During the last weeks when I was unable to post, reading was the most my kaput internet connection let me do. And I was left speechless by the about-face not by the Obama campaign, but some liberal bloggers. As soon as Senator Obama showed his will to win the next Presidential election and his will to engage most Americans in solving America’s problems, never mind their ideologies, the bitching began. The Huffington Post was, and is, prominent in that field. Arianna Huffington falls over herself in declaring Obama was supposed to firmly stay on the message of the primaries.
It is not that easy. Many Liberals seem to have a selective recollection of the message. It was a bipartisan message in many ways all along. Now Obama is running for the job of President of all Americans and he has to acknowledge there are not just Liberals around. It is understandable that after eight years of right wing rule, Liberals have a feeling it is their turn now. But still, he is running for President of the United States of America, and that means President of all Americans. And he didn’t leave much doubt even during the primaries, that he was planning to engage all Americans in the task to fix their problems. He asks Americans to act as adults.
Remember the message he gave young black men about their responsibility for their families? Or the way he took parents to task, who would place their kids in front of the TV set or computer, instead of giving them a proper upbringing? This is what we over here see as decidedly conservative. Asking families to live up to their own responsibilities, before asking the public and the schools to do something about it. No plans for a nanny state here.
Do you remember Obama’s race speech and the way he was talking to you as adults? He expected you to understand the complexity of the matter and he acknowledged the apprehension of some people about affirmative action as a fact and as perfectly understandable. Today he’d be blasted for such a sentence as “pandering” to white working class voters.
What about his engaging the faith-based initiatives? Bush soured liberal Americans to anything faith-based, by giving these initiatives influence beyond their due. But, what is wrong in engaging faith based groups in helping to solve poverty issues for instance? If they run child care centers, soup kitchens, provide clothing, would you really want to exclude them from this? Such initiatives very often close the gap, where government programs won’t or can’t provide help. And to put it bluntly America is in such deep doo doo, they will need all the help from everybody willing to help to get out of it. Obama seems to have understood that much.
Iraq. Barack Obama stands steadfast to his claim, he would withdraw troops from Iraq, beginning right after the the start of his Presidency. Now he is being blasted for pointing out the obvious, he will have to consult the commanders on the ground. A President provides the policy and the commanders on the ground provide the strategy to comply with the policy, as commenter mrbigblue has so aptly pointed out in this thread. Any President who ignores the military’s advice in military matters to push through a political agenda as the current President did, is a danger to his country.
There is one thing, however, that should be closely monitored: Barack Obama’s stance on all things constitutional. I do not really like what is going on about the FISA bill, but I am absolutely clueless when it comes to the intricacies of US Constitutional Law, so I give him the benefit of the doubt, for now. The Constitution as the basis of the rule of law, as the limits to the power of the government and as the protection of civil rights is sacrosanct. Must be. The vulnerability of the US Constitution has been highlighted by the actions of the Bush Administration. Barack Obama should make it clear, that he would fully accept the limitations to the President’s power imposed on him by the Constitution. If he did that, I’d feel entirely comfortable.
So, why is Barack Obama going to be a good president? He is an intelligent man, knowledgeable about and comfortable with the 21st century. He is able to analyze the complex problems of today with an open mind and he is willing and able to use all means available to solve these problem, but he is humble enough to know he can’t do it all by himself. He is willing to leave party lines and ideologies aside in the interest of getting America’s problems solved. He once said he was planning to form a cabinet of talents, and if he succeeds in doing that, America has a chance to overcome her current crisis. And his management style is highly efficient, too. Just think about his fund-raising. He gets things done. I do think he will be a good President.
But he should say something about the Constitution!