Obama first-year record
President Obama's interview with The Washington Post has generated almost 1,500 comments from our readers, many of whom are derisive of the president's first-year record, question whether he really saved the economy, ask where the jobs are and debate the merits of health-care legislation that appears to be happening.
The comments range across the host of issues facing the president and the country. Obama's detractors appear to outnumber his supporters, but there is nothing scientific about comment streams. In addition to an often disjointed discussion about Obama, there is also some criticism that the Post's questions were but softballs and that the newspaper is in the tank for the White House. Happens no matter which party is power.
As Scott Wilson writes, "Although Obama noted in the interview that 'the most important thing we did this year was to ensure that the financial system did not collapse,' health-care reform dominated his agenda and will stand as at least one pillar of the legacy he leaves behind." A transcript of the interview is here.
We'll start with ThePoliticalStraycom, who expressed a position I agree with totally: "Mindless and fact-free President bashing too often passes for political debate today. It got boring and annoying with Bush and it's boring and annoying with Obama."
Now on to the sometimes mindless and fact-free President bashing:
First, the Economy:
kavalair asked, "Financial rescue??? WHAT financial rescue. This guy has done NOTHING to create jobs except blow a lot of hot air about jobs he "saved" Show us, specifically the jobs he "saved." He can't because it is just another Chicago thug shell game he thinks the American people are buying. We are not. This guy wouldn't know the truth if it hit him smack in the face. All he ever does is lie, just so he doesn't project the image that he is failing miserably at everything he has done..."
And MaryThresher wrote, "What rescue? He led us into a depression. Then he pushes a scam health care bill on American taxpayers that even he won't have to use for his family. He has done nothing but complain to so called "leaders" of other nations about how cruel the United States has been. The only question the American taxpayers should be asking... is how do we get this... presidential wanna be impeached...."
wheeljc said, "WOW!! He has brought a new level of payoffs to Wall Street to the party; a new level of sleaze to 'business as usual' to the capital; and everything he has touched (Olympic bid, H1N1 vaccine distribution, cash for clunkers, to his Copenhagen waste of time) has been disasters -- and we did not even mention his international blunders (Iran being at the top of the list)!"
But pomeroyt noted that "Preventing a depression was a pretty important achievement... Our economy - after the financial collapse is starting to recover (employment is lagging - which is a normal condition), thanks to quick action by Presidents Bush and Obama and Bush's cooperative and helpful attitude during the transition..."
newenglandblonde wrote, "This administration gets a failing grade across the board. What financial crisis did these folks avert? Please enlighten me. The bonuses are still being paid, the banks have stolen the taxpayers' money and refused to account for it. Foreclosures are higher than they have ever been... wait until mandatory health care is passed, more job losses... This man is in another world!"
blakesouthwood wrote, "...I haven't heard anything about any job creation. And with plunging jobs it means plunging car sales and plunging marriages and plunging home sales. Funny how it's all connected to JOBS. When will Congress and the Fed wake up?"
Rhonda5 asked, "Why is the unemployment rate in our country over 10% and over 11% in my state? If President Obama were solely focused on our nation's economy and working to resolve the financial demise of America then why is the unemployment rate still rising?...President Obama has focused on everything but turning our economy around..."
rbprtman23 said, "If Obama wld have focused on getting people back to work first the rest of his plans wld have been a lot easier. Keeping the financial system from melting down was important but it is how he chose to do it is trbling. He basically saved them at the expense of the taxpayer and he still does not realize how unpopular that decision was... The only thing that will save him is if jobs come back to this country,if they dont he is toast and unfortunately so is the democratic party..."
Midwester said, "The democrats continue to claim 45,000 Americans die each year due to a lack of health insurance, yet they don't even implement the "benefits" for 4 years! Does not that fiscal manipulation translate to 60 democrats voting Christmas Eve to kill 180,000 Americans over the next four years?..."
tommyhendricks wrote, "You leftists just sobering up from celebrating the permanent loss of the "public option"? Have one on me. One thing you may have missed through the bong smoke and gentle sobbing: this law won't kick in before 2014. By then, Obama's long gone, and the new Republican President and Congress will eviscerate this socialist crap in 2012-2013, de facto repealing 98% of it..."
flatlandfarmer wrote, "Annual premium increases for health insurance cost are out of control and eroding our economy!... Big health insurance companies have entrenched themselves and their lobbyist firms for decades in this battle to federally mandate consumer protections at the heart of this reform bill. The public option is not on the table due to the corporate control of the senate. A critically important yet MISSING component of this reform is a trigger [for]... a single payer federal plan if they do not follow the letter of the law...."
dboz1970 added, "Well stated but... Those of us who support Single Payer or at least a Public Option are already so distrustful of the nefarious behavior of the Insurance Cartel, that we believe a trigger is a waste of time. The Insurance Industry will ultimately and undoubtably act in such a way that the trigger is activated so,...why waste time. Start a competitor immediately..."
Mom21 asked, "...this so called Health care reform! It is nothing but a pork barrel. WHY should we be MANDATED to buy insurance from blood sucking insurance companies? Exactly what has he achieved? Who is to control the insurance companies, from raising premiums for chronically ill people?..."
asmith1 wrote, "...For several million otherwise eligible Americans who will be priced out [can't afford to buy a policy and not eligible for subsidies], they better find something to cut from their personal budget so they can come up with the extra money to buy an insurance policy or they will be fined. And if they still can't afford to buy the policy and pay the fine, they will go to jail. And Obama calls this a victory?..."
Reporter Scott Wilson wrote that "Obama's advisers have portrayed a highly successful year pushing important bills through Congress, comparing his record to those of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Presidential scholars offer a more cautious appraisal, even as they note that Obama is operating in a more partisan time in Washington than those Democratic predecessors had."
This prompted Aprogressiveindependent to say, "...A person does not have to be a presidential scholar to know the propagandists in the white house, including the propagandist-in-chief is greatly exaggerating his "accomplishments," especially comparing him to Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt. You would have to be really stupid, excuse me, intellectually challenged, to believe that."
Chippewa said that "Scott Wilson is apparently too young to remember the time when reporters actually asked tough questions and raised uncomfortable issues, rather than serving as shills for politicians as he did with this article... All that's missing in Mr. Wilson's cheerleading for this disastrous President is a skirt and some pom-poms."
The Birther Noise Continues with mike85, who wrote that "Obama rejects criticism of Obamacare just like he rejects the fact that he is not a US citizen, and that his entire presidency is beholden to special interests. If the truth were known about Obama, the man would be in prison, not the white House."
rbpjlh5 said, "I think that man actually believes that he can CREATE the truth simply by making a statement. If he says it, then it's true. Fortunately for America, there are those of us objective enough to see the truth through all the lies we are being fed on a daily basis..."
ggwalt wrote, "I think President Obama has done just fine... First and foremost, he literally brought this economy back from the brink. He's restored our credibility and respect in the world... He's done all this while battling a group of Republicans who are purely intent on his destruction, and who offer nothing to the debate but falsehoods and paranoid fantasies."
All comments on this article are here.
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