Wall Street and the auto industry bailout, healthcare reform, Iraq and Afghanistan, the "birthers," the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, immigration, 9.1% (16% real) unemployment, "shellacking" 2010 Midterm Congressional elections, civil unions, same-sex marriage, al Qaeda, bin Laden, renewal of the Patriot Act, continued rising tide of home foreclosures, national debt and budget deficit, August 2, 2011 deadline for raising national debt limit, he is not "one of us," not a Christian, but an "in-the-closet" Muslim, "he has a European state of mind," the 24/7 blogosphere of criticism, and a respected TV commentator calling him, a "dick," etc, etc. Need I say more?
So, Barack Hussein Obama, you wanted to be President of the United States?
When I see and listen to President Obama, sometimes I think of those memorable words by the gospel hymn composer, James Cleveland, "Nobody told me the road would be easy. But, Lord, don't believe you brought me this far, just to leave me."
History will record not only that Obama was the first African-American to be elected president of the United States, but that he was also president during a time when our nation was confronted with issues and problems of historic, if not unimaginable, magnitude.
There is a tradition of partisan opposition between the two major parties in our country. Most of the time, notwithstanding speeches in Congress or criticism in the press, there is usually a commonality of noblesse oblige, of decency underlying even some of the most vociferous rhetoric.
It it now clear that the Republican Party is dominated by persons who, under no circumstances, no way, no how, in this life, or the next, will accept the legitimacy of Obama, as an African-American, as president of this great nation. Few people have the guts or the courage to tell it like it is, lest they be criticized for "playing the race card," or suggesting that an African-American who becomes president somehow should not be criticized, but "given a pass" based on some offensive "double standard," etc, etc.
I am not suggesting or advocating any kid-gloves treatment of Obama because of his ethnicity. However, any careful observer of the media or listener to talk radio across our nation can only conclude that the antagonistic opposition to Obama is because of who he is, pure and simple. Ex-constitutional Harvard Law Review president, no-drama Obama, has obviously unhinged a substantial segment of our body politic.
Otherwise, how else to explain the bizarre behavior of the Republican Party leadership holding a press conference at the same time as President Obama had called his press conference, and, proposing as their signature political solution to our debt and budget crisis a proposal for a balanced-budget amendment to our Constitution? Is this a serious proposal or just sham political posturing?
It takes a vote of two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate to pass such a proposal. Then, assuming this occurs, such an amendment has to be submitted to the legislature of 50 States for ratification. For such an amendment, or any amendment for that matter, to be incorporated into our Constitution requires three-fourths of the states to ratify it. This is the Republican congressional leadership's "timely solution" to our debt crisis?
Meanwhile in the real world, according to the Economist the IMF predicts that by 2016 China will become the largest economy on a "purchasing-power-parity basis." China now has estimated foreign exchange reserves of more than $3 trillion and last year ran a budget deficit of 2.5% of its GDP.
And we have Congressional Republican clowns suggesting that we default on the payment of our debt obligations rather than raise the debt limit?
I agree with the president. The Republican congressional leadership needs to take a page from the playbook of Obama's 10- and 13-year-old daughters' discipline in doing their homework.
If Congress were serious, they should reflect on what's going on in the real world efforts to revive our domestic manufacturing economy. Again, China is a key player.
In a speech in Iowa in last week, President Obama spoke about his desire to have more manufacturing in the U.S. Specifically, he mentioned wind turbine components as one of the things that should be made more in the U.S.
GE Energy, a part of GE, whose chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, is head of the president's Council On Jobs and Competitiveness and Economic Recovery Advisory Board, buys most of their drive systems from offshore: mainly Europe (Moventas of Finland and others) and China-based (Nanjing Gear Company) suppliers. Hold on; something doesn't compute here.
If Jeffrey Immelt and President Obama are committed to creating U.S. jobs, why can't they buy from a domestic company? Such a company, in turn could buy from American steel companies, creating thousands of U.S. jobs! This seems more in line with the president's domestic manufacturing agenda than having GE Energy continue to import gear boxes made with European and Chinese steel. Additionally, it would save GE Energy significant freight cost and reduce their carbon footprint of shipping these heavy components from around the world to the U.S.
Hey, but what do I know? I just may be another one of those persons the White House describes as part of their "complaining base of supporters."
There's still time to bring in the calvary headed by Sasha and Malia before August 2, 2011.