Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So How is The President Doing?

Alright, I'm going to break my centrist tendencies for this one post. The next presidential election is actually starting to heat up. The primaries are pretty close now and I no longer feel like punching someone for mentioning the Republican race. The truth is I'm on the fence about Obama. Don't get me wrong I think he's an alright prez, but as long as the republicans don't elect someone with all out crazy ideas... like returning to the gold standard I'm waiting in the wings. I'm a lefty and as such I'm somewhat disappointed in Mr. Obama's presidency. Let's face it who wins the race isn't going to be so much about a Republican plan as much as it will be a mandate on how the American people feel about the job Obama is doing, so here my list of the top good things and bad things about his presidency. Since I'm a negative Nancy let's start with the bad.

Note: The jury is still out on how he handled Libya, Egypt and the Arab Spring so I'm not touching them with a ten foot poll. Same goes for the draw-down of troops in Iraq.

The Bad

5. Lack of consequences regarding officials who ordered or participated in torture.

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One of the reasons why I actually supported Obama was his stance on torture. I saw many documentaries and photographs regarding torture and was appalled that the United States a country that holds the rule of law and the rights of the accused so dear would participate it.

People have died and lives have been ruined. There is something in me that says that justice is needed. That people, no that this country needs to be held accountable. Things like this should not be allowed to happen. Which leads me to.

4. Not Closing Guantanamo Bay

It was a campaign promise. A serious campaign promise that was broken. Gitmo was used as a loophole to allow the government to do whatever the hell it wanted to prisoners. Regardless of whether or not policies have changed or not it needs to close so that it can never again be used in such a manner. I am a hard liner on this I know.

3.Emasculation of Bank Reform

Oh, I remember '08. I remember I supported Tarp. I still do. My economics and journalism professors at the time would spend hours of class going over the worse case scenarios if congress failed to act. At one point I was told that if I went to an ATM on Monday the money might not be there.

But I also expected us to learn from that situation. I expected us to make sure that it would be illegal for banks to participate in the sort of speculation and derivatives that lead to the collapse of the housing market and the U.S. economy in general.

2. Congress' Failure to Pass a 2011 Budget in a Timely Fashion

The others were mostly just me being a lefty but this is about an abdication of basic governmental responsibilities. And I know that this was about congress but here is something that the republicans have a point on.

The president is suppose to be the leader. He is responsible for making sure, at least on a federal governmental level that everyone is doing their job. I don't care how combative congress is. Part of his job is to say, "thing x needs to get done so roll up your goddamn sleeves and get on it." This isn't a Democrat-Republican thing. This is a left-right thing. This isn't even a United States thing. This is a basic duty of any governmental body to figure out where the money is going to go thing.

And the only reason I can think of for not doing before it became a crisis was because everyone was too scared to take a position on the line items before an election where everyone is talking about government spending.

1.Health Care Reform

Yeah. Ignore the number here. I just wanted a cool segue. Anyway, I actually like the idea of overhauling healthcare. Jury's out on if it's good reform or not. That's not why it's on my list of ugly. No. It's on my list of ugly because all the craziness surrounding it represents a larger problem with his administration; the inability to explain to the American people what he's trying to do and fight misinformation. I don't care if you agree or disagree with the man, but I think these decisions need to at least be based on the truth, not some cockamamie email chain letter.

The Good Stuff

5. Healthcare Reform
Left or right you have to face facts. As it exists now and as it existed prior to the healthcare reform legislation, it didn't work. There all sorts of reasons why, but regardless it was a big elephant in the room because politicians knew that touching it was political suicide. As much as I hate to admit it I even have to give Bush some credit for trying it.

In truth I don't think what we have now will be the end of it and I don't think it should be, but at least now it's something people are talking about. Regardless of whether we went too far or not far enough it's something that's people are discussing.

4. Literally Killing Public Enemy #1

This is on my list for two reasons. First off the emotional and cathartic "We got him" feeling he gave the country" can't be taken away by any political opponent. At least I don't think.

Second of all it represents general a shift in U.S. policy regarding the war on terror. Rather than large sweeping campaigns we can secure ourselves through intelligence gathering, policing and precise targeted attacks.

3. Foreign Relations

Maybe it's just because I'm comparing him to his predecessor who was hated and considered toxic to many of his or rather our political allies.

Let's face it when I think of the people of U.K and their character Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the first in my mind of all that is British, well her and David Tennent.

I imagine it's the same with us. Yeah one of the jobs of any head of state is to be the metaphorical representative of their countrymen and their character to the rest of the world. And the rest of the world hated Bush and by extension the United States. Generally speaking at least from the news reports I listen to the international community is fond of Obama, if not always fond of what he says and does. In short he makes us look good. And I like looking good.

2.Credit Card Bill of Rights

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Who among us doesn't have a credit card. And who among us hasn't had some craptastic fee we didn't know about.

1. Declining to Defend the Defense of Marriage Act opposition to Don't Ask Don't Tell and General Support of Gay Rights

Okay. so didn't go as far as I wanted but hey, he's come around. I don't want to give a speech about how some of these policies were modern day discrimination and that spiel, but yeah.


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