Obama – How has he done?

Posted June 30, 2012 on 1:38 pm | In the category Uncategorized | by Mackenzie Brothers

As an election in the USA approaches, the judgments on Obama’s four years in office, even among his supporters, seem to be settling in an area that might be summarized as pretty disappointing but not when compared to what the competition is offering.  For those of us looking on from outside, it seemed from the beginning that Obama’s victory was both  a very pleasant surprise that might however lead to a big let-down .  On  the one hand it showed such resilience that a non-Caucasian could win the big prize in a country that only 50 years ago was still struggling to ensure basic civil rights for all citizens.  On the other hand it just seemed impossible that such an inexperienced politician could fulfill the hopes placed on him in such  an unstable political and economic world.

On top of that, as it turned out he was be faced with a congress that was unwilling to co-operate  across party lines and soon ground to a standstill.  And there didn’t seem to be any doubt that beneath  the surface there would always be a significant number of voters who  would vote him out of his office because of his colour, no matter what he did.  In such grotesque episodes as the birthers, doggedly attempting to prove he wasn’t born in the USA, this came right up on to the surface.  The leading German news magazine Der Spiegel just came out with a sympathetic photo of Obama on its title page, and one word underneath it:  Schade (” Too bad”), and  in the most recent New York Review of Books, David Cole summed up Obama’s record on such a basic matter as civil liberties and the law as much better than his predecessor as he stayed clear of the politics of fear, but at the same time very disappointing in his unwillingness to defend the ideals on which  the USA once placed its flag out in the world.   In short, the judgment seems to be that Obama was dealt a poor hand but hasn’t shown much creativity in playing  a better round with it.   Under normal circumstances he would be in  deep trouble for the next election, but a recent tour of beautiful New England, where he will win in his rival’s home state, convinced my brother Doug that the Republicans have made such a mess of their campaign that Obama is at the moment still the slight favourite to be re-elected, but it will be over a very divided country if he does win.  And his second term might then  be even  more problematic than his first.  May the force be with him.

 

 

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