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Enough TV

I’ve had trouble liking President Obama since before he was elected. I’ll admit to not voting for him, though writing in McCain without Palin on my ballot probably didn’t get my vote counted anywhere.

This article from Newsweek by Howard Fineman lays out the things about Obama that I find troubling. This isn’t a conservative v. liberal thing for me personally.

He did it again in that U.N. speech. The delegates wanted to know what the president was going to do about Israel and the Palestinian territories. He answered by telling them what his predecessor had failed to do. This was effective for his first month or two. Now it is starting to sound more like an excuse than an explanation

This is a choice paragraph that sums what Fineman is explaining in his article. Now this isn’t me jumping on some Fineman bandwagon but I do agree with his opinion.

There is a lack of content to Obama’s presidency. True, we’ve only been at this for a few months now but still. I’ve always felt that Obama was more style than substance. I would like to see him make some change, of any kind, just to see that he’s doing something.

However, for now, that isn’t happening. Here’s to hoping some more.

  1. C.T. Behemoth says:

    I agree, Bush is but one link of the chain.

    Yeah to that other stuff you wrote too.

  2. Vincent says:

    The problem is that it’s all too convenient to make the beginning of the Bush Administration the “cut-off” date.

    Sure, Obama has a lot on his plate. Much of that, as you note, is of his own doing (see: health care reform). Some is “inherited” (Iraq, the economy).

    But the real question is… so what?

    Every President “inherits” problems from the previous administration(s). Bush got the dot com burst and 9/11, which, it can be argued, had a lot to do with the Clinton Administration’s inability to effectively deal with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

    While Bush certainly made the decision to invade Iraq, the “Iraq question” had been festering since the end of the Gulf War, when the decision was made to leave Saddam Hussein in power. Bill Clinton got to deal with the fallout from that during all the sanctions controversy and the attacks on warplanes patrolling the “No-Fly Zones”.

    That’s what’s so irksome about the President’s habit of reflexively blaming his predecessor and ensuring everyone knows he “inherited” those problems that he didn’t manufacture himself — they’re essentially a smokescreen, a way of deflecting criticism onto an unpopular ex-President who’s stayed pretty much completely out of the public eye since he left office.

    Like Fineman says, that only works for so long. Obama’s dealing with a lot, but it’s not unprecedented in any way. It’s tempting for people to break American history into these convenient epochs that are defined by whoever happens to be in the Oval Office at the time (and people have been especially eager to make sure everyone knows we’re living in a “new era” in America now that Barack Obama is President), but the simple fact is that historical events usually don’t break down into discrete, four-year chunks that neatly begin and end on January 20th.

  3. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Come now…no need to ignore the Bush legacy. Obama’s administration has been saddled with a lot of different yet very important issues to deal with. Even if it was President Z in the White House, I can’t think of an administration that has had as much on its plate since this one.

    Whatever happens, if I remember correctly, Obama has said he owns. However, his decisions aren’t exactly happening in a vacuum on this shit.

    I think he has taken on too much and in doing so, can’t point to much progress overall. Having said that, the Wall Street Journal’s take on how the stimulus has helped the economy improve was illustrative of some good decisions.

  4. Vincent says:

    Well, according to the President, he “inherited” every problem he’s facing, so whatever happens, it’s Bush’s fault.

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