President Obama is the problem alright. It’s just that race has little or nothing to do with it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My apologies to President Carter, but he’s apparently so sensitive to racial issues, he’s missing the point. He, and others who are, once again, “playing the race card” as the media likes to say, need to ask themselves what would cause such unusually aggressive reaction from some of the President’s critics if he were white?

Is race, in other words, the only or even the most likely explanation? I don’t think so. I think this is what we get when we elect a phenomenon President, instead of a seasoned government leader. Isn’t it just possible that people are reacting to President Obama’s inexperience, to his lack of demonstrated fiscal and administrative management of our government?

He proposes massive healthcare legislation, but hasn’t yet offered a specific, written program for Congress to consider.

On the unfounded threat of imminent economic collapse, he spends tens of billions to prop up key players in the financial sector – To what end? – while getting Congress to commit hundreds of billions more in emergency funding for various private sector programs, most of which has yet to be allocated and spent. And did I mention we now own General Motors?

He’s moved the war in Iraq, which is still ongoing by the way, to Afghanistan where our military leadership is telling us it needs more troops, and that it’s going to take a while to win this – as if we didn’t know that going in.

Budget deficits, current and predicted, are huge and going nowhere but up.

And unemployment continues to increase as we, hopefully, approach the bottoming out of our worst recession since the Great Depression. He can claim his efforts have helped minimize the extent of this downturn, but most of us know better.

All this in his first 8 months in office – while demonstrating an exceptional, naïve faith in the ability and appropriateness of unprecedented peacetime federal government intervention in private sector affairs.

Whew! Absolutely breathtaking.

Could it be that the American people are just a little rattled, just a little nervous, and that it’s the colorblind anxiety so many of us are feeling that’s bubbling to the surface?

Making matters worse, the President is clearly still in a campaign mode. Speech after speech, he’s everywhere campaigning for healthcare and his other objectives – when he should be, so some would say, actually managing the budget, preparing detailed programs, fixing this, fixing that, one small, and some not so small problem at a time. Talk, talk, talk. It’s not visibility we want, it’s results. He’s already been elected, so why does it seem like he’s still running for office?

It seems like he’s still running for office, because he is. It’s all he and the campaign leadership he brought to the White House with him know. Think about how he got elected. Highly charged caucuses at which his young and other supporters did little to constrain their enthusiasm, followed by rock star campaign rally performances in front of thousands, often tens of thousands of exuberant fans. Yes, he riled us up when it suited his purposes, but now when the excited utterances of a tiny minority of concerned citizens comes back at him, the best his core supporters can do is conclude that it must be about race?

A word of political advice to the President: You dared us to vote for you despite the fact that you were black, and we did – some of us for that reason, most of us because we thought you to be a better choice than John McCain to get the stench of the Bush administration out of Washington. Get it out of your head that you were elected as the second coming of Kennedy, Roosevelt, Lincoln and Jefferson. You’re a new President with three years of nondescript Senate experience behind you, who so far hasn’t proven you’re worthy of the confidence of the American people who elected you.

Race is a ploy you can use too often. Focus on the business of running the government. You’re scaring the American people, making us uneasy, and that’s never a good idea, particularly in the midst of a serious recession. Stop running for office, and get to work micro managing your administration, even if it means a little less face-time with your teleprompters.


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2 responses to “President Obama is the problem alright. It’s just that race has little or nothing to do with it.

  1. I so agree with you on this. Obama ran a perfect campaign but seems to fail @ governing.

    Obama should not have rushed health care debate so soon. HE should have fixed the economy and the wars first.

    Great piece.

    • Hey. Good to hear from you again.

      President Obama and his team are very smart people. Hopefully, they’ll learn from the legislative mess and public anxiety they’ve helped create, and calm things down. Effective government needs to operate at a reasoned pace.

      In the meantime, I’m concerned that they’re in danger of getting in over their heads. Imagine a new domestic or international crisis imposed on top of everything else they’ve got going on. Could be too much for any administration to handle well without further, significant loss of public confidence.


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