why is barack obama a bad president

President s legacy is unusual for its complexity. The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board understands the view of many
that Obama would have been able to get more done in a less partisan atmosphere. But both parties contributed to Washingtons dysfunction. Like Obama, President was seen by political rivals as an illegitimate pariah. Ultimately, the 44th president will be judged on what he got done and what survives Congress and the 45th president. In our estimation, Obamas record is mixed. For simplicity, our review follows in four categories. The good: Obamas election as the first African-American president was a powerful symbol in a nation that was long officially hostile to blacks and not that long ago. While talk of a was uncomfortable to some and unrealistic to many, Obama nominated the nations first two black attorneys general and its first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and appointed what would have been, with Senate confirmation, its first Muslim federal judge. This symbolism has a resonance that goes far beyond our shores. Obamas global travels and his many televised town halls and meetings with students have not only improved the United States reputation, theyve helped restore the image of America as a beacon for the world. His patience and persistence also paid off as he presided over the recovery following the Great Recession, oversaw the and built international support for the, demonstrating decisive leadership, at least on these issues. The Affordable Care Act, for all its flaws, deserves praise as well. This editorial board has long predicted the current problems Obamacare faces. Yet the ACA provided health insurance for 20 million previously uncovered Americans and reset the health care debate from indifference about the uninsured to insurance for everybody, as. Its provision letting children remain on their parents policies until age 26 was an inspired way to help young adults. The president has also been a force for criminal justice and education reform, pardoning record numbers of prisoners and persuading many states with California an unfortunate exception to focus on improving teacher training and metrics.


The bad: In 1945, there were 41 people working for every American receiving Social Security benefits. By 2030, there will be for every American receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits. If any issue needs a president to bend the arc of history, it is this one. But Obama, like Bush and Bill Clinton before him, not only gave up on entitlement reform after grasping the political pain involved in such changes, he basically stopped talking about this gigantic problem. On foreign policy, Obama inherited an awful mess and then heeding the wishes of most Americans began to disentangle our nation from its painful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was wise to end the U. S. isolation of Cuba. But Obamas initial failure to assess the threat posed by the Islamic State remains baffling and hints at naivete about jihadisms powerful appeal. And in Syria, to the, Americas hands-off approach to the civil war helped trigger a massive refugee crisis with such far-reaching fallout that it appears to be remaking European politics. It is not just self-serving for Obama to insist that his options were either a full-on ground war against the Assad regime or occasional airstrikes. It is wrong. Meanwhile, China has continued to expand its presence in the South Chinese Sea and to cultivate better ties with neighboring countries without a meaningful U. S. response. It was once inconceivable that such traditional U. S. allies as might choose to partner with China. No more. Given all this and, it is impossible to look at where America stood in the world on Jan. 20, 2009, and where it stands now and conclude our nation is a safer place. The ugly: The Obama administration has been the least transparent and the most antagonistic toward the media since the Nixon administration. A by the Committee to Protect Journalists documents case after case of whistleblowers being punished and public documents being kept from the public. So much for to lead the most transparent administration in history. The unknown: If the deal struck with Iran by the U. S. and other world powers prevents the long-feared nuclear confrontation between Iran and Israel, it should be viewed as a success.


If it also achieves what Obama envisions establishing a Middle East balance of power that yields stability and a less radical Tehran it will be a triumph for the ages. If. Eight years ago I was sat in a secondary school classroom the morning after the US presidential election. It was a GCSE English lesson and, in a moment of rare acknowledgement for the real world, we were given a warm up activity to describe in one sentence what we thought about the election of Americas. I wish I still had the exercise book where my fifteen-year-old self expressed biting cynicism and pointed out that judgement should be reserved for what would actually do. I wish I still had the evidence only because it would be useful to take in the irony that I am far less justified in the disappointment I feel now having pre-empted it in typical teenage style. Today it already seems trite to point out where offered so much hope and promise, yet failed to deliver so spectacularly. Before even being conscious that youre about to make that suggestion, someone invariably reminds you that its all the fault of Republican efforts to block and impede him at every turn. Its true. We need think no further than the many times Republicans held the federal government to ransom by refusing to raise the debt ceiling if they werent bowed to. But Obama didnt run on the promise that it would be easy to change America. His was a campaign that emphasised how deeply rooted that nations problems are, accepted their difficulty and yet crucially broke the consensus that nothing could be done by saying Yes We Can. His 2008 run for the presidency suggested that by investing hope in him, there was hope for America. Three years before Obamas election the disastrous impact of Hurricane Katrina had wrecked so many lives. The governments response betrayed by its own racial and class interests was itself a catastrophe. This context of George Bushs government having left black and other poor people so obviously helpless would see America go on to elect its first black president.


Undisputedly the promise of Obama was wrapped up in the significance of his racial background and the possibility of a US leader from one of the nations most hard done by communities. For this reason race will be a measure by which we judge Obamas time in office and on that basis opinions are likely to be mixed. In some sense the president became just another black celebrity for white consumption. Either out and out racists demanded his birth certificate to question why he dared to speak in American public life at all and prove he was ineligible to be president or we heard endlessly about his charm, charisma and sense of cool. Obamas blackness, whether hated or not, was in fashion. What about his actual policies touching on race? The unemployment figures for Black Americans that of their white counterparts at over 8 per cent, so while unemployment dropped since the recession for all, nothing was done to close the gap between different racial groups. Somehow, despite its centrality to the financial collapse, Obamas administration had little in the way of housing policy. When the foreclosure crisis hit it was Black and Latin American communities who were hit hardest. Not only losing their homes, but the wealth tied up in them. But perhaps most telling is that it was during the Obama-era that a nationwide movement of protest had to erupt in defence of Black lives. With vigilantes and law enforcement killing black people across the United States, communities and campaigners on the ground stood up loudest. In support of that movement the president said little that would rock the boat and even less was done. Obama chose not to lead as a Black president except where he showed great confidence in admonishing his own community with calls to take self-responsibility. I remember news footage of Jesse Jackson crying when Barack Obama was elected president. It looked as though the civil rights movement that he had fought in was coming to an end with that election victory. As Obamas successor is announced it looks as though his term confirmed the need for another movement to succeed Jacksons.

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