20 January 2012


As often happens toward the end of a president's first term, especially when that president is the nation's first black chief executive and commander-in-chief, Barack Obama has been taking heat from both extreme conservative Republican (for being too liberal), and from extreme liberal Democrats (for not being liberal enough).  Obama made it clear when he first ran for the presidency that he is a moderate, and that his policies will reflect not short-term gain but long-term advantage for the country and its citizens.

In the most recent issue of Newsweek magazine (see cover above, click to enlarge), Andrew Sullivan addresses this contradiction in his article How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics.  He maintains that Republican Obama-bashing has no basis in reality, that in fact the president has delivered on the majority of his campaign promises, and is succeeding in the long remedial process of healing the disastrous financial and military excesses of preceding Republican administrations, most notably that of George W. Bush.  Sullivan states ~ "A caveat:  I write this as an unabashed supporter of Obama from early 2007 on.  I did so not as a liberal, but as a conservative-minded independent appalled by the Bush administration's record of war, debt, spending, and torture.  I did not expect, or want, a messiah.  I have one already, thank you very much.  And there have been many times when I have disagreed with decisions Obama has made ~ to drop the Bowles-Simpson debt commission, to ignore the war crimes of the recent past, and to launch a war in Libya without Congress's sanction, to cite three.  But given the enormity of what he inherited, and given what he explicitly promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb.  Their short-term outbursts have missed Obama's long game ~ and why his reelection remains, in my view, as essential to this country's future as his original election in 2008."

If you would like your own visual and personal impression of Sullivan, here is a link to an interview he did with Chris Matthews on Hardball.  Sullivan comes across as down to earth, pragmatic, and willing to point out any myopic thinking by Republicans or Democrats.  It is a fascinating reality check, with Matthews asking pointed questions and Sullivan providing well-reasoned answers. Given the flea circus that is the Republican presidential nomination race, this writer finds it reassuring that the presumptive Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, presents a calm and intelligent alternative who is highly conversant in Constitutional law, and pragmatic in his dealings with allies and antagonists (domestic and foreign).  

P.S. ~ Obama also has a cool charisma ~ during a speech at a fundraising event in New York Thursday night, the President sang while thanking Al Green, who performed earlier at the same event.  Dude has it goin' on.

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