Letters to the Editor

Grade inflation

December 23, 2009


To the editor:

This is about President Obama’s appearance on “Oprah,” during which time he graded his performance as president with a B-plus.

Has President Obama gone mad? We haven’t had a B-plus president since the days of FDR or Harry Truman.

As for Mr. Obama’s goal of achieving an A performance in the near future, the president needs to get real! We haven’t had an A caliber president since the era of Abraham Lincoln.

I must say, President Obama is an improvement over President Bush, but that’s not saying much.

Will the president improve with time? I hope so. In order to become the president that Americans were hoping for, President Obama must return to planet Earth and deal with real issues, i.e., the economy, health care and the war in Afghanistan.

As for an up-to-present-time grade, in my humble opinion, President Obama arguably deserves a C-minus.


Stephen Roberts 8 years, 1 month ago

Beo- isn't it a little early to be picking on Tom for his opinion?? Maybe you should go out a steal some candy from a baby first.

Brent Garner 8 years, 1 month ago

B+?? C-?? How about an F!!! Nothing he has said he would do has he done! Unemployment climbed above 10% and he said it wouldn't if we did the Porkulus bill, but it did. His Cap-and-Trade legislation is stalled probably permanently. He failed in Copenhagen twice--Olympics and the Climate Confab. He has decided to use an end run around the Constitution via the EPA to impose his world view of carbon emmissions. There may be some serious constitutional issues there. Iran still marches toward the atomic bomb. He has cozied up to every tyrant and dictator who hate us. He took weeks to decide whether or not to send more troops to Afghanistan. Why? so apparently he could gauge the political outcome and his non-military advisors who don't know squat about warfighting could second guess the troops on the ground. No, I have erred. An F would be to high a grade for this bozo!

jayhawklawrence 8 years, 1 month ago

The fact of the matter is that we are too hard on our Presidents.

We expect them to solve all of our problems and do it within the first 12 months in office.

People even complain about Jesus. So what what are you going to do? We are just becoming more and more a nation of whiners who no longer know how to think for ourselves.

I think we need to recognize that we are letting the politicians push our buttons way too much and giving them way too much credit when things go good and when things go bad.

90% of the complaints about Obama are just BS. You can say the same thing about most of the complaints about Bush.

These are both guys that tried and are trying to do the best they can in a very tough job.

The real problem is our congress and our decision making or non-decision making process. We have too many left wingers and right wingers who are not qualified for their jobs and we are so stupid we voted for them.

These guys have clearly demonstrated that they cannot fix or solve anything.

Kirk Larson 8 years, 1 month ago

It is a fact that no matter who the President is after 2012, we will still be cleaning up the brown stain that was the Bush presidency for many years. Bush's disgrace is all the more considering the good conditions he inherited from the Clinton years. That said, considering the mess President Obama inherited, I give him a B-.

mom_of_three 8 years, 1 month ago

Let's see some proof that Lincoln was a bad President....and take into consideration the situation he was in.
C'mon all you amateur historians, let's hear it.

Kirk Larson 8 years, 1 month ago

beobachter, that's the point, republicans have the candy and they ARE babies: Waaah, I don't want anyone to have affordable health care. Waaah, I don't want to pay my fair share of taxes for the Gov't services that helped me get rich in the first place. Waaah, I want to impose my particular religious beliefs on everyone else. Waaah, I want to spend more on the military than the next twenty countries combined. Waaah, environmental regulations are socialism (oops, just pooped my pants, get the EPA to clean it up, willya). It just goes on and on...

Kirk Larson 8 years, 1 month ago

As far as Lincoln, I guess some Libertarians feel it's an imposition on their Liberties that they can't own slaves, oppressive government and all that.

volunteer 8 years, 1 month ago

It is hard for Joe Lunchpail to sympathize with the tax problems of the wealthy. It is my understanding that "capital gains" are taxed at a substantially lower rate than earned income (due to the whole "taking a risk" theory, perhaps).

Congrats, Tom, on shrewd investing. I bet you can lower your taxes by making a charitable donation!

Wall Streeters have done well under Obama. That huge bail out when the Dow was at 6500 gave the big banks and brokerages money to buy stock at that price, and now that the Dow is back in the ten thousand area, million dollar bonuses are in play.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

But Obama could sure campaign like a Populist.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 1 month ago

I think president Bush was a strong person. He believed in what he did, and did not waiver from that belief. for that I give him high marks. I don't see that conviction in Obama. I believe that he will go with whatever plan makes him look the best. unfortunately, he's chosen pretty poorly because Americans tend to like people who are true to their beliefs.

Had Obama been completely honest with himself, he should have said C..maybe C+. that would have made him appear less arrogant, but as a heavy narcissist, that would be impossible.

Kirk Larson 8 years, 1 month ago

Glib_One, I know Lincoln did not initially want to free the slaves, but the fact is he did, even if it was a kind of cynical, political move. Just sayin'.

1029 8 years, 1 month ago

I bet Jesus and Obama would have been good friends. They seem pretty similar as far as human beings go--except I doubt Obama could turn loaves of bread into fish.

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 1 month ago

Beo- are sure the republicans styole the candy or did the Democrats see that a baby had candy and other babies did not and they chose to reallocate the candy from the haves to the have nots?

Have a good holiday.

Satirical 8 years, 1 month ago


You forgot about the part where half of the candy gathered is somehow lost due to the huge bureaucracy that is the "Candy Redistribution in America Plan" (C.R.A.P.)

You also failed to mention the part where Dems who lobbied for C.R.A.P. claimed every baby would get candy, but only 1/3 of those without candy ended up getting any.

Also, you must be in a forgiving mood (being the holidays and all) for failing to mention the 100s of billions in deficit spending pork that was added to C.R.A.P as a political bribe to the 60 politicians who voted for C.R.A.P.

So in the end, because of C.R.A.P., lots of candy was taken, much of it was lost, the problem wasn’t solved, and new problems were created. C.R.A.P is the paradigm government program for Dems.

Satirical 8 years, 1 month ago

When Bush was asked if he made any mistakes, and Bush didn't give the media the response they were looking for, the media was all over Bush about his alleged hubris and ego.

But Obama gives himself a B+ when millions of Americans are desperate to work (over 10% nationally), the economic stimulus plan didn't do what was promised, and he hasn't accomplished anything, and the media gives him a pass. Yep, no bias at all...

On a side note: Did Jayhawklawrence really compare Obama to Jesus?

staff04 8 years, 1 month ago

"When Bush was asked if he made any mistakes, and Bush didn't give the media the response they were looking for, the media was all over Bush about his alleged hubris and ego."

And what answer was that, Sat?

Satirical 8 years, 1 month ago

staff04... "And what answer was that, Sat?"

He was asked more than once, and the media response was basically the same. To which time are you referring?

Kirk Larson 8 years, 1 month ago

1029, I doubt Jesus could either. Not sayin' he didn't live, but I think his PR people went a little overboard.

anon1958 8 years, 1 month ago

The general consensus among professional historians is that Lincoln was one of if not the greatest American president. To say that he was one of the worst presidents just really only serves to identify yourself as an ignorant extremist. Historians have access to much of what Lincoln wrote or said and to infer that the entire profession of American and political historians worldwide have conspired to white wash his reputation makes you look like a moron.

Getting a grade as president is a ridiculous idea but people that watch a lot of tv need to have things simplified beyond usefulness.

Obama is continuing the CIA "secret" assassination program in Pakistan and indeed increased it so I give an F on that.

The economic mess was created by Bush and Republican deregulation as well as trillions wasted in Iraq. How can Obama be graded on that? The economy is what the proles base their grade on though.

Obama's Nobel was awarded as a repudiation of the Bush presidency, not for anything Obama did. I would hate to have been him the day of that announcement.

Iraq and Afghanistan are FUBAR, I admire Obama for stepping up to the plate and being president now, rather than later.

The environment is FUBAR and a lot of scientists are not really writing or saying it but they believe we are past the tipping point on staying at the 2 degrees Celsius or less increase in the next 75 years. Obama cannot do anything about that, so no grade!

Healthcare industry is FUBAR but many of the people that would benefit the most from reform are against it, so no grade there!

Kirk Larson 8 years, 1 month ago

Really, Satirical, is that all you got? A 5 month old picture. And did you ever see the motion picture taken? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-141_zqn_U4 It's not so clear what he's looking at. And anyway, who cares. Just because you're looking at President Obama's a$$, he can look at whatever he likes. He's human. It's only twits like you and Tom Shrewman who call him the Messiah. Jeez, get a clue.

MyName 8 years, 1 month ago

@Jacob123 (aka Arminius?)

FDR and Lincoln were two of the worst presidents. They did more to destroy the USA republic than any other president.

You are completely clueless here. Hello? If we didn't have a President who could actually, you know, win the Civil War, then there wouldn't BE a United States. There'd be two weak countries on one huge stretch of land.

And the same goes for FDR. Could we have won WWII under a different President? Probably. Could we have lost WWII under a different President (e.g. Bush II or McKinley, or heck maybe even Clinton), almost certainly.

The fact that he not led the country to victory in the last war that was a real existential crises for this country, but also helped pull us out of the Great Depression and set up a government policy that helped hundreds of millions of elderly people to live longer and healthier in their old age, and you think there's something "wrong" with this, is all you need to say.

Satirical 8 years, 1 month ago

Cappy… “And did you ever see the motion picture taken?”

I watched the video from your link. Simply because some Obama Acolyte tries to deceive you and you believe it, doesn’t make it true. Watch the video without the commentary. It is further proof that he was checking her out. If he was just “checking his footing,” why did he just feel a need to stare at the ground for a very long time? He kept looking down after checking her out to cover for what he had done.

“And anyway, who cares.” - cappy

Yes, it must be racist of me to poke fun of the POTUS. None shall mock Him when He stares at a woman’s behind! So let it be written.

“Just because you're looking at President Obama's (expletive), he can look at whatever he likes.” - cappy

LOL. Projecting much? Looks like someone is easily upset.

“It's only twits like you and Tom Shrewman who call him the Messiah. Jeez, get a clue” - cappy

The childish name calling says much more about you than it does about me.
BTW, jayhawklawrence was the one comparing Obama to Jesus on this thread.

diplomacy205 8 years, 1 month ago


"If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that." Abraham Lincoln in a letter to Horace Greeley.

As the only American President to face an armed civil war, (Shay's rebellion doesn't count) he did what was necessary to save the Union.

Interesting survey of Presidential rankings.


Satirical 8 years, 1 month ago

cappy... "FAIL."

Can't argue with that impeccable logic.

Kirk Larson 8 years, 1 month ago

Sat, You gotta admit your response was pretty lame. 1) They were standing on a flight of steps. He's looking at the ground so he doesn't fall on his arse on international TV. 2) I never said you were racist, I only asked why you care. He's a guy. I would be a little disappointed if he didn't look. (Which I expect he did, but from the footage I don't think he leered particularly). 3) Projecting right back at ya. You're the one who thinks there was something unsettling about what he might have done. 4) Your pulling out something so irrelevant was a twitty thing to do so you fully earned the title.

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 1 month ago

I am disappointed in President Obama's response, if it were me I would have said "Oprah every day I am doing the best that I can. Do I wish I could wave a magic wand and solve all of the world's problems?? Yes but I can't. History will judge me on what I ran on during the campaign, what was accomplished during my presidency, and time will tell. Right now it is unfair to give myself a grade but I will continue to do my best and live up to the high standards of the office of the President of the United States collectively set by the people who have served in this office."

To me giving himself a grade, he is showing me that his ego has become bigger than it was during the election. I can only hope he realizes that his self-assessed grade right now could increase or decrease in the future.

Randall Barnes 8 years, 1 month ago


ralphralph 8 years, 1 month ago

Free health care and magic ponies for all!

MyName 8 years, 1 month ago

Someone took the time to write a LTE about a BS softball question on Oprah? How about I write a LTE about the same softball questions thrown at Sarah Palin about the book she "wrote" and no one seems to have fact-checked (because it's fiction maybe?).

More worthless rhetoric from the Populist peanut gallery. Nothing to see here. Move along!

rjgarfunkel 8 years, 1 month ago

But all is not lost we then inherited the biggest fraud of them all, Ronald Reagan, who gave us 70% tax cuts for the rich, unemployment of 8% for eight years, record deficits, Iran-Contra, 250 dead marines in Lebanon, Bittburg, the $1 trillion savings & loan boondoggle, the 600 ship navy, star wars and the wave of spending without cutting expenses that led to the Bush II disaster. Do we have star wars or the 600 ship navy? Funny thing is that we do have Daniel Ortega! But it was big government in Washington!

Let’s not forget Bush I, who squandered his post Gulf War popularity of 95%, stated “no new taxes,” and almost caused the country to go bankrupt. That is why in 1992 his vote as an incumbent was lower than Hoover’s and maybe Martin Van Buren’s.

Now we are again in another mess. It is all because Dodd and Frank wanted easier mortgages. They must have created the derivatives, debt-swapping, Country Wide Financial, Enron, and all of the de-regulation fathered by Reagan-Bush! They must have sponsored the Dubai Ports, Katrina, two unfunded wars, the 8 year failure in Afghanistan, the blurring of the “establishment clause,” the faith based initiatives, the porous borders, the migration of jobs, the petro dollar outflow, the disappearance of our manufacturing base, the drug and energy giveaway legislation and the collapse of our banking system, the auto industry and the stock market. They must have forced Bush to not veto a GOP sponsored bill for six years. They must have sent GW Bush to Crawford to cut brush during those eight months before 9/11. In fact it was on their watch, not his! He was only guilty of reading a book upside down on 9/11!

So you are right, it isn’t all Bush II's fault! According to some of you he was great because he was sincere, so was Attila the Hun!

Part 2

Richard J. Garfunkel Host of the Advocates wvox 1460 am radio http://advocates-wvox.com

anon1958 8 years, 1 month ago

rando1965 (Anonymous) says…

lincoln the best ??? i don't think so, if he was never president obama would be someones slave.

There you have it folks, the white racist trash viewpoint.

BigPrune 8 years, 1 month ago

Ronald Reagan was the greatest president in my lifetime and no mention from the letter writer? Maybe it was because Reagan wasn't as concerned about going on some talk show for approval and more concerned about people putting hundreds of dollars in their paychecks monthly so they could go out and spend it.

It all started with Clinton playing his sax on Arsenio Hall and talking about his underwear on MTV. Now it's degraded further with Obama going on Oprah. I guess he owes a lot to Oprah on how to brainwash viewers - like automatons I tell ya!

lctchr1 8 years, 1 month ago

Jacob, what about Pearl Harbor? Isn't that why we finally got ourselves into WWII? What should we have done?

Jason Bailey 8 years, 1 month ago

Historians say Lincoln was a great (if not the greatest) President because they are focused on the microcosm of historical context which they are studying. For instance, when they look at Lincoln, they study the historical context of Slavery which began in full-scale back in the 1600s and the various political and sociological incidents/events that occurred leading up to and after Lincoln's Presidency.

They do not infuse the libertarian concept of states rights as vested by the Constitution and the originalist intentions of the Founding Fathers into their analysis. Their basis on finding Lincoln as "great" is purely in that he finally toppled the institution of slavery and held the Union together.

I find Lincoln as a great mind, and well-intentioned man but who did ultimately trample on the Constitution. In Lincoln's mind, if you study him, the ends did justify the means and that is a classic attribute of a despot or a tyrant.

I also find that Lincoln wasted thousands upon thousands of Union soldiers' lives in the war. He allowed McClellan to sit by idly, not pressing the war when it probably could have been cut short on multiple occasions. This missed opportunities (at which Lincoln himself bemoaned McClellan's lack of initiative at pursuing the enemy when they were beaten to deliver a killing blow) resulted in more years of bloodletting.

If you read the history of Lincoln's decisions (or lack thereof) as commander-in-chief through to the time he promoted Grant and Sherman as commanding generals, he comes across as a guy playing a leisurely game of Risk. Instead of replacing McClellan early when he failed the Union and made excuse after excuse for his inability to finish the job, Lincoln simply wrote "backstab" letters about McClellan to others and "Dear Diary" entries. He is certainly to blame for the countless destroyed homes from 1964-1865 which could have been prevented by an aggressive replacement to McClellan early in the war.

Read your history, folks.

diplomacy205 8 years, 1 month ago


Why aren't you using the same attacks on Woodrow Wilson "I kept us out of war."

Truman "We must defend Korea"

William McKinley A trumped up war against Spain.

Polk -- War of aggression against Mexico.

Not to mention the numerous interventions in Central and South America. We should never forget the great landgrab in Panama so that we could build the canal.

Read your history.

If you studied history, you woulkd know that the Army of the Potomac idolized McClellan and his removal severely damaged its morale. Lincoln tried various other commanders, Pope, Hooker, and Burnside, but they proved less effective than McClellan. Who would you have placed in command of the Army of the Potomac?

Lincoln tried to give command to Robert E. Lee, but he declined.

Don't make attacks unless you have reasonable alternatives.

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