President Ronald Reagan once said of his critics that he must be doing something right given all of their complaints. Or as they say in retail, you can’t please everybody. The latest Dana Milbank editorial is one such example.
In the run up to the 2012 presidential elections, with the GOP fielding “presidential candidates” that for the most part leave much to be desired, the Democrats are again turning to navel gazing rather than “standing by their man.” Which I regard as pitiful, really. Apparently, the GOP are not the only ones who didn’t pay attention when Obama essentially ran as a centrist candidate in 2008. Neither did the Democrats. Almost three years into Obama’s first term, and the Democrats are whining about what Obama is not accomplishing as a (not so) old leftist president. Really, Milbank had quite a list. Didn’t Obama only say that he wanted bipartisan legislation? To come up with new solutions for the nation regardless of which party introduced them? I believe he did. And both parties, Republican and Democrat keep wanting to see Obama as this blank slate upon which they will write their own version of acceptable or not so acceptable politician. In the last week, over no less than the “War Powers Act,” both GOP and Dems had a hissy fit that Obama wasn’t “consulting them” 60 days after he was sending air power out to provide humanitarian assistance to Libyan citizens yearning to breath free. Even Charles Krauthammer abruptly saw something useful about that decades old Democratic passed law. At least now that it can be used to target a Democratic president. To say the least, a most hilarious flip flop. Consulting Congress was not something that GW wanted to do when getting ready to go to war with Iraq. Nor would he have consulted with the U.N. when invading a sovereign nation only on the presumption never proven that Hussein would have threatened the U.S. Unless he was forced into it. Now the question that seems to have been left out, should humanitarian missions that intend only to assist a sovereign people who had indeed asked for it, included under the war powers provision? In other words, was Iraqi oil more important than rape rooms? And thousands of people buried in mass graves became an after thought as we linked the late Saddam Hussein to 9/11/2001. Because the War Powers Act wasn’t given much consideration by such stalwarts as Krauthammer and Co. back in the good old days when a Republican ran the show. What Obama’s predecessor did or did not do, was just fine by them. As for the Democrats back in those halcyon years, they didn’t have the backbone to challenge Bush on his worst excesses.
But today, they seem to have developed the “back bone” to lash out at the man who has to deal with the fact that unemployment isn’t going down any time soon, only a few cities are actually trying to tackle the problem, very few businesses are willing to target the problem and we are dealing with a group whine by both Dems and GOP over the fact that Obama is helping Libya’s people against a terrorist sponsoring thug for a president. Thus, the very public and childish display of political parties a little too willing to eat their own.
The poll that Milbank referred to that had a majority of independents preferring to back another candidate was equally funny under the circumstances. There is a raft of GOP who can be deemed “unelectable” because (pick one) Mormons—Huntsman and Romney, or can’t keep a straight message—Pawlenty, Gingrich, don’t seem to know much about history—Palin, Bachmann, too extreme by half—Ron Paul, etc. And therefore, has some real credibility issues. Then again, does the party define the man? Or for that matter, opposition politics that does as much to define the man? Or, what went unsaid, because the politicians in Congress were duly informed that the American public doesn’t have much affection for them; let’s engage in symbolic attacks on the Commander-in-Chief. That’ll show the American people how right they are about us! Or, if this was supposed to be about survival following a recent poll put out by CBS News, that was a very poor way of showing it.
Satisfying “the base,” where both parties are concerned seems to have become far more important than issues of national importance, such as heath care, retirement, unemployment, rogue banks, home foreclosures, property values in decline, etc. Apparently, “the base” on either side of the aisle isn’t suffering from these particular doldrums. As it is, they aren’t representing the rest of us who certainly are. An example, if I may of wrong priorities, a letter in the Coeur d’Alene Press by an author who suffered a broken leg and wrenched ankles as a consequence of stepping on a divot buried in the weeds on the far end of Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. This person went several weeks in a cast for the broken leg and mused in the letter that the Mayor and City Council want to spend billions of dollars fixing up McEuen field, but don’t seem to care to spend the necessary money or attention addressing maintenance on the roads… Which brings me back to the Congress that was elected to “serve the people,” but instead waste a lot of money on vacations, engaging in symbolic attacks, being obstructionist, and only make a “play” with the respect to the people’s business when they want to get re-elected. Instead of Independent voters wondering who would make a better president given the current atmosphere in Congress, how about their wondering who they could replace the current crop of children with that might actually act more adult.
No, Obama is not and never will be perfect. Neither is anyone else who currently lives in the U.S. Yes, he has and will always make mistakes, as by the way, so do the rest of us. The bigotry that I see behind much of what is going on in Congress in particular today, is that Obama can not simply make mistakes—or he lacks the leadership. He must be perfect—or he is a failure already. Not an argument that would come up if he were… white. If Obama being a novelty candidate is truly why many people chose to vote for him, but won’t again; it begs the question of the novelty candidates now found among Mormons and women; very precisely, Michelle Bachmann. Like Palin, the only thing going for Rep. Bachmann is her “mom” factor. Since she has little credibility anywhere else. She shows it too. CBS News (Facebook) she doesn’t tell the whole truth when it comes to the CBO on lost jobs. Shouldn’t complete honesty be the best policy if the politician in question wants a show down with an incumbent president? And how about a decided ignorance of history? Demonstrating utter stupidity during debates, rallies, or town hall meetings (Bachmann) or for that matter, bus tours (Palin); we’d be better off with someone who did not behave like an air head. If the novelty faded for the likes of Obama in the minds of Independents, then the women who’d like to be president had better provide something more than being “national mom.” Or where they stand on religious grounds. The problems that Obama confronted on the day of his inauguration will still be there to confront his would-be successors. Attacking Obama won’t cure those problems. So, Independent voters, at least Obama tried to do something about it. More than can be said for the children now on the GOP hustings or those currently occupying Congress. No, you can’t please these people at any time.