Opinions

Obama’s first year filled with plenty of show, little substance

By James “Buffalo” Saint Amour ’10
THE ROUNDUP

President Barack Obama has faced many problems in his fledgling administration: the economy, two wars and potential nuclear development in North Korea and Iran.

One has to ask what the president is doing running around collecting Nobel Prizes and trying to secure an Olympic bid for Chicago?

It should be apparent that in these troubled times we have bigger problems than tourism and public image.

But the president seems to want to play it cool, taking everything in stride.

Every time he is on TV the way he acts so non-chalant makes me think he has no handle on what is going on and doesn’t know just how dire our situation is.

We are currently involved in two wars which are costing billions of dollars of taxpayer money, but we somehow seem to have plenty to burn on new government programs such as a health care system.

Speaking of health care, why is it that the president wants to create a government run insurance company if he is just going to replace it with the free market system that we already have in place in five years?

Wouldn’t it stand that if your long-term plan is the same or similar to that which is already in place that it would be easier to simply alter the existing system?

Why don’t we try regulating our ever increasing health care costs?

But of course who has time to argue the point when the president is too busy to answer the important question with his PR-save-face stunts.

The president has already made 15 trips to the New Orleans area, accompanied with the numerous times that he has met with the EU, NATO, G8 in an attempt to make the U.S. look better to the international community.

I can’t see any reason for him to be doing this when there is plenty for him to do in the Oval Office.

I don’t believe that the president is going to make any great changes in our country; he’s already failed at trying to close Gitmo because Congress wouldn’t pass the funding of the project.

I believe he is banking on us becoming comfortable with his great social changes, thus no one will try to vote against him when it is time for reelection.

It is almost as if he is operating under the assumption that if he doesn’t screw things up worse than they were when he got here, he can call it a success.

But this isn’t how we should measure a president.

One Response

  1. I strongly object to the treatment of President Obama in your recent article. As the president of the Young Democrats on campus and a registered Democrat I feel I have sufficient knowledge to defend the president’s record in the face of narrow minded and untrue attacks. Also, this is not the Democrat’s response, but simply a view from a Democrat. First off, he has been in office less than 10 months. I am sorry that he did not magically fix everything yet, I really am. He has another 3 1/6 years left in office. This economic mess took most of the seven years Bush was in office to create. In regards to the president talking with other nations in such forums as the United Nations and G8 Summit: really? If you have not noticed, it is a GLOBAL economic crisis, with GLOBAL solutions, and GLOBAL consequences. Mr. Obama’s commitment to free trade needs to have interaction with the world leaders. Also, if you have not noticed the United States in involved in two foreign wars in one of the most volatile regions in the world. The US simply does not have the resources to “win” these wars alone. We need NATO and UN support to first secure Iraq and Afghanistan with massive amounts of economic support for national rebuilding. Already the president has committed tens of thousands of new combat soldiers to Afghanistan and is in the process of the most comprehensive review of the war since the previous administration entered the conflict. In regards to health care the president is supporting healthcare reform not seen since and surpassing Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society. Now the president is not some “supreme dictator” that can do things at will. There are three distinct and different branches of government. One of the them is called the legislature which writes legislation (there is a pattern there) for the nation. Now I agree Democrats should simply ignore Republican attempts to sabotage healthcare reform. But that is a critique of how much the president respects the constitutional balance of power and of congressional Democrats. I believe you are confusing the trigger option and the public option. You talk about some nonsense that Obama is only going to create a government sponsored healthcare option for a few years then destroy it. A public option will ensure that it is in fact an option for and with the public for a long time, while a trigger is quite different. A trigger option, a moderate Republican idea, says that if healthcare reform is not “achieved” in a few years, then a government sponsored plan will be created.
    In all where does the record stand? The president:
    -Shifted the focus of the War on Terrorism on actual terrorists in Afghanistan
    -Ended US sanctioned torture
    -Is helping the US recover from the most severe economic downturn since the Reagan Administration (which Reagan was in for three years)
    -Launched unprecedented healthcare reform initiative that has very good chances of making lasting improvements
    -Increased the United State’s influence and reputation in the world
    -Supporting massive financial reforms not seen since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and the Glass-Steagall Act
    -Created or saved more than 640,000 jobs with only a small amount of stimulus money being spent
    -Sending those who committed the atrocities on 9/11 to trial

    Of course we all wish the president has fixed everything by now. The reality is that government is a slow moving process, especially when trying to build consensus with Republicans who seek short sided political gains and self-benefit. Ten months is not enough time to call the president a failure.

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