Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Paradox of Obama

Obama took over a country in need of a leader, in need of someone strong and forceful, but also calm and collected, an intelligent warrior if you will. He needed to be strong enough to push through what needed to be done, regardless of how the people felt. When a similar problem was rearing it's head, George HW Bush (Bush the first) broke a campaign promise and raised taxes, because it was the right thing for the country and showed true leadership, even though it cost him a second term. Obama didn't need to worry about that, he's a democrat; We don't punish our leaders for doing the right thing.

But therein lies the problem. With a country in crisis and in need of leader, his entire political opposition stood together, not to help him rebuild our shattered nation or to add their own ideas to the mix, but with their sole agenda being to tear him down, to stop him. It didn't matter to them if the nation suffered while they pursued their agenda. And for it, they were rewarded by the people who booed John McCain when he defended Obama, who bring rifles to town halls, to shout about rebellion against the democratically elected president.

The Tea Party was built on these people and the fact that they have political clout has me terrified. As I said, nothing at all will get done these next two years, no significant bills passed or changes made, nothing to help fix the country. They have already promised that Obama's budget is "dead on arrival" regardless of what it contains. That screams to me everything wrong with the movement and the politicians it put into office. "It doesn't matter what he does, so long as it's him doing it, I'll vote against it." These are the men and women this election swept into office.

This is the paradox. He could be too forceful, or risk offending these people but he needed to be forceful to get anything done. He wanted to work with them, to have them help him rebuild this nation. He didn't know that simply what he is, what race he is, meant that there was always going to be a contingent that would never go along with him, no matter how logical or forceful he was. Sometimes I wonder, when I watch him on TV, if he's afraid that if he pushes too hard some idiots will attack him or try to start off a rebellion. There were two assassination attempts foiled before the election was even over; Did that effect his decision making?

Now it appears he wasn't forceful enough, as his power is greatly reduced, and it's unlikely anything will get accomplished now (though at least the upper class tax cuts will expire). In trying to keep from offending these people, he lost his chance to do some good.

It's times like these that I ask myself that immortal question:

What would Horatio Alger do in this situation?

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