Mar 042014

I can’t believe some of the comments I have read here. Many unfounded statements about Obama. attacks from his left, virtually identical in vitriol as attacks from the far right. Despite a Republican party that has done everything possible to block Obama’s initiatives, Obama stood for justice on numerous occasions. The fact is that he does not have enough congressional support to achieve much of what he would like to achieve legislatively. As an advocate for the working poor, I appreciate his own strong advocacy for a rise in the minimum wage to $10.10 for the entire workforce. It is congress that has either dithered or deliberately action in this area. We would have had a reasonable immigration policy in place by now if not for the far right virtually taking over the Republican Party. Obama has stood up for gay rights. He has introduced many initiatives to benefit small business, some of which have passed. I disagree with him in a number of areas, myself, e.g. the death penalty. I also am not a fan of charter schools, as he is. Though the process is not completed, and has been too slow, Esp. regarding Afghanistan, he in distancing us from Iraq and Afghanistan and Iraq in a responsible way. Precipitous action on the Ukraine would be foolhardy in the extreme. He is right to proceed cautiously. Really, I wish the UN were a strong and effective body when it comes to humanitarian action and to reduce oppression in the world. We cannot and should not go it alone any more. Well, never say never. The main problem in the USA right now is an extreme right that borders on neo-fascist thinking. The left needs to look at the big picture. I can list literally fine actions Obama has taken and some foolhardy ones as well, of course. But don’t forget that no president in recent memory has endured such a barrage of personal and political attack as Obama. The virtual refusal of Republicans to sit down and work out reasonable compromises with the administration and Dems in Congress has been the main impediment politically in this country since 2008. Don’t forget, also, that radical Islam IS a real threat to this country, in terms of terrorist attack. Also, radical fundamentalist Christians and other extremists on the right are a parallel, serious threat to our democracy. The health care measure was ill-designed in many respects, we now realize, in hindsight, but it can be fixed, if both sides would work together. There are many good things about ACA that must be retained of course–an end to denial of preexisting conditions, an end to dropping the patient who has a catastrophic illness, for example. And Medicaid should have been expanded, once again, to help the working poor, for one thing. I believe that good health care IS a basic human right–I believe the UN has said so too. Is Obama perfect–of course not. Am I in agreement with his every action: of course not. But remember the duress under which he has governed, much fueled by an endemic racism in this country, though Obama is biracial and has been cultural influenced by both Caucasian and African-American culture. He was largely raised by his white grandparents, for example. His mom, who tragically died of cancer, was white. I grew up in the South and fought for civil rights, but I admire Obama for his concerned for the poor and powerless of all races. I admire his character, especially his courage in standing up to attacks by critics from both sides. The economy, we have a long way to go, but there has been amazing progress, despite the continual effort to undermine progress by the far right. They care more about winning than about the country, clearly. And a shocking number of them seem to lack a conscience.

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