These are dangerous times for the United States with troubles abroad, terrorism efforts, economic challenges, domestic issues and political posturing affecting our nation’s stature abroad.
The individual bearing the brunt of the pressures arising out of these troubles or issues is the president. He has the ultimate responsibility for how Uncle Sam will address or react to these matters. It is a tough, demanding and extremely important job and responsibility.
In addition to the issues or challenges noted above, there also is the matter of how Obama will handle the growing questioning of or opposition to many of his policies, both domestic and abroad, and how this will affect the country — particularly the policies he favors to make the “fundamental changes” he thinks are necessary.
During the first four years of his presidency, Obama enjoyed relatively easy sailing. He had won a convincing victory over GOP candidate John McCain. In fact, he steamrolled his opponent. He is a gifted speaker, and with his party controlling both the House and Senate in his first two years in the White House, he could get about any legislation he wanted.
He is America’s first African American president, and the majority of the nation’s large news media were supportive of him and were slow, even reluctant, to question or disagree with many of his actions and policies. If these same actions or policies had been initiated and executed by former President George W. Bush, the media and loyal Democrats would have had a field day in their criticism.
Obama won again in his race against Mitt Romney, but since the November election, there has been a gradual increase in the degree of questioning of Obama’s actions. In recent months, he has faced severe criticism of his and his administration’s handling of the Benghazi matter, the situation in which the IRS denied or delayed charitable tax classifications for conservative or tea party organizations, his Justice Department’s actions against the Associated Press and Fox News reporters, the revelation of how the federal government has secretly monitored telephone and text messages of millions of American citizens as well as secretly monitoring private conversations of foreign leaders, his strong criticism of a recent Supreme Court ruling and his “war” on the coal industry and those who support it.
News reports claim Obama has lost the respect of leaders in China and Russia and even some of America’s allies.
Earlier this week, in the face of growing opposition to the president’s health care plan, the government announced one of the major requirements of the plan, due to become effective in six months, would be postponed for a year.
Now he talks about using executive actions to get what he wants regardless of what those in Congress or the public may think is the right course of action or what’s best for this country and its citizens.
This is where things get serious. When a president is so committed, so determined, to get what he wants and apparently will do whatever is necessary to get his way, there are bound to be troubles.
A president’s exercise of executive powers should be done carefully and sparingly, not as a means to get even, show his power, be a bully or pursue raw political purposes.
During his first campaign for the presidency, Obama told his followers they were only a few days away from being able to make “fundamental changes” in America. Now, with the 2014 midterm elections approaching, it is apparent Obama and his political organization are pulling out all the stops to try to win enough votes to take control of the U.S. House and hold onto their majority in the Senate. This seems to be Obama’s No. 1 goal, and he and his advisers will use whatever means and federal actions to win votes — whether or not they are in the best interests of the country.
He must have these Democratic House and Senate votes if he is to remodel this country to his liking.
Some claim this is common and expected in tough, mean political fights, but such actions can be dangerous and damaging to the country.
Obama is facing more questioning, more opposition, a drop in his public popularity and apparently a loss of respect by foreign leaders — almost a 180-degree reversal from what he enjoyed in his first four years. Granted, most past presidents have seen their popularity numbers drop in their second terms, when they become so-called “lame ducks.”
The question today is how Obama will handle or react to this shift in what once was almost adulation, with massive media support, to today’s conditions in which he is facing tough questions and no longer enjoys an almost carte blanche to do whatever he wishes. How will he handle his “lame duck” years?
Will his determination to use every resource to try to gain control of the House and get what he wants in federal policies and laws be good for the country and good for all Americans? Will more secrecy and less transparency, more cover-ups, more excuses or blaming of others for setbacks or defeats and increased use of executive actions to get what he wants be good or bad for this country and/or good or bad for Obama?
A lot is at stake for this country. How Obama performs in his remaining time in the White House in the face of growing criticism, a drop in popularity and growing challenges, both foreign and domestic, all will play a significant role in determining the strength and respect this country and its citizens will enjoy when America’s next president takes office. This country cannot afford major mistakes or arrogance in the White House.