Ever since taking office, nearly one year ago, President Obama has had the daunting task of dealing with the problems that President Bush and the Republicans left this great nation. Problems with the economy, unemployment, the “war on terror“, big bank bailouts, and the politically divisive environment brought on by Karl Rove. He has had allies and foes along the way. Some of his allies have been conservatives and some of his foes have been liberals. New York Times columnist,David Brooks has had times when he has agreed with the President. Also, Wall Street Journal columnistPeggy Noonan has found numerous things to agree with the President. It has mostly been on his style, however there is agreement.
When the debate on the economic stimulus bill was taking place in the House of Representatives and The Senate–there appeared to be a debate between liberals and conservatives over the price tag of the bill. Liberals wanted to ditch the tax cuts that conservatives wanted for more infrastructure spending.
Conservatives countered by saying that the Government should only spend money on “shovel ready projects”. Democrats went out of their way to cater to the Republicans and in the end did not received only 2 votes. Critics on the left felt the bill did not go far enough to create the millions of jobs that are needed to get this Country “out of the ditch”. One economist, Paul Krugman, who happens to be a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, was one of the president’s critics. Paul Krugman wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on November 10, 2008 predicting that “…Obama people might be thinking too small on stimulus.”
Krugman further went on to cite Okun’s law and all the “drib drab” economist jargon that confuses many people, myself included. The one person that wasn’t listening was President Obama and members of Congress. The main reason they were not listening is because Krugman is a noted liberal. Members of the Obama Administration sought economic endorsement from John McCain‘s economist, Mark Zandi. Zandi also serves as the Chief Economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com.
President Obama has made health care his top priority. He has had to do this with zero Republican support. He has also had to do this with all the political infighting among Democrats, specifically the “Blue Dog’s”. Liberals are angry over the omittance of the “public option” in the health care bill in The senate. They are also angry at Senator Joe Lieberman for killing the “public option” compromise (medicare buy in for 55-64 yr olds) that he supported in September of 2009.
Liberals are also angry at President Obama for not tackling the military’s policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. They are also angry at the President’s support of The Defense of Marriage Act. This act denies the rights of gays to get married. His critics feel he has been silent on this issue. Gay marriage advocates have had massive defeats this year and last. Defeats in California, New York and more recently in New Jersey have made it clear that equality for gay’s is a hot button issue that the Democrat’s do not want to face going into the mid year of 2010 elections. They are haunted by the massacre of 1994 when 54 Democrats lost their house seats to Republicans making Rep. Newt Gingrich Speaker of The House of Representatives.
People who fall on the right of the political spectrum who have called President Obama a socialist, marxist, fascist, communist and to the liberals who criticize the President for not exercising leadership the way that L.B.J. did in the sixties fighting for Medicare and civil rights should see that these dissents translate into a President steering this Country right down the middle of the road. And, if the Republican’s continue to stand in his way he won’t think twice of running them down.