The Left

Obama: The Punching Bag


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Are we being a little hard on our President?

I think we forget how little power the President has. Without a congress to support you, without a full team the supposedly most powerful leader of the free world is nothing more than a global punching bag.

People harshly criticize Obama for everything and anything, (Oh great, it's raining again! Damn Obama!) but really in such a short time has he really done anything that horrific? A bank bailout, an auto bailout, and an imperfect, but nevertheless necessary step forward toward creating a healthcare bill. He eliminated water-boarding and still oversaw the capture of Bin Laden, and is withdrawing troops from the uncannily expensive Iraq disaster. He gave tax cuts, yes to the wealthy, but to the middle-class as well. In a standoff where he could have threatened to veto any tax cuts, he opted for the high road and allowed Republicans do the dirty work of showing Americans just what services they want to cut instead of always being the big bad "tax and spend liberal." So the wealthiest got their big breaks, but he wasn't going to hurt those that really need that extra cash to prove a point.

So the healthcare seems to be the one that angers conservatives -- It will need revisions over time, but we passed something and some of those conditions are life saving. Who doesn't want health insurance companies to be required to accept patients with pre-existing conditions? "Pre-existing conditions? Let em' die, I want my premiums low." It's easy to be greedy when you're not the one that's sick.

I'm not saying we shouldn't critique or hold leaders accountable. I wished Obama would have fought more, and been stronger in some of these battles against Republicans. I feel he has tried to be reasonable and find a middle-ground with what has become an increasingly unreasonable party. The politicization of the debt ceiling to me proved more than anything an incredible reckless, and uncooperative party, unwilling to even slightly budge in fairly spreading some of the painful cuts our nation is now faced with. Instead we saddle it up on the backs of the lower and middle-class, and while the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, it's about percentages, and very small ones. Tiny increases mean huge gains when it comes to keeping America's infrastructure great, and if America has treated you well what's wrong with tipping the dealer? You do it at the casino, and in some ways isn't this country really just a big casino of sorts? In this area of cooperating with an uncooperative party, Obama has failed to fully utilize the position he is in. While he may have his hands tied from a legislative standpoint, he has a voice. He can call on and rally Americans.

Especially now with the chaos of the Occupy Wall St. protests, and Tea Party movements, and just lot's of angry people running around in masks and hats and what not, I really wish Obama would take a chance and go back to what got him elected in the first place. Stop playing it safe. Take a chance. Shut down Gitmo. Tell America the Republican economic plan is Sh*t and use that word and capitalize it like I just did. Be bold. That's what we want. We want real. Where Bush was a little too real, Obama is too fake. Where's that middle-ground?

That being said, I think people need to take into account where we are and that we're in a severe gridlock and this coming election we have a huge choice to make. We can be impatient and go with a Romney or Cain or Gingrich, and see those Bush policies that worked so well come back again in full-swing, or stick to the guy that inspired us at least initially and see things out. But more, importantly we must sync that Presidency with a congress that will cooperate with him. We need to stop acting like our Presidents are kings and bear in mind that politics in America is a complex machine filled with many cranks and levers. Progress doesn't spew out in a 9-9-9 proposal that sounds like a tasty plan for getting a good deal on pizza, it comes in the form of demanding that our politicians work with each other. Instead of rewarding them for sticking to their guns all the time, let's reward them for showing they can actually be reasonable people. I think it's time to punch some new bags.

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Updated May 6, 2017 6:00 AM EDT | More details

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