obama-nope-300x300Lately it seems that just about everyone is hanging their head on our election of Barack Obama.  Friends who were supporters are now saying how disappointed they are that they voted for Obama.  They claim to be disappointed on how little change Obama brought into office.  If Facebook statuses are any indicator of the temperment of the nation – Obama would appear to be in trouble.  “What a big mistake!”  “America fell for it again!”  Some of my friends have even asked me how I feel now about my vote for Obama expecting me to sheepishly agree about my choice to help him get elected was a decision I made while in a drunken stupor.  No, not this time. This time I thought about my decision.  And happy about it.

I am dumbfounded.  Even people who campaigned with me are saying how bad of an idea it was to help him get elected.  “We, the American people,  were duped!!”, they say.   I only started paying attention to politics within the last several years.  I don’t profess to be a prophet of political punditry.  But I like to think I can make reasoned, sound decisions.  This was one of the best decisions I have made in my lifetime.  Yes, I am saying…

Its kinda scary actually.  I don’t claim to be Mr. Analogy, but I am going to try to put it in perspective.   America is analogous to an overweight, overeating food addict.  A trainer comes along and is able to talk some sense into the addict and help them believe they can change their behavior.  Not only can they change their behavior, but the trainer is able to convince the fat guy that he will be able to lose the weight and gain some self respect.  The trainer put out all the disclaimers.

“Its gonna be hard work.  Its not going to happen over night.  There is gonna be some pain involved.  You will not see immediate results.  You have to change your culture.  Things will never be able to be back to the way they used to be.”  Yadda yadda..

The trainer convinces the person that despite all the obstacles and pain, the light at the end of the tunnel is worth it.  So after some procrastination, ignoring the advice of the other fat friends, and a couple of cheeseburgers later, fat dude decides he is going to take a crack at this fitness thing.  He is excited.  He believes.

The trainer turns out to be correct.  It is hard work.  The fat friends call everyday asking if he wants to hit the buffet.  The body becomes sore.  After 3 weeks fat dude starts seeing some results.  People start noticing.  Even the ladies are starting to check him out.  Wow, pretty cool.

After about 7 weeks, fat dude starts to plateau.  The trainer continues to put out the mantra of support and also reminding fat dude of the disclaimers.  But fat dude is wondering where the six pack is.

“You promised me a six pack!”,  he says to the trainer.

“No, I never said that what I said was it is going to be hard..”

“What??”, says fat dude incredulously.  “You also said that this would help me find a girl!”

The trainer responds, “No, I said you will gain some self respe..”

“ENOUGH!”, says fat dude.  “I am finished with this! You made all these promises, and now I am not seeing any results.  I am better off the way I was.”

So the fat dude quits, knowing better than the trainer and still in shock over the lies and the betrayal of the trainer.

Obama said in just about every stump speech he gave – “You need to be the change.  I cannot do this alone”, or some variation.  “Change has to come from the bottom up.”  Was anyone listening?  Obama hasn’t changed his position onAfghanistan .  Obama said he would let Congress draft the health legislation, not rule exclusively by executive order.  He said it wouldn’t be easy to change the status quo.  The reason I gave my support to Obama was because he seemed honest about his intentions.  He seemed pragmatic.  He didn’t seem like an ideologue.  Just the kind of leadership I would want to have at the head of our government.  I never thought he was going to be a radical leftist.  I always thought he would be a center-left President.  Apparently the progressive wing of the left disagrees.  The right, well, they just hate Obama no matter what he does.

I am trying to figure out where this comes from.  What makes me different?  These supporters knew what they were getting, didn’t they?  How could my opinion of Obama be rock solid compared to my other campaigners?  I thought about this for a little while and then came up with my conclusion.

I decided about 9 months ago that ALL TV media was over rated and just a rating kill fest.  It was nice to see the stories during election time.  Polls splashed all over the tube kept me glued to the box.

Ratings are king on TV.  This means that pundits and commentators say things to drive those ratings.  Fox is the easy target, but msnbc is just as partisan.   I will admit at first I was intrigued with the msnbc lineup that started at 5.  I would switch back and forth between Fox, msnbc, and CNN, laughing at the Fox News guys as they spun and masked their conservative agenda while revering the likes of Matthews, Maddow, and Olbermann.    Then like a light being switched on, I noticed the exact same thing was going on across the board.   I am sure that cognitive dissonance played a huge part in my adoration for the punditry on the left.  (I still think Pat Buchanan is one of the most entertaining and smart guys out their despite his latent racism his choice of where he hangs his hat when it comes to even more than politics.  Nothing beats a Buchanan vs. O’Donnell slugfest!)  I said to myself, “Why am I letting them do my critical thinking and analysis?  I noticed that when I watched the news, a lot of times they were just pulling information from websites like Huffington Post, Townhall, Drudge, etc, you name it.  I noticed that I began to disagree with just about everything they pointed to asObama_Hope_Poster “hot issues”.  Partisanship makes for great news cycles.  Senators and Representatives fighting when they are on the same team is soap-opera-esque.  Making Rush Limbaugh out to be the Republican leader is just great for stirring controversy. The list goes on..

Instead, I have relegated myself to actually look at the bills being passed.  I stay FAR away from The Hill.  Huffington Post has some great content, but sensationalism is the name of the game with them.   Townhall is a little less sensational, but still on par to be a “we will do your thinking for you” website.  Think tanks while claiming to be non-partisan often have ulterior motives, but there are many that are respected from both sides of the isle and often they declare their position and slant.  Its not perfect.   But these guys are at least looking at policy.  Without the sensationalism (most of the time) of a TV pundit.  Even the local news likes to take jabs at Obama.

Obama is far from perfect.  But I am proud to say I campaigned for him.  I am proud to say I met him TWICE.  I think he is doing a great job.  If you want specifics, here are a few items:


Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for
ways to cut spending

Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending
and practices

Instituted enforcement for equal pay for women

Beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq

Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body
arrives at Dover AFB

Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information

Ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB; the
media is now permitted to do so pending adherence to respectful rules and
approval of fallen soldier’s family

The White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information
Act

Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as
possible

Limits on lobbyist’s access to the White House

Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the
administration

Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan
longer than their enlistment date

Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems,
which weren’t even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan

Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research

Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research

New federal funding for science and research labs

States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal
standards

Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of
neglect

Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools

New funds for school construction

The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out

US Auto industry rescue plan

Housing rescue plan

$789 billion economic stimulus plan

The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can
be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying

US financial and banking rescue plan

The secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed

Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in
compliance with the Geneva Convention standards

Better body armor is now being provided to our troops

The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010

Restarted the nuclear nonproliferation talks and building back up the nuclear
inspection infrastructure/protocols

Reengaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic

Reengaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions

Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his
first six months in office

Successful release of US captain held by Somali pirates; authorized the SEALS to
do their job

US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast

Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles

Cash for clunkers program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient,
polluting old cars for new cars; stimulated auto sales

Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal
government

Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children

Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program

Instituted a new policy on Cuba, allowing Cuban families to return home to visit
loved ones

Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide
emissions

Expanding vaccination programs

Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural
disasters

Closed offshore tax safe havens

Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to
records of tax evaders and criminals

Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource
American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back

Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it
are new consumer protections from credit card industry’s predatory practices

Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from
renewable sources

Lower drug costs for seniors

Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug
manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing
hundreds of millions in savings

Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel

Improved housing for military personnel

Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses

Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military
hospitals

Increasing student loans

Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program

Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected
for years; reengaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy

Established a new cyber security office

Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after
the Cold War to a more modern fighting force; this includes new procurement
policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and
operations, etc.

Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts

Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness

Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal
government money and making federal operations more efficient

Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans
refinanced

Improving benefits for veterans

Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than
previous administration

Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud

The FDA is now regulating tobacco

Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules

Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and
environmental rules, regulations, and reports

Authorized discussions with North Korea and private mission by Pres. Bill
Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons

Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Web to secure the
release of an American held captive

Making more loans available to small businesses

Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs
of Medicare

Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court

Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for
veterans

Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000

Renewed loan guarantees for Israel

Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan

Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan

New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid,
development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by
Afghans

Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable
sources and cleaner, efficient energy production

Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private
living quarters

Paid for redecoration of White House living quarters out of his own pocket

Held first Seder in White House

Attempting to reform the nation’s healthcare system which is the most expensive
in the world yet leaves almost 50 million without health insurance and millions
more under insured

Has put the ball in play for comprehensive immigration reform

Has announced his intention to push for energy reform

Has announced his intention to push for education reform

There are some items I don’t agree with on that list.  There are some things that perhaps don’t look like they are much of anything.  But its a darn good list.  And despite the fact that he walked into office with an economy in turmoil, 2 wars, and some of the most egregious abuses of our Constitution since Nixon (yes, you Cheney, you in limbo-not executive-not legislative-but-a-4th-layer-of-government-creep), he is doing fine.

Barack Obama, keep up the great work.  I am going to go out on a limb and say that history will remember you as a great two-term President.  Democrats%2

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9 Responses to “Hope or Nope? Obama made me write this…”

  1. Jamie Holts Says:

    Thanks for posting the article, was certainly a great read!

  2. Jennifer Lancey Says:

    Do you do blogroll exchanging? If you want to exchange links let me know.

    Email me back if you’re interested.

  3. Donna Keel Says:

    I agree–I am proud that I voted for Obama and that my birthson campaigned for him. That list of Obama’s is extensive and lays a solid foundation to the changes needed in many arenas. Obama actually thinks about situations and thinks about the consequences of most of his actions. Way to go Nate…what a thinker/writer you are…I am so proud of you! Love, donna

  4. Tweets that mention Nathaniel Bomberger » Hope or Nope? Obama made me write this… -- Topsy.com Says:

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  5. William Clark Says:

    Well said sir. The one thing I would add is the idea that it is okay to not agree with EVERY decision Obama makes, in fact, disagreement with some government decisions should be expected from the members of a healthy democracy! We elected him to be President, not a perfect reflection of each of our individual policy desires (which is of course IMPOSSIBLE). Being president means he has to make the tough calls that I am honestly glad I will never have to make. It also means he has access to information that I do not and probably never will have. No, I don’t agree with him on EVERY decision, but I do TRUST HIM, and trust that he is making his choices based on what he believes is right for the American people. That is a far cry better than what we had in the previous administration, and I still believe better than what we would have had under Pailin/McCain (though she may have quit that job too, who knows).

    We have come so far in only one year. Nice work thus far Mr. President. Keep up the good work and I for one will be back to campaign for you again in 2012.

  6. Vanessa Says:

    Nate this was an awesome article!!! I agree with you 100%..I don’t know much about politics but I belive Obama will change alot of things.

  7. JHC Says:

    Awesome post, Nate! Thanks for putting this together and sharing. Gooooooo-Bama!