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Obama remains unflappable

December 14, 2013
By Dr. David Turner , The Inter-Mountain

Barack Obama enjoyed one of his better weeks, when the latest job report saw a surge in jobs and a 7-percent unemployment rate - the best in five years.

Moreover, the website for the Affordable Care Act was much improved. Suddenly the usual negative chatter was somewhat stilled. Once more the President proved cool and unflappable, which has been his hallmark in the face of withering criticism.

Few presidents have been subjected in a time of relative peace to as much nay-saying as Obama. First it was the Tea Party fantasies about socialism, then Donald Trump's dignifying of the "birther" issue topped off the absurdities. Add on the anarchic libertarians with their exaggerated dislike of all government and you have plenty of chronic critics judging Obama in the harshest light. Yet the President has never hesitated to place principle over popularity.

Particularly with the health care issue, because the relentless nature of the critics has never gained as much traction with the public as the administration may have preferred. However. as Kentucky governor Stephen Breshear has courageously pointed out. as people begin to enjoy the benefits of "Obamacare" the issue might yet become a net plus for Democrats. The computer glitches have been on the whole overcome and with it the worst has been avoided. It is perhaps beneficial to observe that the intensity to discredit Obama is so strong that the exaggerations over the web site equals only the ridiculous fears concerning Y2K in 2000.

Meanwhile the so-called conservative wing of the GOP, instead of developing a plausible vision of the future, are focused on building a better political contraption to ensnare Obama. Exaggerated by FOX News and the usual spokesman on radio, the Republicans forgot the President has been in office nearly five years. They can't vote him out, or make him disappear, thus they attack, attack and once more into the breach my dear fellows, attack.

Perhaps it does not occur to his critics how moderate a president Obama has been. No radical efforts two responsible bailouts of the auto industry and the financial industry. Who would argue within reason that Obama was not right to prevent an economic meltdown? True, it came at a large cost in social inequality, but in all fairness to Obama he did not precipitate the crisis. He was dealt bad cards and played them well.

Obama has throughout been gracious even as he has been heckled in Congress. Remember Joe Wilson's "you lie," an affront which has been visited on few presidents, including a couple that resigned and the other impeached.

A brutal and concerted campaign to de-legitimize his presidency simply has come to nothing. It might be advisable for Republicans to rethink their role as a party, maybe becoming a "loyal" opposition.

Some Republicans such as Chris Christie and John Kasich have tried to be cooperative. Others are no doubt fearing being primaried by Tea parties. But courage like that displayed by Breshear, who, although a Democrat, governs a very red state, might be an object lesson for moderate or hoping-to-be moderate Republicans.

To grasp at straws like a technical hiccup is to display an inability to conjure up a future course. For Obama, perhaps he will be content for the GOP to be Wiley Coyote to his Road Runner. Stay tuned.

 
 

 

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