Thursday, November 5, 2009
One Year Later
Last year this month, this country made history. We elected an African American to the highest office in the land.
Already the word “failure” has seeped into the media about this president. Failure? Even college coaches get more time be a total and complete “failure.”
Barack Obama was ushered into the White House on a momentous wave of a simple, audacious, and ephemeral mantra: “Hope and Change.”
“Hope” has given way to pragmatism. “Change” has stagnated to political gridlock. The recession has shown signs of abatement, but consumer confidence is still lower than the APR on a regular savings account.
When Barack inherited the crushing economic recession, the housing market avalanche, as well as two long and entrenched wars, his approval ratings were above 70 percent.
A year later the president’s approval ratings have precipitously fallen. Obama’s approval rating has fallen farther and fast than his predecessor in the same time frame of GWB’s first year in office.
But has Barack Obama’s first year as president been a failure? Political hacks that get paid to yammer on cable news shows will say yes. They’re idiots. Plain and simple.
There is no way any person, man or woman, could have changed the course of our economic downturn. It wouldn’t have mattered if John McCain were elected president. Ronald Reagan inherited a worse recession, stagflation, gas lines, a long-standing Cold War as well as the Iranian Hostage Crisis. His approval numbers didn’t start to tick up until his second year in office. And we were still in a recession.
The economy is its own entity, a juggernaut of prosperity in good times, the grim reaper of jobs, GDP and investments in a downturn. No one man can control it; even the Fed Chairman has a Herculean task, trying to change its direction, sometimes with catastrophic results.
Now I do not agree with Obama’s politics, and I have been outspoken about his positions, decisions and issues like reforming health care. I have denigrated his Czar appointments, his repetitive and unnecessary press conferences as well as his style-without-substance speeches.
But has he failed? Even I won’t go there.