I Get It Now!

9 Nov

I think I finally understand, at least a bit, about the re-election of Barack Obama by those who say he promised hope and change, which they believe is still forthcoming.

For my money, he had four years to show us the hope and change and it did not happen. Why not try something else?

Yet, I had forgotten that the last two presidents got eight years. Bill Clinton, with his impeachment. George W. Bush with his unpopular two-front war. Seems like everyone gets a second chance now. Even Barack Obama, who seems to embody the possibility of “potential” without ever becoming “actual.”

Our younger generations prize fairness a lot. I believe many of them thought that, as long as he did not have a scandal and did not get trapped in his words on any occasion, the president should be given the benefit of the doubt and be returned to office. Remember, we have raised these kids on the lowered expectations of getting the crumbs left over once we baby boomers have already been at the table.

Not to imply that our president is a crumb!

Just saying that my generation tends to be more results oriented, willing to fire someone more quickly for not living up to the resume we were given. Our children and grandchildren tend to understand more about why people don’t always match their resumes, and to be more merciful when that happens.

Okay, I get that.

And also that nothing can happen these eight years that cannot be reversed later.

Even health care. Because, admit it, no one in America has yet read and comprehended all 2000
pages of that legislation. And some of it, like not making people uninsurable once they get sick, is only right, regardless of party affiliation.

So I am okay with the president getting another four years to try to work his magic. Then history will judge him, as it will all of us.

I would have preferred another outcome. I fear we are in for quite a ride, economically.

But, God is and always will be still on His throne. And no event on earth can change that!

Advertisements

2 Responses to “I Get It Now!”

  1. Jason Berger November 12, 2012 at 11:11 AM #

    I would say – No, you don’t get it. Not completely, anyway. But I do understand why you would say this.

    “[H]e had four years to show us the hope and change and it did not happen. Why not try something else?” This is a sound argument IF you are assuming that a) he did not have any opposition to his efforts to make changes and b) the “something else” is a valid approach to the desired “change.” But neither of these two is the case. Republican opposition was at a level that even seasoned political experts classified as “high” and more than a few as “unprecedented.” The list of bills that the Republicans in the House blocked and the Republicans in the Senate filibustered is extensive – and these weren’t just partisan bills but bills that most normal people would (and did) think were necessary and a good idea – bills like the 9/11 First Responders’ Health Care Bill, the Veterans’ Jobs Bill, and the Equal Pay Bill to name a few. Many of these bills were things that were supported, and, in some cases, proposed by Republicans just a few years ago. But now that they were being proposed by a Democratic President and legislature, Republicans were steadfast in their refusal to support them. Senator McConnell’s statement that the primary goal of the Republicans was to make Obama a one-term president resonated strongly with an electorate that is overwhelmingly in favor of compromise and productivity. No reasonable or realistic person expects the opposition party to just roll over and let the party in power do whatever it wants, but compromise is a necessary and vital component to functionality in government. But the loud cry from many conservatives, especially those in the Tea Party spectrum, is that compromise is a sign of weakness and anyone willing to consider it is a traitor to the cause that should be purged from office. The last few elections have seen several moderate Republicans defeated in primaries by those that are adamant about resisting compromise. It is telling that many of these have gone on to lose their elections or voted out after just one term (see Richard Murdock, Joe Walsh, Allen West, or any other of the Tea Party favorites that are now looking for work after Tuesday). And the “something else” that Romney offered was not much more than a return to the Bush policies that even many conservative economists admitted got us into this economic mess in the first place. Couple that with the fact that his numbers didn’t add up with his plans to reduce the deficit and increase military spending. After criticizing Obama for not fixing the economy in four years, Romney admitted his plan would take 8-10 years to fix the economy. And while Obama’s response to the economy might be less than stellar, returning to, or in some aspects doubling down on, the Bush policies that led to the current economy is the equivalent of a drunk driver putting his car in a ditch and then when the tow truck driver has trouble getting the car out, giving the keys back to the drunk and saying “I guess you would be better at this than I am.” When pressed for details about his economic plan, the Romney campaign refused to give them (“See us after the election” was a particularly bad response). This reflects either a) an arrogance that believed he didn’t need to give specifics and we should all just take him at his word, or b) a reticence to give the details because they knew they would be unpopular. This approach left the majority of voters with the mentality that the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

    “Yet, I had forgotten that the last two presidents got eight years. Bill Clinton, with his impeachment. George W. Bush with his unpopular two-front war. Seems like everyone gets a second chance now. Even Barack Obama, who seems to embody the possibility of ‘potential’ without ever becoming ‘actual’.” While Obama has earned the distinction of being only the second Democrat to be actually elected to two terms since Roosevelt, the idea that two terms is now the “fair” thing to do is rather silly. Clinton was running against Dole and even today nobody can explain how Dole even made sense. Bush, along with the idea that reelecting him was the “patriotic” thing to do, was running against Kerry and Kerry learned, as now Romney has, that flip-flopping is not something the electorate will easily forgive.

    “Our younger generations prize fairness a lot. I believe many of them thought that, as long as he did not have a scandal and did not get trapped in his words on any occasion, the president should be given the benefit of the doubt and be returned to office.” Assuming that he has been given the best possible effort and that his opponent is not a better alternative then yes, you are correct.

    “Remember, we have raised these kids on the lowered expectations of getting the crumbs left over once we baby boomers have already been at the table.” Oh boy! Trickle-down dinner!

    “Just saying that my generation tends to be more results oriented, willing to fire someone more quickly for not living up to the resume we were given. Our children and grandchildren tend to understand more about why people don’t always match their resumes, and to be more merciful when that happens.” The results-based evaluation is assuming that there was no opposition to affecting those results. It is one thing if the Republicans were standing off to the side saying “See, the President can’t take us through the door of economic recovery,” and a completely different thing for them to say the same thing while attempting to hold the door shut with all their might. This “preventing the President from acting and then blaming him for not acting” approach was one of the major factors that led to my disenfranchisement from the Republican Party. During the Debt Ceiling debate (which I am SO looking forward to again…not), the Tea Party et al made such a fuss about not raising it that S&P downgraded our credit – specifically citing the partisan hubbub in Washington as the reason. Republicans then turned around and started throwing out the phrase “The President got our credit downgraded!!!” as if they had nothing to do with it. They also justified their refusal to raise it because they did not want to “give the President a blank check to spend more money.” But this is absolutely not what the debt ceiling is. And worse, they KNEW that’s not what it was. They were deliberately attempting to mislead the American people about a very serious economic issue in order to score political points and thinking Americans were stupid enough not to notice. I noticed and I resented it.

    “And also that nothing can happen these eight years that cannot be reversed later.” Apparently you haven’t got the memo that we won’t be here later because Obama’s reelection means the end of America. The Religious Right is raving about it.

    • Mary Gardner Martin November 13, 2012 at 12:24 AM #

      Jason, as always, I appreciate your views. You are not me and I am not you, so we will probably always differ. But I appreciate that we can have respectful dialogue!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: