I voted for Barack Obama both times. I also voted for him in the 2008 primary in Florida, even though we were told our vote wouldn’t count due to the state moving up the primary. I’ll even admit, I got a little verklempt when the results were announced on the night of the elections, both in 2008 and 2012.
I’m not an Obama apologist or a hard leftist “Firebagger“as anyone who regularly reads my Facebook page “Whiskey and The Morning After Blog” has already figured out. However, when considering the alternatives we’ve continually seen paraded out by the GOP, it’s not hard to see we made the best choice.
I have plenty of bones to pick with the President but we have to remember that we operate in a democratic republic, not a dictatorship. There’s give and take, compromise, and a whole lot of political hostage taking as evidenced in a number of bills he’s had to sign.
Remember how Republicans mocked the woman in this Youtube video as proof that people only voted for Obama for a free car and for him to pay their bills? In a way, some of us are kind of guilty of that. Overall, I don’t think any sane members of the coalition who put him in office voted for him because we wanted free stuff but there’s been a lot of unrealistic expectations nonetheless.
Whether it was the provision snuck into the latest budget bill by Senator Roy Blunt which was quickly dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by wacky websites like Natural News, or the failure to close Guantanamo Bay, or the use of drones, people complained bitterly and blamed him as if he was directly responsible.
To a certain extent, he does deserve some blame. All politicians should be criticized when they don’t do what is expected of them, regardless of what party they belong to.
We do need to be realistic here though. President Obama is just one part of the government. Sadly, a lot of people still don’t realize that there are three branches of government–it’s not just the Executive Branch. He hasn’t had a solid majority in the Senate to be filibuster-proof, and we’ve seen firsthand how the filibuster can shut down government. And as far as the House goes, we gave that back to the most insane, religious right clownshow the GOP could muster up in 2010, because some of us sat back on our heels and figured we’d won the battle by electing Obama in 2008. He only had a majority in the House for a short period, and even then the Senate was only his until Senator Byrd died.
To use a car analogy, if the engine (the Senate) is only running on less than 60% of the cylinders and the tires (the House) are dysfunctional, you as the driver (President Obama) can try to steer it all you want but you’re not going to be able to go very far.
Here’s the point–He’s only one guy. You know who has the power to affect change? You do as a voter, as a citizen of the greatest nation on the globe at this point in time. You can kvetch and moan all you want about him not being able to do everything you expected, or you can get off your ass, organize and do something about it. It’s a nice feeling to sign petition after petition but when you aren’t doing much else other than sitting in the backseat saying “are we there yet, are we there yet?”–that’s not going to bring us the change we need.
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