For the mythical beginnings of a presidency, fully invested in the election rhetoric of “Hope and Change”, the current realities are far short of the promises. A massively increased deficit, an additional war (yes, I know, it’s not a war – it is a “kinetic military action“), and a highly polarized American public, are some of the things that have been changed, and the hope looks farther and farther away as his term in office rolls onward. Regular bouts of inaction, frequently follow up by mercurial rhetoric, have also become expected by this president. It’s almost as though at the exact times he should do nothing, he acts (usually wrongly), and at the times he should act, he does nothing.
Proof of the inaction-when-action should be the order? A few examples come to mind. First, when the Green Revolution in Iran tried to topple one of the world’s most threatening regimes, in the Middle East, that of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He could have decried the stolen election itself, or when the electoral opponents claimed widespread vote-fraud, the Iranian government’s violent crackdown. While protesters were marching in the streets, and shouting at any media that they could find, requesting assistance and aid from the United States or other western powers, our president did nothing. Perhaps he thought his presidency was too young to risk going to war to help a people struggling for some measure of freedom? Perhaps he was afraid of unintentionally helping nefarious elements hiding in the Iranian freedom movement? I doubt that was the case, since a year later, he was faced with a similar situation in Egypt. Again, the order of the day was nothing. Even the main stream media began to wonder if the president would even mention the ongoing plight of the thousands in Tahrir (“Liberation”) Square in Cairo. Eventually, he did speak, and strongly urged the despot-for-life, Hosni Mubarak to step down. No shots fired, and he can still take credit for “helping” the situation. Since, he has tried to open diplomatic channels with what appears to be the new Egyptian government, consisting of the Muslim Brotherhood, among others. Currently, while Syrians march, and face their own military’s live firing at them, the president is wholly silent on the escalating slaughter.
For whatever reason, his actions seem to come with either little point, or at a major expense of some sort. I suspect because of his formerly mentioned neglecting to act against a threat that may have been “tough”, he is now overcompensating. While previously arguing against military actions in Iraq and escalation in Afghanistan, he has opened a new war front in Libya, via NATO. As it stands, the world now faces a hardened and angry Muammar Gaddafi. He has already threatened to blow up Tripoli to spite our NATO allies. This entire military action required a complete “go around” of the United States Congress, but whatever – he’s trying to show the world he carries a big stick, I suppose. I doubt that casts him in a good light anywhere, especially in the Middle East.
I find it ironic that the little man in the Oval Office seems far more likely to use a heavy hand with his own people than against outside threats. You should remember his retort to American concerns about his spending, and the legislation happily passed by Congress, that he then signed – “We won”. This is the same president who had referred to the Republicans as the “party of no”. This is also the same guy who has rejected every plan that the Republican House has offered to try to rein in run-away spending. This is the same president who looks into a camera and claims to Americans that he is trying to negotiate “in good faith”. I for one do not buy it. I have seen far too much in this still young presidency, to take anything he says at face value. I caught a show this afternoon that raised the possibility of a Republican landslide in 2012. Most opinion polls show his approval ratings sliding downward consistently (if you do not count the bump he got for ordering a SEAL Team Six to take out public enemy number one, Osama Bin Laden). Senator Bernie Sanders has even raised the question of having someone primary the president. I am heartened to find out I am not the only one who sees this political neophyte and clueless organizer for what he is. At the same time I realize, we only have two more years of this incompetence, I think, we still have two more years of this incompetence!