Fair or not there is a rule in politics. If something happens on your watch you have to accept responsibility for it. During the term of George W. the national debt and the deficit exploded. It resulted from a huge unfunded tax cut for the wealthy, a major unfunded increase in the Medicare program, two unfunded wars, and the almost total collapse of the housing and banking industries.
When Obama entered office he inherited all that and under his tenure much of it has been corrected. We are still engaged in war, we still have a national debt that’s too large, unemployment is better but the quality of jobs isn’t what it should be. After eight years he’s going to leave the nation in better condition than he found it.
The thing that the right has never admitted to is, what Obama found is not what Obama caused. And what Obama fixed was fixed in spite of almost total opposition from a Republican controlled Congress. During Obama’s terms the GOP has truly been “The Party of NO.”
None of this is to say Obama has been a perfect president. I have been an avid supporter but I’ve also been highly critical of him over certain issues. For example, I think he caved to the GOP several times when he should have hung tough. I never did completely agree with how his administration spent the stimulus money at its beginning. I will never agree that Obamacare was the correct approach to universal health care. I think he and the Democrats let the insurance industry have too much say.
I’m also not satisfied with his handling of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US invaded Afghanistan to punish Al-Qaeda for attacking the twin towers and the Taliban for giving refuge to Osama bin Laden. Well, both those things were more than accomplished in short order but Bush decided to get into nation building and spreading American style democracy and it’s evolved into America’s longest running nightmare. I fault Obama for not getting out, in total, in the opening months of his first term of office.
The war in Iraq never had to happen and Bush bears total responsibility for his horrible decision. What has happened since the fall of Hussein is a humanitarian nightmare almost without equal in modern times. While I don’t hold Obama responsible I do think he, and the world, has not handled the situation well and only added to the suffering. I don’t know the answer but it’s not what we’ve been doing.
To Obama’s credit he has never spent much time fretting over why he faced what he did in 2009. He has been relatively silent on the sins of George Bush. His legacy is not in what he found but what he left. On this I think he can take some pride.
The GOP has love asking the American people if they are better off today than they were yesterday? Their premise is that most people will answer no, abandon the Democrats, and vote Republican. Well, I think that if Americans today take a moment to step back and seriously reflect on this nation in 2008, they can’t deny that we are better off than we were eight years ago.
At present the question is, where will we be four years from now. The GOP loves to say a vote for Hillary is a continuation of the Obama policies. While I don’t think that’s a certainty I also don’t see much wrong with it. For eight years America has steadily inched forward. If that’s what four more years of Obama like governing will get us, let’s do it.
To me the huge question is what will four years of Trump bring us? Whatever happens one thing I will bet the farm on is, if it all goes to hell it won’t be Donald’s fault!