Monday, August 31, 2009

President Obama's season of strife and war

I am sure there are a lot of benefits that President Obama gets to enjoy because he is president. However, right now, a person could not pay me enough to take his job.

The president always sits on the hot seat. Every candidate knows this when he or she runs for that office. Obama certainly knew that adversity would await him when he was winning last year.

I wonder if he thought it would get this severe though. Healthcare reform, a bumbling economy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many other issues have the American public restless.

Let's face it; I don't think many of our elected officials expected the firm push back they have gotten from citizens regarding healthcare reform.

I am sure they expected it to a certain degree. After all, this is why they tried to get it passed through Congress before the August recess. It is always a lot easier to deal with the public's fury after legislation has been passed and nothing can be done.

Of course, that is not exactly correct. Voters have the power to correct any misrepresentation they feel they have received from their elected officials. All it takes is a large turnout during the next election, which many Congressmen will likely face in 2010.

From a strictly political perspective, Democrats have really bungled healthcare reform. Until this issue, Republicans were having problems opposing the president on issues that grabbed the public's attention.

Well, they have a whopper of an issue now, and it will be interesting to see if they can exploit it enough to defeat Democrats next year. If Democrats do become vulnerable on this, it will be the first significant test of how strong the coat tails of President Obama are.

Obama's approval ratings are already slipping in the polls. If this continues, things could get iffy for all Democrats next year.

Internationally, the wars continue. America's involvement in the Iraqi conflict is winding down somewhat, but do not expect that to be the case in Afghanistan. The president has committed us there for the long term.

Though Americans with short memories may question why we are committing so much effort to Afghanistan, it is really important. If we do not, the country will fall back into the hands of the Taliban, and the country will be as it was before the 2001 terrorist attacks in America.

Afghanistan would go right back to being a safe haven for terrorists to train and devise plans to attack their foes. In a sense, we would be back at square one when it comes to the war on terror.

While Obama has gotten some static from the far left wing of his party on this, his stance on this should come as no surprise. During last year's campaign, he said that there should have been more of an emphasis on Afghanistan all along in comparison to Iraq.

I think a lot of Obama's supporters were so dead set on getting out of Iraq that they did not listen to what he was saying on Afghanistan. Then again, there are elements within his party that apparently feel that there are never any reasons to go to war. I hope none of those people ever get elected president.

The bottom line is America continues to face a lot of challenges.

I hope that all of us continue to play an active role in dealing with these challenges. Despite the criticism of some media outlets, political activism is an important element of any democracy.

If that goes away, then the powerbrokers will be unchecked.

1 comment:

Joltin' Django said...

I think a lot of Obama's supporters were so dead set on getting out of Iraq that they did not listen to what he was saying on Afghanistan.

Afhanistan is poised to be Obama's Vietnam ...