Friday, November 9, 2012

Obama Wins: What A Relief

  Phew..........A sigh of Relief.

On Tuesday night, at approximately 2215 Central, I heard NBC call the US Presidential election for President Barack Hussein Obama. Earlier that evening, I had started to be hopeful of his victory when he captured Mitt Romney's home state Michigan, Paul Ryan's home state Wisconsin and Mitt Romney's adopted state Massachusetts. I started to believe that if these two men could not even win their home states after all the years of Romney campaigning and billions of dollars spent, there was no way they were going to defeat Team Obama, miracles barring.

When Ohio was called for Obama, the conservative Fox News Network, which had spent four years assembling a panel of Obama haters to continuously lambast and lampoon The president, had some pretty long faces.

After the sound defeat of John McCain in 2008, Fox News, the Fair and Balanced Network had hired a veritable army of Obama Haters; Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, and some others. These had joined the Fox's resident haters Sean Hannity and Bill Oreilly, to distort, minimize, demean and misrepresent every achievement and statement of the president over the last four years. They were ready to give audience to any right wing nut who had anything disparaging to say about the president. Crazies like Ann Coulter were frequent on Fox News, spreading their lies, bitterness, fear and malice.

For four years, Fox News did all they could to delegitimize the presidency of Barack Obama. They questioned his citizenship, they demonized his bailout of iconic American financial institutions that were on the verge of bank bankruptcy, even though the demise of these institutions would have had tragic consequences for the American economy. They described his bailout of the American auto makers GM and Chrysler as interference in free market capitalism and a government takeover of private business. They described his affordable health care act as socialism and a war on small businesses. When consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren acted to limit the excesses of banks, they demonized her and forced the president to drop her from leading the consumer protection agency.

Every single day Republicans and Fox News told the world that President Barack Obama was an abysmal failure who blamed others for his problems. When Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, the American economy was in the greatest recession since the great depression of the 30s, with the economy shedding over 700 thousand jobs a months. The housing market was in free fall as the major lenders had collapsed. The country was engaged in two long and expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no end in sight and no dates for withdrawal. The major American automakers GM, Chrysler and Ford, the demand for whose fleet of SUVs had been hit hard by historic gas price hikes and crippled by rising labor costs had been virtually on the verge of bankruptcy at the same time, leading to the certain demise of the American car industry and take over of the lucrative American Market by the Japanese trio of Toyota, Honda and Mazda. In 2008 the major housing lenders Country Wide, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, were buried under tons of bad mortgages resulting from years of people being sold properties they could either not afford or being sold properties at low introductory rates that became unaffordable as soon as these rates were jerked up. Students left college with thousand of dollars in loans and few jobs. 47 million people and counting were without health insurance in 2008 and insurance companies were refusing to sell policies to people with preexisting conditions.This was the economy Barack Obama inherited in 2008. It was similar to a man winning a million dollar wooden mansion in a lottery and then finding out that every single beam was termite infested and the renovation was worth 10 million dollars. The problems were such that in just four years, Barack Obama's hair turned from jet black to silver gray and the fresh face that had resembled hope became lined with contours of frustration and determination.

Barack Obama went to work immediately. His first act was a bill guaranteeing equal pay for women in similar jobs with men. He then set out to bail out prime financial institutions that were the bedrock of the American economy and whose failures would have severely impeded economic recovery. These bailouts were not in the form of government grants, but loans to be repaid at a later date. These bailouts also allowed the government more oversight into some of the more nefarious practices of these institutions. The president signed legislation that prevented banks from charging exorbitant fees and overdrafts without customer approval, thus putting more monies in the pockets of individuals and stimulating demand. The president helped the automakers with cash infusions that enabled them reform their production methods and in just four years regain their status as world leaders. Housing lenders were also assisted to enable the remain solvent while regulations were put in place to prevent the excesses of the past. The president acted to remove middle men in the delivery of public student loans and reduced the interest on these loans, whilst ensuring that student interest loan repayment was not greater than 10% of income. The president passed the Affordable Health care act that expanded access to health coverage to millions of Americans. The President also carefully withdraw combat troops from Iraq and boosted the number of troops in Afghanistan in preparation for a more effective withdrawal in 2004. The president and his men then focused on going after the leaders of the Al Qaeda terrorist network and in just four years decimated their leadership, including the assassination of America's archenemy Osama Bin Laden in an operation that resulted in the death of the terrorist mastermind without the loss of a single American life.

After four years of digging the country out of a hole, the economy is adding jobs again. After four years of obstruction by the Republican Party who are more gifted at fear mongering than presenting practical solutions, there is a genuine optimism that the economy is heading in the right direction and the people spoke loudly on Tuesday by giving the president 303 electoral votes, with Florida still out, because of Republican shenanigans to suppress the vote.

Mitt Romney, the president's challenger, bolstered by millions of dollars of super PAC negative advertising, did all he could to convince the people that the president was a failure and that people were worse of now than they were four years ago when the economy was in free fall and there were foreclosed signs wherever you turned. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan characterized Obama supporters like us as losers who depended on entitlements and whose votes they did not care for. Well they were wrong, as millions of Obama supporters are normal hard working Americans who just do not want to go back to another Bush presidency and are tired of the Republican Tea Party politics of anger.

Republicans are saying that they lost because they strayed from conservative principles. Republicans are losing because they are failing to realize that this country is changing and becoming more diverse. Most immigrants in America see the Republican Party as a closed club. Instead of embracing minorities they go out of their way to alienate them. They alienate women and look down on the poor. If the Republican Party does not realize that the world around them is changing, they will only be winning legislative elections in the future, but they can kiss the presidency goodbye forever.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen. Great summary of the president's accomplishments. Yes, the people have rejected the failed and dangerous anti-Democratic agenda of the Republican Right, with all it's bitter divisive tactics and lies. Hopefully, that party will reflect and learn from this experience that pandering to ignorance and gross distortions is not a winning strategy. If not, then like you said, they will remain in the political wilderness for decades.