Friday, November 9, 2012

Where do we go from here?

Given all the hype of the campaign, the attempts at character assassination, attempts to discredit and demean our president...  it is important to see what has been accomplished in the last 4 years. 

A partial list of President Obama's accomplishments: 
·       *Economic stimulus legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
·      *Ended  the Iraq War,
·      *Increased troop levels in Afghanistan,
     *Signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia,
·      *Ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya,
·      *Ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
·      *In May 2012, he became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support legalizing same-sex  marriage.

      Much of the Obama legislation was accomplished in the first two years with the assistance of a supportive Congress.  The midterm elections brought the "Tea Party" with their own agenda. Senate Republicans  of the 111st Congress broke the record of filibusters in a session, passing 100 cloture votes to end discussionof new legislation being introduced during the eleven months of the 111st Congress.

To put things in perspective

During the Bush administration, the national debt increased from $5.9 trillion to $10.7 trillion. That's an average annual increase of 11.1 percent.  This came mostly from financing wars in the Middle East....and these expenses continue (see link below).
Bush is also famous for  removing the systems of regulation that would have prevented the worst of the financial and housing crises.  
President George W. Bush created net zero jobs with the deepest tax cuts this nation has seen in recent history.
Obama came on board at a time of the worst economic crisis since the great depression....  He inherited  a wave of home foreclosures and unemployment.  Much of the national debt  incurred under President Obama has been necessary to finance our national recovery program.

      ...To find the cost of the Middle Eastern Wars: 
          click here:

To hear President Obama's victory speech go to
The U.S. lost an average of more than 348,000 jobs per month from January 2008 through December of 2008 under Bush. The downward trend reversed course through 2009 and has been in positive numbers ever since under Obama.  Here is what he has accomplished with job creating thus far: 
Comparison of unemployment under Bush and Obama

My fondest dream for Obama’s second term is a national congress able to function.  Norm Ornstein ( Politically conservative -  American Enterprise Institute ) identifies two causes for the stalemate situation in the US Congress:
1.  The first is the serious mismatch between the political parties, which have become vehemently adversarial, making it extremely difficult for  them to function in their traditional roles in governing and problem solving.  This is partly due to our remarkable democratic system of checks and balances.  If one branch of government refuses to cooperate the entire system can cease to function.

2.  The second is the fact that, however awkward it may be for our country to accept , “one of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become ideologically extreme; ready to abandom our traditons of social and economic policies; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the center of American politics, it is extremely difficult to enact policies responsive to the country's most pressing challenges.”

****The frightening thing is that there is no guarantee that we can maintain a functioning government with our system -If one party is determined to block all legislation of the sitting President our system  fails.  Our founding fathers had a vision that recognized disagreements, but they also recognized the  obligation to compromise and seek working solutions. That is what democracy is all about.

To read more: here is Ornstein’s latest book:

Are we going to see a change in the new term? Did the Republicans "get the drift" from "the will of the people" in this last election?  Judging from Mr. Boehners first comments after the election I am not terribly optimistic.  I think he is confused about who won the Presidency.  He is putting forth the same demands that he had before the election.

The lesson to be learned in this election - We wondered if we could stand up to the "Superpacs" - and a multitude of people making small contributions and offering their time did prevail. We beat the billionaires!  If we can do that - this is no time to roll over and let the Republicans do as they will... If we keep the voice and unity that we found in the campaign we can exert enough pressure on the Congress that even they will respond to the return to civil government that is fair and equitable. We are the people!

In this  graph below you see the number of times that the cloture has been used to block the discussion of   legislation during Obama's first term.

cloture is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end - it is a way of forcing an end to the filibuster
Mr.and Mrs. Obama: The moment of announcement of winning the second term