This article sums up Obama’s first 100 days rather well, but I will add my own opinion, highlighting the good and the bad.
First, the positives. Unfortunately, there are few:
- Killing 3 Somali pirates, putting one on trial, and freeing their American captive. Some would call this a no-brainer decision but Obama made the right decision nonetheless. Good for him. It sent the right message and hopefully that message will continue.
- More involvement in Latin America. This is our backyard and many politicians have ignored this area. I think that’s a mistake. Our influence must be apparent and must be constant. At least Obama appears headed in that direction, although his tactics are questionable.
- Wooing Arlen Specter. It’s about time this guy became a Democrat. He represents everything the grass roots people hate about Republicans. He switched to survive, but certainly Obama had a role in that and so I count it as a positive.
- Cutting spending in his cabinet. I had trouble counting this as a positive. After all, the money he’s talking about cutting is only a fraction of what needs to be cut. It would be the same as me cutting $6 out of my annual budget. But, hey, at least it’s a spending cut.
And the negatives. There are many but I highlight the whoppers – the ones I think are most damaging.
- Releasing CIA documents. Without a doubt this is his biggest mistake. He now owns the responsibility for any future terrorist attack because with this one move he has shown our enemies the battleplan. This is huge and I doubt he thought it out properly, or asked the right advice from the right people. 60% of Americans believe this made us less safe, which means that if we get hit again guess who takes the blame for it…
- Apologies and arrogance. No matter your political affiliation, no American wants to see our President apologizing for America and calling us arrogant. We don’t want dictators chastising America in the President’s presence. We don’t want our President to bow before a misogynistic king.
- Vetting. A tax cheat heads the IRS. A governor taking money from a no-questions-asked abortion doctor heads Health and Human Services. An abortion supporter appointed to the Vatican. The list goes on.
- Rush Limbaugh. Why would you target a radio commentator? This was petty and beneath the President of the United States. It made him look cheap and juvenile. He should have taken a lesson from W. and just ignored the guy.
- Partisanship. So much for promises. He refuses to take any Republican proposals, refuses to add any Republican ideas into his legislation, and then when he gets no Republican support he calls them obstructive. Hosting them for beer and Super Bowls does not equate to bipartisanship.
- Blame Bush. Enough already. Once again, it is beneath the President to blame others for the problems he faces. Did Bush ever once blame Clinton for 9/11?
- Spending. It is grotesque. He campaigned for two years telling voters that we needed a change in policy, and the voters agreed. Yet, Obama opted not to change the policy and instead multiply it exponentially. His victory came about mainly because Americans were fed up with high-spending Republicans, but somehow Obama didn’t get that memo. So he has tripled our debt, become the de facto CEO of General Motors, taken one more step towards nationalizing our banks, and wasted billions on bailouts that have yet to produce any results. He has threatened the future of the next generation who will be working to pay China for our debt. To top it off, he tells us all to show fiscal restraint while flying a mock Air Force One above the Statue of Liberty for a photo-op at a taxpayer cost of >$320,000, terrifying New York citizens in the process. Disgraceful.
- Education. He shuts down the D.C. voucher program, which had proven to be a success. This denied many inner city students a chance at a quality education and was a clear bow to the teachers unions and special interests. Then he enrolls his own kids in a top-notch private school.
- Discrepancy and Lies. He burns 9,000 gallons of fuel flying to speeches on Earth Day. He calls America arrogant and donates an autographed photo of himself to a school charity auction. He promises not to have lobbyists in his administration, and at last count there were 17. He speaks against earmarks while signing a bill containing 8,000 of them. He calls the Wall Street bonuses “the height if irresponsibility” but forgets to mention that his own Treasury Secretary brokered the deal that allowed those bonuses to be paid. He holds a town hall web meeting and calls on 5 people – all staunch Dem supporters and donors – to ask the only questions. He releases CIA memos on interrogation, but refuses to release the memos that detail what was learned in the interrogations; and then has the gall to tell the CIA that he supports them. He promises transparency in gov’t, then rams through a stimulus bill before any American, including those in Congress, have a chance to read it. He promises no new taxes on the middle class, then passes a tobacco tax-hike that affects mainly the middle and lower class; and pursues cap-and-trade policies that will substantially raise cost-of-living for the same folks. He promises to be “our” President, but doesn’t even acknowledge the tax day Tea Parties. He speaks against the “politics of fear” then tells us all that it will be catastrophic if his stimulus bill isn’t passed. There are more, but you get the point.
So far “our” President has been incredibly disappointing. I hope it’s part of the learning curve and I hope he gets it together. Otherwise, the next 600 or so days may be very difficult.