  It’s reasonable to assume that the hope for change many of his supporters had looked forward to four years ago has led to a noticeable disappointment by the lack of any significant change in policy that impacts the majority of us more directly.

A lot of people who supported Mr. Obama four years ago were very much in favor of giving him a pass to the White House.  These people suggested that we give Mr. Obama a pass and avoid putting him under too much scrutiny out of some fear that any tough questions might inadvertently give his political opponents some unwanted advantage.  Many of us forgot that it is the responsibility of anyone running for President of the United States to have answers to our reasonable questions.  As our President no one is going to be willing to give him a pass.  The same should hold true for the people who are running for the job if they want our support.  Unfortunately, too many people were willing to go along with Mr. Obama’s history making run for the sake of history if nothing else.  And the result was too many of us gave Mr. Obama our support without having our questions pertaining to our interests answered or given any assurances of what we could expect from him as part of his base.

Now, Mr. Obama is up for reelection and some of us may be feeling somewhat cynical.  Of course it goes without saying that the alternative of having one of the conservative competitors as President of the United States is not an option.  For the most part, the conservative contenders have no real interest in cultivating any support from the gay and lesbian community, the black community, the Hispanic and Latino community, the poor community with all the safety nets that don’t need any attention, the community of people on the verge of losing their homes, the people who don’t happen to be a corporation, or the community of people who work for car companies or their suppliers.  But that doesn’t mean Mr. Obama should be given another pass to dodge questions from his supporters.

Pass him once, shame on you.  Pass him a second time without getting the answers we need and we only confirm the rather disgusting fact that we are political sheep and are culpable in ourselves being taken for granted.  If Mr. Obama wants our support he needs to do more to earn it this time around.  Otherwise, we might be giving him an even greater incentive to take his base for granted while he moves his policies further and further to the right to in order to make him appear more appealing to people who wouldn’t give Mr. Obama the time of day even if the country’s life depended on it.

It might look like we’re between another rock and a hard place if we give Mr. Obama too much of a hard time when the alternative is somebody like Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul.  Each one of these men is salivating at the thought of getting the White House and giving the people who would support somebody like Mr. Obama the political equivalent of the middle finger.  But if we claim we believe in change and our candidate says he understands what we want and will fight for that change, then maybe we need to ask the questions that will help him articulate what he thinks is the change his supporters want.  And if he misses the mark with his answers, his supporters can give him the feedback necessary to help him understand and make the potential for his second term as great as it can be.  Because sitting back and letting him go more and more to the right, trying to win the approval of people who really don’t care for him no matter what, is only a recipe for his, and to a certain extent ours as well, downfall.

Monday, February 27, 2012 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts

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