President Bashing

I was motivated to write this posting after receiving an email from a Republican friend who endorsed a document written by a Mr. Sam Vaknin, who claims he is the world’s leading expert on narcissism. This document claimed beyond any shadow of a doubt that Barack Obama is a huge narcissist. Worse than that, Vaknin compared him to Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein and Charles Manson, among others. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that any American citizen, especially one that is highly intelligent, could stoop so low.

I had never heard of Sam Vaknin but a simple Google search revealed he is someone who hates America, is a convicted felon in Israel and has created his “image” using the Internet, blogs and a bunch of falsified educational credentials. My friend had circulated this document to all of her “Republican and Democratic friends” with the motivation “because I care so much about you and about our country”. In other words she wholeheartedly endorsed what Vaknin had written. I thought the “birther” issue was bad enough but this email seems to reach a level of President Bashing that has lowered the bar to the point where serious questions should be asked about such tactics.

One of the questions I ask is whether President Bashing in America is a new phenomenon and where are its roots? During the last President Bush’s tenure in office I don’t remember anything of a similar intensity. Yes, his inability to express himself was sometimes comical but it never really went beyond that. I was somewhat surprised that the Democrats did not exploit his dubious explanations why he didn’t serve in the military during a time of war. After all, as President he became Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful army in the world. It was said he “disappeared” for a couple of years and there were rumors of alcoholism and preferential treatment because of his family’s connections.

Of course, then we had the Democratic President Clinton. During his tenure, the United States was put on hold for almost two years as Republicans did everything in their power to impeach him and remove him from office because he got a blowjob. It all centered around one question, which he was asked under oath “Did you ever have sexual relationships with Monica Lewinski?” He answer was a simple “No”.  In many countries, especially in Europe, his answer would have been correct but the interpretation of what sex is takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the President of the United States. The religious right seized their chance for President Bashing with a vengeance with no consideration what it was doing to the country as a whole. The rest of the world looked on in amazement.

My conclusion has been that, looking back at the last 18 years of Presidents, it would appear to be a tactic more often used by the right than the left. This brings me back to Barack Obama. In his first term as President it would seem that the Republicans took President Bashing to a completely new level. Other than “lowering taxes” (which hasn’t worked for the past 10 years), I have not heard of any concrete plans from any of the GOP candidates how they plan to fix the unemployment problem. They spend all of their time bashing Obama. In one of the GOP hopefuls’ debate, Michele Bachmann, who many think carried herself well during the debate, said three things. I am running for the presidency, I will cut taxes (…yaaawn) and my goal is to make sure that Obama is a “one term President”.

What a great agenda! When the country needs everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, to focus on the country’s problems and sit down with the leadership to work out solutions, all we hear from our politicians is their only goal is to get rid of their President, and this includes the current Speaker of the House, John Boehner. What is wrong with this picture? It even started when Obama first took office. “He is a Muslim” was the first attack. Then he was not born in the United States. Now he has done nothing to solve the country’s problems. Well, let’s take a look at the facts:

  • He inherited a deep recession with lob losses running at more 700,000 every month. This was none of his doing. The recession started in 2007 under Bush and Obama ended it after just one year in office.
  • Obama took over and managed the infamous TARP program pushed through by President Bush. Under this program only $389 billion of the allocated $700 billion was loaned out. So far $234 billion has been paid back and the government has made $35 billion profit from this program. Not shabby!
  • Obama had to take on the mess Bush left behind with two major wars. He has managed the withdrawal of troops in Iraq (a campaign promise), finished the war and has reinforced the commitment in Afghanistan, where the focus should have been from the beginning but which Bush neglected.
  • He tracked down Osama Bin Laden and took him out 27 months into his first term. Bush never found him, despite the loss of more than 4,000 American lives and more than $1 trillion in costs.
  • In less than three years Obama created more net jobs than Bush achieved in eight years as President. Shocking, I know, but true. In fact the Wall Street Journal noted of Bush’s term in office that we had “the worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records”. So much for tax reductions creating jobs!

Of course, there are many more achievements than these but my point is why are people still President Bashing, when things are a lot better than when he came into office and he has achieved the majority of what he promised on the campaign trail? I find this question hard to answer. One individual put it this way: Many Americans still cannot accept that a black President can do a good job, even better than Bush. Is this the real problem? I thought his victory was also a victory for the Great American Experiment. I have asked my right wing friends what evidence do they have that Obama is a Muslim (as they claim). I never get a straight answer. “He just is” is the most I get. Maybe they are just jealous and prejudice that he is “not one of them”.

Hopefully, the Republicans will come with some concrete suggestions about how to put America back to work and not just that rewritten, rehashed doctrine of tax reductions that have never worked. As long as they spend the majority of their time Obama Bashing then you know they have nothing. If that’s all that they can talk about then we can only be thankful that at least the American voters can see through this and have given Obama a second term to finish off what he has started. At least now we don’t have to listen to those Republicans who only had on their agenda to make sure Obama was a one-term President. Perhaps they will commit to making him only a two-term President!

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