This Isn’t The Change We Hoped For
Hope and Change: Those were the two qualities Barack Obama embodied in the 2008 election, he was America’s liberator, the antithesis of Bush.
But as we near Obama’s 5th year in office, his presidency is descending into a cesspool of disarray and his believers are becoming disillusioned.
His administration is fraught with incompetence & irresponsibility, his approval rating is approaching an all time low, and his apathy towards Chelsea Manning & victims of drones attacks is bordering on moral turpitude.
One of Obama’s prime promises in 2008 was a transparent administration, he vowed to defy convention and commit to an unwavering frankness.
Shortly after he was elected president The Whitehouse declared his administration would become the “most open and transparent in history”
Obama pledged “a new era” and “an unprecedented level of of openness”
Suffice to say it hasn’t transpired, on the contrary, many prominent critics have lamented Obama and his administration for their failure to uphold their promise.
And upsettingly Obama is not yielding, the salient NSA leaks have not chastened but emboldened him to add more layers of secrecy over the administration.
Some political insiders have claimed the Obama administration is markedly worse than the Bush administration when it comes to transparency.
The Affordable Care Act also dubbed “ObamaCare” was intended to be one of the hallmarks of Obama’s presidency but it has had a disastrous launch with the site plagued with errors and malfunctions, with a deluge of users having a difficult time enrolling in health insurance. By Obama’s own admission the site has not launched as expected “I am the first to acknowledge that the website that was supposed to do this all in a seamless way has had way more glitches than I think are acceptable” The buck stops with the president, he should have the shrewdness to hire adept personnel but what’s even more concerning is the lack of belief in accountability. When something of this significance is a colossal failure there has to be ramifications, and the people responsible have to be held accountable. News this week that ObamaCare enrollment figures have soared will give solace to the president but they’re still falling short of expectations and that can be ascribed to the negligent launch.
Unsurprisingly Obama’s approval rating has plummeted to 41%, to give some perspective his rating was 54% at the start of January so there’s a huge disparity.
Drones, NSA leaks, indifference towards Chelsea Manning, ObamaCare launch, IRS scandal have all been contributing factors to this deplorable rating.
Some will be dismissive claiming approval rating is meaningless but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s true the incumbent’s approval rating matters less when he isn’t running for re-election but with the mid-term elections approaching in 2014 and the democrats yearning for a majority in the house, a loss could have disastrous implications for Obama’s presidency and legacy, and it would greatly reduce the opportunity of second term accomplishments from Obama. One important mitigating factor however is the Republican party are in complete disarray and their approval rating is at an all time low primarily because of their perfidious tactics which resulted in a government shutdown.
Chelsea Manning courageously revealed some sinister war crimes from the American military. In a fair world you’d expect the culprits to be reprimanded and her to be commended. Sadly however the opposite occurred; Manning was demonised by American politicians, and the culprits were exonerated. Subsequently she was incarcerated. Manning requested a presidential pardon from Obama but to no avail, Obama also is on record as saying Manning “broke the law”
The whole Manning fiasco has exposed the egregious treatment the US Government engage in when faced with a whistleblower, completely merciless and callous.
To make matters worse Obama has reinforced America’s policy on drones, with extrajudicial killings being committed at an alarming rate.
Obama has claimed drones are surgical and done with precision but this is evidently false, and while drones have been used to some eradicate some high level terrorists the sheer scale of innocent civilians slaughtered to death is unforgivable and ghastly.
In another pre-election promise that would strain credulity Obama vowed to protect Whistleblowers and elevated them as “the best source of information about waste, fraud and abuse in government” and saying that “such acts of courage and patriotism should be encouraged rather than stifled” as always, actions speak louder than words and Obama has shown no leniency with regard to Manning or Snowden and has been unprecedented in his use of the espionage act, downright abusing it in fact and has persecuted whistleblowers despite his claim to the contrary. Obama is attempting to suppress the act of virtuous people exposing egregious violations within the American government, and this is a direct contradiction of the noble, benevolent, receptive man of 2008.
Attending Mandela’s memorial Obama said with fervour: “And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. (Applause.) And there are too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship, and who they love. That is happening today.”
What better time then now for Obama to embrace introspection, heed his own advice and embark on a journey that sees him return to that scrupulous, admirable man of 2008.