Obama & the First 480 Days

It’s sad to watch President Obama sort of hung out to twist in the wind these days, though he’s caused much of the reason. There’s been great hope that as the first African American to hold the top job he would do well in his promise to bring CHANGE, literally to transform government into something better. Unfortunately, his first 16 months in office remind of the shaky start of the Carter administration in 1977, when Carter and his totally un-experienced crew rode into town. That administration never recovered and one wonders if Obama will ever “get it.”

Near the outset of the Q&A segment of his press conference on 27 May when he was asked about the government’s actions immediately after the oil well exploded in the Gulf, he answered that he called in Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen to see what actions and materiel were available. That indicated how out of touch he was from the very beginning of the catastrophe. He should have called on the folks in the Energy Department, Homeland Security Dept. (especially FEMA), Interior Department (Mines and Minerals), etc. Later, he did contact the right people but why later?

The explosion occurred on 20 April but the president was not on-scene until 02 May, a lag of some two weeks, despite the fact that the spill was a disaster of incomprehensible dimensions. Nearly another four weeks would elapse before Obama would venture to the scene again, after stumbling through the press conference and trying to explain why help and expertise offered from 17 nations had not been accepted.

Obama did take responsibility, with perhaps the first indication being the firing of Elizabeth Birnbaum, the Mines and Minerals chief, too little too late and probably unfair. Birnbaum was primarily an attorney (Harvard Law, of course) and would not likely have had any idea of what to do about an oil spill anyway, except maybe to help hold the boot on the BP neck, as press pooh bah Robert Gibbs would have it.

Six months into his tenure, Obama accused the Cambridge police of acting stupidly. The primary target of that remark was a white policeman who was merely doing his duty, so was the president actually charging racism, an ugly business in the long, hot summer of 2009? If George Bush had made that statement about a black policeman, there might have been riots, with Jesse Jackson screaming out his tonsils and the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright pronouncing damnation on the nation in case God hadn’t noticed and was derelict in His duty.

The race-point becomes much sharper with Obama’s first appointment to the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor, without even a proper review of the case, had judged that New Haven, Connecticut, had the responsibility to promote black firemen over more qualified white firemen simply on the basis of their ethnicity. Her ruling was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court about a month after her appointment. Obama was aware of the SCOTUS impending decision when he nominated her.

Notwithstanding her egregious and almost incomprehensible lack of judgment in an eminently important matter, Sotomayor now sits on the SCOTUS. Did race play a part? Should Obama have waited for that decision before making an appointment? There was no hurry. In a sense, the SCOTUS also overturned Obama but he had the last laugh and knows that he might have the chance to square matters with another appointment or two…if race was an issue, that is.

The first African American in the presidency lost no time in telling the world that he felt the need to apologize for this country and proceeded to travel to such places as Saudi Arabia (nation of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers) and Egypt, hotbeds of Islam (seats of terrorism), and do just that. He even went to Trinidad and appeared with Venezuelan butcher Hugo Chavez and sat, apparently numb, while Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega delivered a 50-minute diatribe accusing the U.S. of everything from terroristic aggression to keeping its boot on Central America’s neck, as Gibbs might have it. The prez might have walked out after about 30 minutes but he didn’t.

During his campaign in January 2008 Obama said that in his presidency electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Reason: Obama’s cap-and-trade program. During his campaign Obama promised to do away with the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” law in the military, signed by Bill Clinton. He apparently isn’t aware with regard to the former that the best science in the world has proven that the earth has been cooling since about 1995, thus people have not been causing it to melt.

Regarding the latter, without a doubt he’s aware that top officrs responsible for the day-to-day conduct of the armed forces (neither Gates nor Mullen, political appointees) believe this to be a serious mistake. The reasons are abundantly obvious and have been so for more than 200 years.

One could go and on listing the dysfunctions of Obama’s presidency, especially noting the czars who apparantly can bypass cabinet secretaries in decision-making and the nearly hysterical push to take over industry, banking, and financial institutions while planning for more takeovers. Strangely, Obama has a “plantation mentality,” i.e., government as benevolent slave-master. As he drives the nation toward bankruptcy, even the members of his own party will awaken to the fact that they’ve been had, actually admitting their compliant incompentency. Then at least hopefully, things will actually CHANGE.

With the chance to make the first African American presidency a superb endeavor, Obama up to this point has completely blown it, accepting victimhood as the ideal human condition and apparently never realizing how most Americans despise that concept.