POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Hillary might have been a fine President … but so is the one we have … Who among the Democrats doesn’t think he is a better President than anyone the Republicans are considering? We should not sabotage our President and destroy our 2012 chances just because he has not done everything we might have wished. No one ever does.

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 9, 2011

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 Leslie Bennett writes for The Daily Beast (8/9/11) …

  • At a New York political event last week, Republican and Democratic office-holders were all bemoaning President Obama’s handling of the debt-ceiling crisis
    • “Hillary would have been a better president.”
    • “Obama never understood about the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy,’”
    • “Hillary is tougher.”
  • During the last few days, the whispers have swelled to an angry chorus of frustration about Obama’s perceived weaknesses.
  • Many Democrats are furious and heartbroken at how ineffectual he seemed in dealing with Republican opponents over the debt ceiling, and liberals are particularly incensed by what they see as his capitulation to conservatives on fundamental liberal principles.

read the entire article at … http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/07/hillary-clinton-2012-calls-grow-with-anger-at-obama-debt-capitulation.html?om_rid=Nsjkcc&om_mid=_BOQDgOB8coIc1J

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LMW COMMENT …

There’s a lot of this kind of talk these days, but I am not ready to walk away from President Obama (even though I did support Hillary in the 2008 primaries).

Obama walked into the worst situation handed to a new president in recent memory (Lincoln comes to mind as a comparison). Bush’s two wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, and naive failure to regulate what was going on on Wall Street and in the mortgage industry left America in a deficit financial condition and facing what threatened to become a 1930s type Depression.

  • Obama successfully led the steps needed to avoid a Depression.
  • He took steps to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan as responsibly as possible.
  • He pushed and passed comprehensive health care insurance to cover all Americans, an achievement which had eluded many previous presidents (and which was Hillary Clinton’s biggest failure).
  • He directed the killing of Osama bin Laden, a task at which Bush had failed miserably.

The 2009 stimulus plan was as big as Obama could get through Congress, and it was not big enough. But it was too big for Republicans who want to reduce/eliminate as much government as possible.

It is true that neither Obama nor the Democrats in Congress used their power effectively after the healthcare plan passed. It was like they ran out of energy. Opportunities were lost. From where I sit, I would have liked Obama to be more aggressive.

But I am not sitting in the White House. It always looks easier than it is. Government is the art of the possible. Compromise is needed to get anything done, especially when the wings of both parties are so incredibly far apart and it seems no one dares to come near the center. I think Obama has not done so badly. Not as well as even he would have wished, but maybe as well as could be done, given the circumstances.

Then the elections of 2010 changed everything. Tea Party Republicans came to Washington intent on voting “no” to everything, and showing a willingness to destroy America’s credit in the debt ceiling debacle, regardless of the consequences. These “know nothings” would not listen to reason, even from their own party leadership. The debt ceiling negotiations were an embarrassment for everyone involved, and for our country. We will pay a fierce price for the Tea party/Republican stupidity, which will make Obama’s job even more difficult.

I agree with those who are hoping – pleading – that Obama become much more aggressive. It’s time (past time) to take off the gloves and fight. If he does, I think he can still accomplish much in this term, and get re-elected in 2012. If not, it will be heartbreaking.

But in either case, Barack Obama will be the Democratic candidate in 2012. Who among the Democrats doesn’t think he is a better President than anyone the Republicans are considering? We should not sabotage our President and destroy our 2012 chances just because he has not done everything we might have wished. No one ever does.

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