What would you have done?

They say that any boy can grow up to be President of the United States. Forty three have. (One is counted twice, serving non-consecutive terms.) We have yet to elect a woman as our leader, but that will come, despite the good old boy network. In 2008, we did manage to elect the first black man as our president, forty years after Robert F. Kennedy made that prediction.

President Barack Obama inherited the biggest mess at his inauguration that any president has since FDR was first elected. The list of challenges facing the new president was long and difficult. It makes you wonder why anyone would have wanted the job.

There is no doubt that being elected President is no easy task, but it pales in comparison to actually doing the job, one that has been made even more difficult for Obama with a completely united opposition.  To the detractors of the President, I have often asked this question:

“What you would have done, starting January 20, 2009, without using the words ‘I wouldn’t have?'”

It’s easy to be an armchair President and list everything that has been done and then righteously claim “I wouldn’t have done that!” It’s a damned sight harder to make reasonable proposals and hold them up for scrutiny.

Contrary to the Republican mantra, Democrats are not in lock-step with Obama. There are many issues where we disagree and many lines of criticism. There are many things Democrats wish he had done and yes, some that we wish he hadn’t done.

It is ironic, perhaps, that some of the most damning criticism coming from the Left regarding President Obama is that he hasn’t been liberal enough!

“What would you have done?”

Easy question to ask, much more difficult to answer, yet it begs an answer from the detractors of our President.

I have my list, what is on yours?

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under President Barack Obama

31 responses to “What would you have done?

  1. Remember all those bush signing statements? I would have assigned someone(s) to look up every single last one of those and I would have made them public. Then I would have started the process of doing away with the most egregious ones — also very publicly.

  2. Overall, I am pleased with the job President Obama is doing.

    He didn’t get to choose the agenda he would have preferred because it was too important to address the daunting challenges. He couldn’t tell the world how serious the financial mess was because panic would have ensued.

    Each of his legislative accomplishments have been in spite of the Party of HELL NO. Most of us are disappointed with the health care bill while acknowledging that it was an initiative every president had attempted for over 100 years. If the Republicans take over the majority in Congress this fall it will probably be overturned. The question I ask is what will the Republicans do about the health-care crisis if they undo the work already accomplished? Pass a law limiting lawsuits and call it fixed?

    • WSClark

      Even if, and that’s a big if, the Republicans take Congress this November, they can’t repeal HCR. Obama would certainly veto any such attempt and it takes a two-thirds majority in both Houses to override a veto.

      It’s just not going to happen.

      • indypendent

        I agree with you – it won’t happen until Republicans regain the White House.

        But even then, Republicans will do as they have for years – promise to do something and never really deliver.

        They always want that wedge issue to pull out of their bag of tricks at the next election.

  3. WSClark

    DADT, DOMA, single-payer, out of Iraq (although we are two months ahead of the revised schedule), jobs programs, secured border and immigration reform are the areas that I am disappointed with, thus far.

    I am pleased with Obama’s choice for the SCOTUS.

    I have grave doubts about the COIN strategy in Afghanistan, but it semi-worked in Iraq, so there is some hope.

    Overall, I give President Obama an “A” for effort, but only a “C+” for results.

  4. indypendent

    Obama has been given a hard row to hoe but I think he has done his best.

    I credit Obama for being a smart and intelligent man. I also know he is a politician at heart and when he does or does not do something, I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt that he knows what is best.

    But this is only the first year and half of his presidency. Alot of things can and will change by the time the 2012 election rolls around.

    The unemployment rate is way too high and something needs to be done. But I suspect that Big Business are hedging their bets to see if Republicans will mount a serious threat to Obama’s power in the midterm elections.

    If Republicans do not muster up enough political clout in November, I think Big Business will be more likely to get behind Obama and support him. Because, after all, Big Business has always played both sides of the fence in the political game and they will always side with the winner – at the moment.

    • indypendent

      One thing I would have done differently than Obama is to not give Republicans so many chances to backbite him and to continue bending over backwards to get Republicans’ cooperation.

      The Party of Hell No has made it quite plain to everyone within earshot they have no intention of ever supporting Obama – so why bother with their butts?

      Obama has been way too nice to the two-faced snakes in the grass.

  5. How would a person go about making sure every voter knows the Republicans are obstructing all moves to improve our economy because they’re counting on that poor economy to get them votes? I’m not in the least concerned about the Republican ‘base,’ both because they’re too partisan and possessed to see reality and because their numbers are too small to count at the national level, but I would like to make all the other voters aware. This is the ones who always vote whether they’re well informed or not, the ones who aren’t really interested enough to pay close attention. The ones who may likely vote for the party not in charge if they perceive things aren’t OK. The ones who prefer to hear nothing about politics because hearing nothing means all is OK.

  6. Monkeyhawk

    If any of you happen by the other blog you’ll know I am now a long-time Republican. Two whole days!

    But back here among friends I have to admit I’m still pro-Obama despite his shortcomings.

    DADT disappoints me. I hate us still being in Afghanistan but I kinda sorta understand why we’re there: Pakistan. They have Islamic nukes and need to get their shit together. Don’t think Afghanistan ever will. But we told Karzai we’d give him a chance.

    What I really like about President Obama is he is smart, thoughtful, a man of integrity, and a pretty good politician. I wish all Democrats had stronger backbones but that might take a while.

    • There are a few more of us long time Republicans here! In fact, I may not change back unless or until some choice is offered at the primary level by the Democratic Party.

      • indypendent

        I am a registered Republican and I like the fact that I have a say in how the political race is being run.

        Even though I do not particularly care for Wink Hartman, I know I don’t want another Tiarht in there so why vote for Pompeo?

        And at this point in the race, Wink Hartman is Pompeo’s biggest threat.

        Speaking of Todd Tiarht – has anyone seen his ad boasting that he he is the Tea Party’s choice?

        Excuse me, but the Tea Party has advocated for voting out incumbents. Tiarht has been in Congress since 1994. That sounds alot like an incumbent to me – does it to you?

  7. indypendent

    I just had a thought – Didn’t Tiarht run on the idea that Glickman was in Congress for too long and needed to be replaced?

    Karma – she is sweet.

    • It’s a laugh to hear the convoluted explanation that The Contract on America signed by Tiahrt said they would push for term limits but since they weren’t passed we shouldn’t look at Tiahrt’s signature as a promise he wouldn’t serve beyond what he hoped to help in making law. You see, he only was promising to pass the legislation, not to live by it if the legislation didn’t pass. Turned in enough circles to be in a knot yet? 😉

      • indypendent

        While they have everyone rounding in those circles, the vultures can continue to eat off our bones and we won’t notice – or so they think.

  8. I like Jean Schodorf in the race for the 4th congressional district. She seems to have a track record for looking out for the people’s interests.

  9. So let’s think about this. The only two candidates I’m positive I don’t want elected to the House from the 4th are Pompeo who is bought and paid for by Koch, and Hartman who is (at best) a doofus. If we believe in the polls they are leading by quite a wide margin. But if all of us long-time Republicans want to elect someone better than either of those two and we all campaign for and vote for Jean Schodorf, can we have an influence?

      • Well aren’t you just a little ray of sunshine!

      • fnord,

        Jean Schodorf is my choice as well. The problems I see (and why I don’t think she has any realistic chance) are:

        1) Funding (lack theeof);

        2) This is the Fourth District, which is more than Wichita. Lack of exposure outside the immediate area, due to

        3) Funding;

        4) She needed to get her campaign going broadly and actively much sooner than she has. I suspect this is due, in major part, to a lack of

        5) Funding;

        and did I mention funding?

        Her email campaigning was a modernization of good old-fashioned (and some would say quaint) door to door campaigning. Again, since we are speaking of a geographical area larger than Wichita, this makes more than a bit of sense, but quaere: How many of the good people living outside Wichita who are dependable voters even have email, much less look at it?

  10. indypendent

    Hate to admit fnord – but I agree with 6176. That’s why I am going with Winky Dink.

    I think Wink is more in it for himself and not Koch, so that is a little comfort to my conscience.

    • indypendent

      On a lighter note – how many politicians do you think have the name of Wink?

      Don’t you want Kansas to stand out . LMAO

    • Oh, I can assure you that Wink is “in it for himself”. That’s part of my concern.

      Pompeo is/was a nonstarter for me. Didn’t Dick Kelsey have to withdraw due to his wife’s illness at a time he had a polling advantage? That’s my recollection (which most certainly may be incorrect).

  11. Well, on this one at least I’ll be able to say I voted FOR someone (ya know, vs the usual vote for the lesser of the evils). I think Jean would make a good Congress person.

  12. Freebird1971

    The older I get the more I’m convinced my Dad was right, the only difference between a politician(no matter the party) and a whore is that it’s legal to be a politician.

  13. indypendent

    fnord – I can see you logic of being able to say you voted for someone you believed in – but at the end of the day, it is the candidate with the most votes that wins the prize.

    And I’m not sure I want Pompeo in that seat of power. Like I said before – Pompeo is just another Todd Tiahrt. Haven’t we learned anything from that?

  14. indypendent

    6176 – good to know Wink’s name is Willis. But wouldn’t you just love to be a fly on the wall at Pompeo’s campaign headquarters if Wink actually does win?

  15. david B

    Pretty sure this proud Kansas Republican will only cats one primary vote – the one to retire Tiahrt.