The Economist Leader—Angry America: the United States and Obama are doing better than many believe

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It takes an effort these days to recall the thrill that surged through the world when Barack Obama was elected America’s president. It was not only that he was the first black person to assume the globe’s greatest office. He seemed to be preternaturally thoughtful, dignified and decent; a man who could heal America’s wounds at home and restore its reputation abroad. Though too many were swept away in a collective longing to see hope triumph over experience, none of it seemed wholly unreasonable at the time. Yes, many thought, he can.

Two years later, the magnitude of the let-down is palpable everywhere; and at home the president is caught in a vice. To many on the left, he is a cowardly compromiser, whose half-baked plans to get America back to work have done little to help those who voted for him, and whose health-care and financial reforms were gutted at the behest of special interests. To many on the right, he seems a doctrinaire spendthrift who has squandered trillions of dollars on wasteful bureaucracy, mortgaging the future while failing to grapple with the present. To centrists who backed him, including this newspaper, he has been a disappointment, his skills as a president falling far short of his genius as a campaigner.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPsychology* Economics, PoliticsIraq WarPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

10 Comments
Posted October 31, 2010 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br. Michael wrote:

Maybe, just maybe, we looked beyond the color of his skin and into the content of his character, his worldview and his politics.  And maybe, just maybe, we didn’t like them.  I didn’t care for Clinton and I don’t care for Obama (Bush was no gem either).  I don’t care for the liberal agenda.  That’s not race, it’s politics and worldviews.

October 31, 5:13 pm | [comment link]
2. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

“Consider the main reason why Americans are angry: the economy.” 

This may be the main reason Americans are angry but it doesn’t touch on why they are fearful.  Radical associations, racist Dept of Justice, Czars of all political (leftist) stripes, bowing to dictators and thugs around the world, redistribution of wealth as the core of the legislative agenda, no interest in securing the border, can’t call terrorists our enemies but can call fellow Americans an “enemy to be crushed”, and on and on and on.

Oh, and the economy is not going anywhere.  What’s not to like?

October 31, 7:49 pm | [comment link]
3. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

I should add another to the list: can’t take responsibility for his actions.  More and more people are catching on that when your party controls both houses and the White House, blaming the previous president and the party out of power starts to show a certain lack of leadership and responsibility.

October 31, 7:51 pm | [comment link]
4. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

It takes an effort these days to recall the thrill that surged through the world when Barack Obama was elected America’s president.

Then again, about 48% of us didn’t drink the Koolaid, were nearly physically ill when he won the election (with all the fraud ACORN could muster), and have lived in a state of apprehension over his socialist background and refusal to acknowledge Islamic Terrorists are in a state of war with us…not egaged in civil criminal activity… only in the sense of war crimes is it “criminal”.

October 31, 8:36 pm | [comment link]
5. Randy Hoover-Dempsey wrote:

we looked beyond the color of his skin and into the content of his character

Our response to others and to the challenges of the day reveals the content of our own character. Lord, have mercy upon us all.

November 1, 9:52 am | [comment link]
6. J. Champlin wrote:

This seems to me to be a fair, even-handed assessment.  Thanks to T19 for posting it.

November 1, 11:13 am | [comment link]
7. John Wilkins wrote:

#3 - um - actually, Obama is not only taking responsibility for his actions, but he’s taken responsibility for both wars.  If anything, he’s said many times it’s his responsibility.  He’s also admitted making mistakes.  You’re making a sweeping generalization that implies that Bush, actually didn’t bear any responsibility. 

What is, exactly Obama’s responsibility, and how is he not actually doing so.

Sick and tired,:  Obama does not have a “Socialist Background.”  He has known socialists.  He has probably read Marx.  This correlation does not imply causation (as William Buckley probably read Marx as well).  One does not “inherit” socialism.  If anything, he had every reason to reject it.  The evidence indicates he spends much of his economic time with individuals who believe in capitalism, but are aware of the harm that boom and bust cycles have on real people.  Can you name a single socialist on his cabinet?

This is called an “ad hominem” attack. 

Obama may or may not believe Islam is at war with the US - but it does seem that he is doing what needs to be done to stop terrorism.  Witness the active work with other governments; and the successful stopping of several terrorist attacks; the continued challenge to Pakistan.  You may not have drunk the Koolaid, but I don’t see even a rational, evenhanded understanding of Obama’s presidency.  There are good reasons to oppose aspects of Obama’s legislative agenda.  There are no good reasons to smear anyone.

November 2, 4:00 pm | [comment link]
8. J. Champlin wrote:

Thank you John Wilkins.

November 2, 5:00 pm | [comment link]
9. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

7. John Wilkins
Taking over automobile corporations, appointing “czars” over them, and taking over 1/5th of the economy via the Health Care Act is socialism and it isn’t ad hominem to say so. 

The whitewash by this administration over the Ft. Hood terrorist shouting “Allah Akbar” while he gunned down my nephew’s fellow soldiers (he was across the street)...with Obama acting like this was just a senseless “criminal” act rather than terrorism, is for me enough grounds to question where his sympathies are.  It isn’t a smear just because you disagree.

I sharply disagree with President Obama’s actions and policies.  I label them as the evidence leads me to view them.  You don’t have to like it.

November 2, 5:23 pm | [comment link]
10. clayton wrote:

“The country’s 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder.  The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.
[...]
And yet, with that being said, I feel good—strangely, calmly good.  Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false.  It is us through a fun house mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead and an ass shaped like a month old pumpkin and one eyeball.

So, why would we work together?  Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin-assed forehead-eyeball monster?  If the picture of us were true, of course, our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable.  Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own?  We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is—on the brink of catastrophe—torn by polarizing hate and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do.  We work together to get things done every damn day!”

- Jon Stewart

November 2, 7:38 pm | [comment link]
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