Sunday, May 4, 2014

Obama- Fair or Foul?

We don't do well with shades of gray, with complexities, with questions without defined responses.

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Both in the domestic arena and in foreign affairs ("President Obama and the World", "It's Not Just About Obama" and "42 and 45 Overpower 44") the New York Times grapples with where the cause and effect lies regarding a president who stares out at a world seemingly beyond his capacity to control.

Is it the Republican party leaders who have laid us fallow? They have been unalterably committed to the destruction of the Obama presidency and in the wake of that determination have kept our economy from recovering, ignored pleas to repair the infrastructure or address our the energy imbalance, allowed the middle class to virtually disappear and watched as the lower class sunk into despair. Or can this all be laid at the feet of a president who Maureen Dowd has consistently alleged is not remotely interested in getting his hands dirty or playing the games that these people play?

And in lands abroad, where hints at democracy have turned into nightmares of  authoritarian brutality, where our efforts over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan have seemingly brought little by way of permanent success but merely left us dazed and confused, and where one leader has turned his personal vision of a return to prominence of his country into an ugly and ongoing dance where his lead is countered by not much of anything, are we truly capable of doing much more than plugging up one hole while a dozen others are erupting? Do each of these plays have to come to their own conclusion or are we truly capable of performing the role of  deus ex machina?

We are far too myopic, far too willing to judge events as they are unfolding and declare victory or defeat, good or bad, right or wrong. Both those who come to condemn President Obama, and those who come to praise him, should step back, take a deep breath and understand that time and history will give us much more definition than we can ever find in the moment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is the repubs that have had the worst impact. I thought it interesting that the main op-ed started out as all the things he has done wrong but concluded that he actually did OK. Or at least that was my take. PB