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Voting for Obama

by on January 18, 2010

ABC News reports that Americans are losing confidence in President Obama. But he is what we voted for. What did he tell us he would do? He was hard on ‘terror,’ much more so than the ‘hawkish’ H. Clinton, during his campaign. He promised reforms he thought necessary: education, environment, and health care. He succeeded on his education reforms. He succeeded on environmental reforms. (It is probably the neither the education or environment reforms will be sufficient. But they are action, which he felt necessary, which he campaigned on, which he delivered.) He has not succeeded, but he has not failed, on health care reforms. He has, for better or for worse, asked congress to do its job and present him with legislation that he can approve or reject.
Those are the things he promised. Those are the issues over which he has control, as president. It is his job to see that the laws are faithfully executed. Are we, as a country, losing confidence in Obama? My confidence level in him changes. I don’t agree with many of the things he does – I don’t agree, for instance, with AfPak policy – but he told us that he would pursue these policies.
Why did you vote for him? Did you vote for him because the system was so broken that he was the least bad option? Or was there something there? He is inspiring, certainly. Even if you don’t agree with him, he is inspiring; just observe the hate-speech that he inspires from those who don’t know how else to react to him. I voted expecting both the reward of hope and the realization of failure; he has been generous in granting us both hope and failure. But if not Obama, then who? Can we lose confidence so easily?

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