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.
This 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