Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Thursday, November 05, 2009

HuffPost Readers Judge Obama's Presidency

One year after Obama was elected president, the Huffington Post asked its readers to compare Obama as  candidate to Obama as President. "Has he lived up to his promises and stayed true to his convictions?"

Hundreds of people responded, "with the majority defending Obama's measured governing style that has left others longing for the bold concvictions that defined the campaign."

Criticisms include:

I canvassed and campaigned heavily for Obama here in New Mexico and he has let down progressives. Where is the temerity we saw when he campaigned?

Readers cited the health care reform bill as a let-down - a windfall for private insurers at the end of the day.

It isn't just about what's not been accomplished. It's his positions on the issues that are troubling. Too much support of Bush policies.

Obama could have pushed for accountability, investigations into lawlessness, and repealed executive orders. The notion that he hasn't had enough time to get to these things would only hold water if he were not already actively embracing these very things.

Everything he does is a compromise, designed to keep as many people happy as possible, rather than do what he was elected to do.

More positive:

Give a guy time to fail. The left and the right seem one and the same in their inability to be satisfied with a president who is from the left.

The president is about the same as he was during the election -- a left-centrist pragmatist who operates with a penchant for consensus.

Granted some of the decisions have been more than disappointing -- but that does not mean Obama won't deliver eventually. By the same token it doesn't mean he will either.

The president's restrained approach is ultimately an encouraging trait for the leader of "a nation that prefers passion to reason," writes Jazzcomedian. "Since 1968 we've elected a crook (Nixon), a politically incompetent humanitarian (Carter), an amiable dunce (Reagan), a mediocre patrician (Bush 41), a gifted, good hearted philanderer (Clinton), and the trifecta, a neo-con, amiable, dunce (Bush 43). Now we have President Obama who I view as intelligent, hardworking, and pragmatic with a genuine interest in the working and middle class."

Now it's my turn to grade the performance of the American people:

They do not understand the difference between campaigning and governing.

They do not appreciate the complexities of diplomacy.

They possess an all-encompassing need for instant gratification.

Like sports fans everywhere, there is no room for loss.

Even though they support the president, they forget that opposition exists.

Everybody forgets that this is a democracy and the majority rules.

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