For the First Time In A Long Time, I Find Myself Extremely Disappointed In President Obama

president-obama-upsetI’ll be the first to admit that President Obama isn’t perfect. Then again, who is? History shows us that presidents are most popular during their first few weeks in office, because voters tend to have unrealistic expectations of what they can or cannot do. That’s something that I believe President Obama clearly faced.

As our nation’s first African-American president, following one of the worst presidents in modern U.S. history, with the promise of a lot of “hope and change” I knew before he even won the election in 2008 that far too many Americans had expectations for him that he’d never be able to reach.

That’s exactly how it played out. I can’t count how many times I’ve encountered a liberal who’s “disappointed” in this president because he wasn’t able to do something that he didn’t have the power to unilaterally do, or the Congress willing to give him the ability to do it. When many liberals sat out the 2010 elections allowing Republicans to take control of the House, that put an end to anything truly monumental President Obama could have done. So, in reality, many of his “disappointments” fall on those who failed him when it came to making sure he had a Congress that would work with him. Not that I’m saying all of his flaws fall into this category, but many of them do.

Overall, I’ve legitimately been a big fan of this president. I think given what he inherited, and what he’s had to deal with (most notably Republicans trying to sabotage his presidency), he’s done a remarkable job. Not flawless, but no president ever will be.

But I must say, for the first time since he was elected in 2008, I’ve really questioned his decision and motives on an issue. When it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, and the push for the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would streamline the process of signing these deals, something doesn’t seem right about any this.

I’m looking at this issue where people I trust a lot – Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders – have both come out and questioned the impact this might have on American workers. It’s not that they’ve called President Obama an outright liar, they’ve just said that the American people deserve to see what’s in this deal – and I wholeheartedly agree. But, so far, the details have remained fairly murky – almost by design – as to what all of this really means for the American people.

This whole issue has even led to a bit of a public back and forth spat between Senator Warren and the president. And while it’s passed in the Senate (with a lot of Democratic opposition), it still faces hurdles in the House.

But what really has me worried about the TPA isn’t so much that President Obama supports it, it’s that House Speaker John Boehner has been almost obsessed about getting it passed. His Twitter account is loaded with tweets obsessing over how “great” this will be for American jobs and how this will hold President Obama accountable.

So, let me try to understand all of this. President Obama supports the TPA because he says it’s good for Americans and our economy, but Boehner supports it because it’ll help hold the president accountable and will create jobs?

Something just doesn’t seem right about any of this.

These are two men who essentially agree on nothing. Not only that, but it’s extremely suspicious to see Republicans supporting something that would give President Obama (or any president for that matter) even more power than they already have. Especially considering how one of their big “go-to” talking points for years has been how President Obama is “unconstitutional” and abuses his power.

And the way Boehner is acting about the TPA is the same way he seems to act when it comes to lying about the Affordable Care Act, spending and practically everything else about which he constantly lies. Being that I’m a firm believer in patterns, when someone like Boehner is this insistent about something – especially when it seems to follow his usual pattern of dishonesty – I tend to see it as something that’s going to be really bad for Americans.

That leaves me at the paradox in which I currently find myself. Do I trust President Obama? Yes, I do. Do I trust John Boehner? Hell no. Do I trust Republicans? See my answer for Boehner. But do I trust Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders? Absolutely.

So, as much as it pains me to say it, when it comes to the TPP and the TPA, I’m standing against President Obama. Because at the end of the day, as much as I am a supporter of his, when I see many of the Republicans I distrust with just about every ounce of my being pushing so heavily for something opposed by many of the Democrats I trust most – that’s just not something I can get behind.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Johns.Opinion

    Take your emotions out of it. Deals are make all the time. You may not agree with this issue. So what, do you agree with everyone you know on issues. Go cry elsewhere. That’s politics.

    • Shadow Diver

      Bloggers tip: You might want to check into a first grade English class. I won’t call you a moron, as you have made that issue clear, on your own.

  • Michael Siever

    The Republicans want Obama to pass it, so jobs can be outsourced in droves, and a Democrat will be in the proverbial driver’s seat (the Oval Office) when it happens. They want use that as an election issue, which need I remind you, is now less than 17 months away. If it passes, I can already see the attack ads, “A Democratic President passed one of the biggest job-killing trade deals while America was still in the middle of economic recovery. It’s time for a change. Vote *Whoever the Republican presidential candidate is* into the White House.” Hopefully, Obama’s playing reverse psychology on the remaining House and Senate Democrats to help them grow spines, so they can look strong in time for the November elections next year.

  • Ken R4th (Lemming Intern)

    It’s a work in progress. Republicans like it because it will provide protections from piracy for American corporate intellectual property, which means big bucks. Also, because it will facilitate trade, which is worth lots of money. If the Republican Party got in the way of TPP, they’d catch hell from their business supporters, whose backing is still highly important to Republicans.

    Democrats that support either have major ports in their districts or states, or big intellectual property employers (Disney, anyone?) to protect.

    Overall, it is important because it keeps the U.S. as the center of trade in a rapidly expanding commercial region. It will be a disaster for business if we don’t get TPP, and China starts setting up individual deals with Pacific Rim countries, one-by-one, on China’s terms. TPP will create a trade bloc that will force China to negotiate within an existing trade framework. China, BTW, is NOT a TPP partner.

    You can’t read the details because they aren’t finished negotiating yet. You don’t get to read an athlete’s contract while he is negotiating either. Fast track is traditionally how big deals get made. It lets our partners know that the U.S. is negotiating in good faith, and won’t be changing the agreement after its partners have made serious (and sometimes unpopular) commitments.

    Losers in this deal will be declining industries, protectionist efforts (requiring GMO labeling on food will likely face obstacles, since there is no evidence of any problems with GMO food), and counterfeit goods producers.

    I don’t think Labor will suffer much from this agreement, because Business already has pretty much everything it needs (including tax credits for outsourcing) to ship jobs out of the country at present.

  • Brian_pdx

    Be nice to read the damn deal before making up one’s mind. I do hope means to stop currency manipulation is in the deal but reportedly it is not. Difficult issue as a trust Obama, Sanders and Warren and wouldn’t trust a republicon with a spoon in an outhouse.