What to do, what to do, oh, what to do?

Since Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009, he has received a barrage of criticism from the Right regarding his priorities. Some is well-intended and some is obviously just criticism for the sake of criticizing. I have often said that if Barack Obama cured cancer tomorrow, the Republicans would condemn him for not doing it today.

Some recent commentary from the Right has got me to thinking (yes, that is fairly rare on both counts) just what should have been Barack’s priorities coming into office and, on this date, what should his priorities be moving forward?

Obviously, when President Obama took office, he had a full plate of serious issues to handle – an economy in the tank, two wars, the Bush legacy of disaster, Gay Right’s issues, Wall Street corruption and not the least of all, filling a cabinet and appointing people to positions critical to his administration.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but all of us indulge in looking at the past. Looking at the future is a bit more difficult, but I have it on good authority that all Pop Bloggers are equipped with the ability to see into the future with uncanny accuracy.

So, my fellow low-life liberals and progressives, what should he have done and what should he do now?

(Feel free to toss in some of your patented humor for good measure!)

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under Elections, George W. Bush, Liberal Government, Playing Politics, President Barack Obama, Thinking/Considering

25 responses to “What to do, what to do, oh, what to do?

  1. indypendent

    In my opinion, Obama did not have a choice as to what to do when first in office – it was the economy.

    I liked the way he phrased it the other day – Republicans under George W. Bush drove the car off the road into a big ditch and are now demanding the keys back.

    That about sums it up.

    Then Obama focused on healthcare reform and he was criticized for that. But if you think about it in economic terms – reforming health care and bringing down the health care costs across the board should also help with the economy.

    As for jobs creation – alot of that stimulus package Obama pushed through at the first has the target of creating jobs.

    But no matter what Obama has or has not done, Republicans will be the Party of No for as long as it is politically advantageous for them to be obstructionists.

    Their strategy has to been to weed out all the RINOs but in the end – their Grand Old Party might be dwindled down to the size of a real Tea Party.

  2. What should Obama have done differently? If he was serious about change, he should have assembled a different cabinet. He should have had more fresh minds and fresh ideas. That would have been the place to start. And then he should have been more bold with all of his initiatives at the starting gate. You know those neandercons are going to fight to drag you right, so you start out far left and get closer to the middle at the end. I wish Obama was the lefty they keep accusing him of being!

    What should Obama do next? Fulfill the campaign promise that most of us voted for–GET OUT OF IRAQ! Most will now agree, we never should have gone there, it has been a drain and a deterrent to achieving the goals that were stated after 9/11 of reducing terrorism. Yes, the violence is rising again, as everyone predicted that it would as the time for our withdrawal approaches. We can’t do anything to stop that, we can only delay it. It is costing precious American lives to do so and it is a huge drain on resources that this country desperately needs. End the war in Iraq is what Obama needs to do next. The sooner the better.

  3. The economy should have been his top priority, in my opinion. I think the importance of it topped even the wars. There was a chance, with sixty votes in the Senate, a clear and concise debate could have been carried out back then that could have resulted in serious laws and regs being passed that would have put the economy back in the hands of main street. Instead, it’s still in the hands of wall street, and I don’t see any chance now of passing anything substantial that will reverse that.

    Then the wars. Iraq first, Afghanistan second. Iraq’s government is a joke, propped up by this government. But what else can we do about that? Well, we can get out and leave the country to it’s people, however backwards they are.

    Afghanistan, we need to get out of and soon. Bush blew the whole idea of invading a country, that was directly supporting the people that attacked us on 9/11, by ignoring it and invading Iraq. Stupid. And any chance we had of defeating the Taliban and Al Quida is long gone. What we’re doing now is getting our people killed for naught.

    Then health care, followed by immigration and whatever else pops up.

  4. indypendent

    We can all sit and debate as to what he should have or should not have done, but I do want to add one comment here. Obama was given a whole mess of crap to fix before he could even start on any programs that he might want to see enacted.

    When Wall Street started crumbling right before the election, I don’t think the average person knew how horrible the situation really was and would continue to be for quite some time.

    But we do live in an instant-gratification society and we expect everything to be up and running immediately.

    It took years for Wall Street to crumble and it will take probably just as long to get it back on solid ground.

    But I disagree with Obama on thinking that Timothy Geitner and Larry Summers are the two guys that will help fix the economy.

  5. tosmarttobegop

    No doubt he came into office with the problem of which direction to turn?
    Kind of like find one self in the Ocean and surrounded by hungry sharks which direction will the one come that is about to eat you?

    Last night and sorry I am not good with remembering their names, but a reporter who has written a book.
    Said that the President had to fight to for health care reform no one in the cabinet wanted to take it on this soon. But he said if he could only do one thing and even if it meant only one term it was health care!

    Now take into account from what we did see with the battle over health care that the ole saying about:
    “We met the enemy and he is us!”.

    Simply having a super majority did not mean you can even zip up your own pants.

    Whether you like it or not, President Obama is a Corporatist.
    His opinion is being guided by it is for the best of all if it is works for the Corporations.

    They are the employers and the fuel that the economy runs on.

    Now this has caused a great deal of disappointment in some respects the Health care reform being one.
    It did not go as far as it should have and likewise neither has a good deal of the other efforts.

    We end up with quite a few wishy-washy outcomes with the efforts.

    But this is a reality, that is often how this whole thing works.

    There are more factors then simply the wish it could be this way.

    • indypendent

      I agree Obama is a corporatist – but I think any president would have to lean that way if he/she is to even get into the White House.

      But I think there are degrees of corporatists. I do not hate all corporations because , like it or not, they are the bulk of our economy.

      What I do hate are these corporations that feel they do not have to be good American citizens simply because they do have so much power.

      I know of several corporations that do not carry on their business simply as to what is best for their bottom line. There are corporations that do treat their employees fair and those employees treat their employers fair. That is what it used to be like when moderation and balance was the name of the game.

      But since corporate greed came into play and that ME-ME-ME mindset (which I think Reagan brought that in during his 8 years nightmare reign) has taken over, we have seen less and less sense of corporations thinking it is their responsibility to be good American citizens.

      And it is not just corporations that are bad citizens, we have alot of Americans who think they are deserving of all the benefits the country can give them but they personally do not owe the country any responsibility of contributing to the success of the country.

  6. It seems now that doing harm is easier for a president to accomplish than doing good. Look at how easy it was for bush the lesser to mess up everything he touched! You can’t answer the questions posed without acknowledging the mess bush left for President Obama. First, President Obama had to deal with the mess!

    I think the financial mess was not only worse than any of us knew, but was worse than Obama knew too. Always remember the wisdom 6176 shared with us long ago when you think of Timothy Geitner and Larry Summers — who better to know how to untangle it than the people who helped make the tangles. There are always two sides to consider in every situation.

    I know President Obama acted quickly and decisively enough to save us from Depression. Like jammer I wish financial reform had been quicker and much stronger than anything we’ll get now. The Republicans are going to do everything they can to stand in the way of any progress — their only goal is for President Obama to fail.

  7. WSClark

    The only way the Republicans can justify their run holding the reins of power is for Obama to fail, that is why they are so desperate to see him fall, and are doing everything they can to facilitate his demise.

    It’s nothing about the welfare of the country – it’s all about them.

    Obama’s mistake was in believing that the GOP wanted to work to solve issues. As demonstrated by their opposition to financial reform, they would just as soon return to the Bush agenda – they just try to sell it under a different name.

    • indypendent

      It’s all about that corporate marketing. A pig is still a pig even when it is wearing lipstick.

  8. indypendent

    And with each passing day the Republicans look like the Party of No and just wanting Obama to fail, the more their party dwindles in actual numbers to win an election.

    They are definitely winning the battle by feeding their base but they are losing the war by being so narrow minded and obstructing everything without offering any ideas of their own.

    And when this fact is pointed out to any of these folks, they scoff and laugh their maniacal laugh of the villains in any Disney movie right before the scene where the villain gets their justice!

    • indypendent

      When Republicans crow about Obama’s favorable poll ratings going down, they fail to cite the high unfavorable poll rating of the Republicans in Congress.

      If the American people are turning away from Obama then they must not be turning towards the Congressional Republicans or their approval rating would be going up – wouldn’t it?

    • I’ve noticed that they think any criticism of President Obama means votes for Republicans. Yeah, right. 😉

  9. One of Rachel Maddow’s guests last night was Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. Among other topics he talked about the success of the stimulus package. Some of the statistics he quoted were that the March 30 report from the PA Dept. of Labor showed that 20,558 people were working jobs solely funded by the stimulus pkg. He said 2 1/2 billion of his state’s budget is stimulus money which prevented job losses. He contends that in PA alone stimulus money has saved or created a minimum of 45,000 jobs. He said when all the states get out the good economic news it will show the Party of No has nothing to run on in 2012, nothing to show except being against everything that has been successful in our nation.

    • indypendent

      But, but – Rush, Billo, Sean, Beck and any other Fox News talking idiot has repeatedly told us that Obama has never created one single job.

      Do you think it is possible these talking idiots are full of B.S. or just plain liars?

  10. indypendent

    ‘It’s nothing about the welfare of the country – it’s all about them’

    I think this could be said about people in both parties.

    That is what I was trying to say earlier. We need to somehow get Americans to think about our country as a whole – not just which population will be getting the most or who thinks they are paying the most in taxes, etc.

    Whether we like it or not, this country is made up of a numerous groups and we are all not going to agree on the same thing.

    The best we can do is to compromise and come to some basic agreement we can all live with.

    As you notice, since 1994 with Newt Gingrich and his Contract ON America and the Religious Right hijacking the GOP, the word compromise has become a four-letter word to some politicians.

    It seems they would rather sink the entire country than to give an inch on some compromise that would satisfy most everyone.

    • WSClark

      I will agree that both parties are at fault for the philosophy of “Me First Agenda” but that is not likely to change anytime soon.

      I do believe, however, that the Democratic agenda is the lesser of two evils.

      • indypendent

        I agree – at least the Democrats are not the lockstepping robots that Republicans seem to be.

  11. Like we discussed yesterday, most issues aren’t stand alone. The economy, education, security, environment, health care… are dependent one on the other.

    Thankfully President Obama is capable of both understanding this interaction and of multi-tasking. Too bad Congress doesn’t share his skills and competence!

  12. indypendent

    fnord hit the nail on the head – all our major issues needing attention are so intertwined that it is like untangling a big ball of masking tape – it is just not possible.

  13. WSClark

    “that it is like untangling a big ball of masking tape”

    Unfortunately, we can’t run down to Ace and get a new one.

    • indypendent

      Isn’t it a shame life cannot have any do-overs? We sure could use one of those to undo the 8 years of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and fellow NeoCons.

  14. indypendent

    I think Obama is the right man for this particular time in history. Just imagine what we would be talking about with President McCain in office (with VP Sarah waiting in the wings just waiting for her chance at that red ‘nuclar’ button).

    It seems the only idea I hear Republicans say is ‘drop bombs’. Yeah, and after that – we do what?

  15. tosmarttobegop

    Part of what I perceive is that yes the President knows that there are things that need changed.

    But is reluctant to do too much change for concern that it will get screwed up.
    It seems to stop him from going far enough or making many needed changes.

  16. Thunderchild

    What to do?


    Rescind the bush and reagan tax cuts. Reverse welfare “reform”. Close the border.

    I often find myself defending President Obama but I am rethinking that unless he starts doing something for people and not profit. Right now? He does NOT have mine or my son’s vote in the next election.