Politics

Where Obama Made A Mistake

Obama thoughtful

I remember in the campaign days, and most certainly after the election that current President Barack Obama was fashioning himself after this country’s 16th president Abraham Lincoln. I remember in my own mind that I thought that that was highly weird, but I figured that since he ran the best campaign this country has ever seen, I figured he knew what he was doing.  But, in hindsight, I’m even more convinced that he did not.

When he tossed his hat into the race in Springfield, Illinois on the steps of the Old Capitol, he was already taking the approach of Abraham Lincoln trying to united a divided country.  At least that was the underlying message and theme behind shaping himself after Lincoln.  But, in my own imagination, that just didn’t make sense to me because what kept replaying in the back of my head was that Lincoln was not this great emancipator that we still teach and ideologically believe.  The simple wording of the Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in the states that had not seceded from the Union of Kentucky, Delaware, Missouri or Maryland nor did it grant freedom to slaves in certain counties in Virginia (present-day West Virginia), New Orleans and some other assorted parishes nor was Tennessee to fall under this presidential act.

So, to see the first African American president align himself with Lincoln didn’t quite make sense.

FDRThis also with the fact that as the days to the election were coming to a close that the domestic issues of the economy more or less sealed the deal for Obama winning.  I just knew, I just knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I would have heard more echoes of another famous president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Now of course, the administration doesn’t want to fully embrace Rooseveltian ideas because of course Roosevelt was associated with the Great Depression and no one would want us to think that we were not just headed for a recession, but a depression instead.  It would undoubtedly begin to scare the citizenry and of course give much more fodder for critics.  However, where I think Obama could have taken a page out of FDR’s playbook was with regards to the infrastructure building that is so largely associated with FDR’s administration.

Obama hinted at it with the whole idea of “greening” the country, but of course to date we haven’t even heard mention of such plans.  What Roosevelt did was set up his famous WPA, Works Progress Administration which added 8,000,000 jobs during it’s existence from 1935 to 1943.  Using only $7,000,000,000 rather than the $700,000,000,000 of current TARP funds (yes, I am aware of inflation) that program effectively brought America even further into the 20th century and modernized much of the country and began to connect the far rural places with some of the modern conveniences of technology.  Given that there are still pockets in this country that don’t have a DSL hookup and they’re still operating on dial-up, in 2009, that’s the equivalent of not having electricity or a telephone in the 1950s; not the end of the world, but it most certainly doesn’t help a situation.

Also given that following the bridge collapse in the Twin Cities over the Mississippi River, it’s quite apparent that our infrastructure in this country needs to be addressed before it’s too late.  So wouldn’t it make sense if federal money went to create jobs in a civilian corps similar to the WPA and the various other “alphabet soup” programs established under the New Deal?

Of course not, this is Obama we’re talking about.

To be frank, it does seem like he’s taken on a bit more than he can chew.  So he signed an order to “close” Guantanamo Bay detention center within.  It’s my understanding that prisoners are still present on that end of the island as we speak and that given the Senate vote on funding to release prisoners, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Not to mention that him trying to address health care has seemed to prove that Obama may actually have a glass jaw–he’s unable to take a hit and thereby he positions himself where he really doesn’t have to.

I really wish Obama would find some intestinal fortitude and quickly.

I’m not saying that he necessarily needs to pull a Barney Frank and call his critics veritable dining room tables, but at minimum (and I’d never thought I be saying this either) take a George W. Bush standpoint and just fire back with a “so what” to all of his critics.  Or my personal favorite “fall back.”  Or even if you could get like Dick Cheney who made his friend apologize when he shot him.

That’s just classic on so many levels.

I just always imagined Obama being like Ludacris in “Stand Up” just being able to have this big ole exaggerated shoe and just putting his foot down and telling everyone, in the words of AverageBro “get down or lay down.”

What’s your current approval of Obama as of today?  Do you think he could have handled something’s differently?  Is he held to a different standard simply because he campaigned on so many issues but has yet to deliver a decisive blow on any of them?  OR is it still too early to tell?  What would be the make or break point for Obama?

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

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9 thoughts on “Where Obama Made A Mistake

  1. Good post.

    Ted Kennedy died several hours ago. Health Care Reform with a strong public option (single payer?) was a change that he is said to vocally support.

    President Obama will do what he has to do to get the Health Care (Insurance) Reform with a public option.

    Change happens. Uppity is.

  2. This might be a tad OT, but it is important that we acknowledge that freeper christians walk among us AND they reproduce and they vote.

    Please watch this Young Turks video clip about praying for the death of President Obama. It involves and guns and assault rifles at town halls.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fBRglimkgo (link to a “Young Turks” episode that includes an audio clip of the sermon.

    Have some of us actually ‘gone crazy and homicidal for God’?

  3. It seems that hate is contagious and free will works less well when we consciously choose to love others as we love ourselves.

  4. I think everybody needs to take a deep breath. The condition we’re in was years in the making yet we expect the president to be a wizard, wave a wand, and make it all better in a few months.

    The real question will be raised a year from now when measuring the progress/impact of infrastructure investments or stimulus spending. Another mark of progress will be when we figure out what “success” looks like in Afghanistan so we can get the heck outta there.

    Even then that will only mark 18 months or so out of four years.

    It’s fine to raise the questions, but I am concerned that the fair weather crowd will disable an administration that seems to be focused on solving some long-term and thorny questions for our society.

  5. Something about Lincoln always felt kinda funny to me. After a trip to the African Civil War Museum in Wash D.C. I was able to put two and two togther. I think Obama is a nice guy and he means well. His style is a very loose style that’s different than what we are use to. The last Presidents in office were tough talkers. Even Billy Clint had Hillary to talk greasy if need be. I’m hoping Obama is playing possum. And is going to come out swinging on folks. I hope….

  6. FDR’s programs did not fix the depression; WWII did. If Obama wanted to follow the lead of a great Democrat, he should have chosen either JFK or Truman. Obama’s biggest burden happens to be his supporters, which will always be his crux until he exerts real courage to stand up to philosophies with which most Americans, contrary to the mainstream media’s propaganda, do not ascribe. If Obama is truly aligned with these left-to-far-left of center ideals, he is doomed.

    • @ adinasi

      Well, FDR’s programs didn’t exactly add to the Depression either. I mean, the adding of jobs however you view it should always be viewed as a positive. But yes, by all accounts America NEEDED to get involved in WWII or else…well, who the hell knows how it would have panned out.

  7. FDR’s programs did a lot for this country and gave the people something positive to do. This may have been a segue into the civilians having an active role in WWII. In the last few wars that we have had, the civilians have not had much if any role to play. In some cases they haven’t been allowed if they wanted to. It creates an us vs. them mentality. George H.W. Bush may have been hoping to boost the economy with his Desert Shield/Desert Storm, but the whole public wasn’t involved. Now we have two wars with the basic building blocks of our economy pretty much completely detached from it.

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