The Obama Conundrum…


But at the end of the day we couldn’t.

I voted for President Obama in both elections. I like the man. I believe he is genuine and his heart is in the right place.

But at the end of the day, his presidency is a failure on many levels. Not the least of which are the broken promises. The promises of change. The inspired campaign speeches that rallied a post-Bush nation.

Very little of it came to pass.

Mr. Obama’s tears discussing Sandy Hook during his Executive Action announcement on gun control were moving and no doubt heartfelt. But they represent everything that was wrong with his administration. Too little. Too late.

True gun reform is within reach, if the deal maker’s in Washington are willing to make the political sacrifices necessary. A reasonable compromise can be struck between the second amendment and those demanding a ban on all weapons. I won’t bore you with the details, but it can be done.

My point is that, yet again, President Obama’s actions in this area are weak and ineffective. Certainly not the actions of Candidate Obama. Not the president I voted for.

The president I voted for would not allow the egregious violation of civil right this administration has displayed. The unprecedented intimidation of journalists and whistle-blower’s by this Justice Department is truly stunning. Certainly not what I expected from this president nor what was promised.

The lack of foresight and action on the Ukraine and Syria demonstrate just two of the administrations catastrophic foreign policy blunders. Don’t even get me started on their complete lack of leadership in dealing with the despot Netanyahu and how our relationship with that failed government has threatened our national security.

At the end of the day, there were some wins. The economy, jobs, and most notably the Affordable Care Act. But if these wins came at the price of the aforementioned disasters, they were certainly not worth it in my estimation.

Here’s what really scares me: I believe in Obama the man. I believe he is decent and truly wanted to do the right thing. But he was clearly outmatched politically. And this doesn’t bode well for any idealistic outsider running for our highest office.

It appears that the entrenched/corrupt insiders (read Hilary) will be the only liberals able to affect change, albeit within the framework of the current plutocracy.

I would love to sit down with Mr. Obama someday and ask him what happened. How did his grand vision come apart. Alas, I don’t think we will ever know…





About Conversations With The Moon

Divorced father of two amazing young adults. College student, plodding away at a liberal arts degree. Formerly a Fire Captain and Paramedic. Dabbler in fashion. Liberal. Believer in Karma. View all posts by Conversations With The Moon

13 responses to “The Obama Conundrum…

  • kingmidget

    This is something I struggle with regularly when considering Obama and whether he was successful or not. How much of his “failures” are attributable to him and how much are they attributable to the unwillingness of his Republican opposition to engage in the simple act of governing, rather than opposing him.

    Similarly, I think a couple of the examples you cite of his “failures” are debatable. You mention Syria and the Ukraine — what I have never heard from anybody who objects to his approach is what the solution to those problems should have been. The simple reality to me is that there are many problems in the world that are intractable and unsolvable and Obama has actually shown some intelligence and laudable restraint by his refusal to get sucked into every single problem out there and throw resources at it. So, I ask you … what should he have done in Syria or the Ukraine.

    My biggest issue with him is that it seemed that he threw in the towel almost immediately on trying to cross the partisan divide in this country. On the other hand, I can also see that many of his initial proposals were original Republican and as soon as he adopted them as his own, they opposed him … so, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered what he did.

    It’s a tough issue. He is far from perfect, but I don’t think perfect would have got him and this country much further down the road in light of the united and pathological opposition of the Republican Party.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      Agree wholeheartedly regarding the role the Republican party played in his legacy. With regard to Ukraine and Syria, I too feel that he showed appropriate restraint in throwing resources at these issues however the political reality is that “something” needed to be done. Whether it be concrete or simply window dressing, I believe his apparent complete inaction contributed substantially to the negative outcomes we see in both situations. As a skilled orator and what I believed to be skilled politico, he let me down one too many times.

      • kingmidget

        I think that’s where we part ways — far too many times we create greater problems by the perceived need to do “something.” The Middle East has been simmering for decades. There’s a point at which our “power” simply cannot keep the lid on.

      • Conversations With The Moon

        Not sure we are too far off on this. Just our definition’s of “something”. Oftentimes it is completely appropriate and mature to do “nothing”. But when doing so, you must do “something” by explaining to your constituency why you are not engaging. Sell it. Let us know WHY not engaging is the proper course of action and exactly why. In the absence of these explanations, it makes us look, in my opinion, weak and indecisive. And that is an invitation for regimes that would harm us to take action. At the end of the day, it may not change their course, but I’d at least like to know why we didn’t do something. Forcefully. That was my point; as murky as it may have seemed. 🙂

      • kingmidget

        And with that explanation, we are in complete agreement. Obama has not done a good job of using the bully pulpit of the Presidency to sell his decisions.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      And by the way, I wasn’t asking for perfection from him. Simply some follow-through on the campaign promises made. Maybe that’s too much to ask in this day and age…

      • kingmidget

        I think the problem was that he made some campaign promises that were far too grand to ever be possible even with a compliant Republican Party. A classic case of over-promising and under-delivering. I mean, seriously, roll back the oceans? End partisanship? It all sounded great and I’m an idealist, but at the end of the day many of the things he “promised” were never going to happen. And that is his fault — getting swept up in the grandiosity of being the first Black President and thinking that would make a difference.

      • Conversations With The Moon

        So to my original question, how does this bode for a candidate like Bernie Sanders (whom I support)? Does he have more political experience/chops than Obama or is he just another idealist who will be crushed by the machine?

      • kingmidget

        I’m a Sanders fan as well and share your concerns but I’m still going to vote for him when the campaign finally gets to California. Ever since 1992, the Republican Party has demonstrated it is completely unwilling to work with a Democratic President. I refuse to let their obstinacy and idiocy get in the way of who I believe is the best person for the job. Bernie’s focus on economic inequality and the corruption of the political system needs to be at the forefront and hammered away at every single day until real change comes. I’ll vote for him because of that even if I doubt he’d be able to get much done in the face of Republican intransigence.

      • Conversations With The Moon

        Agreed. Now we just need to work on campaign finance reform and a host of other issues to swing the pendulum back to something that looks more like a democracy…

      • kingmidget

        Yep. It’s getting tiresome watching both parties continue with a system that favors the uber-wealthy at the expense of everybody else. And continue with a political system that is completely broken.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      And one final clarification, although I think you know I’m no fan of the Republican party. I agree with you that ultimately, the Republicans were primarily and wholly responsible for the dysfunction during Obama’s presidency. One only needs to look at their current presidential front-runner as proof of their idiocy and chaos. I would have liked to have seen more strength from the President in dealing with these children. I think he was too fearful, too often and let the other side gain traction when taking a stand would have been not only the right thing to do, but politically advantageous. I don’t think we are alone in our admiration of the man. I think he underestimated the support he had from voters like us.

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