Posts Tagged ‘ Russia ’

The Impossible Presidency

Jim Young

It seems like poor President Obama can do no right these days. His poll numbers are way down. The Republicans are preparing for a battle over the budget, again. The target this time? Same one as last time: Obamacare. Now, they want to use the budget fight to “defund” the Affordable Health Care Act. Seriously, how many times do these schmucks want to fight this battle?

The twist this time, though, is that polls show that more Americans are coming to view Obamacare negatively. Recently, I heard a piece on the radio about how a conservative think tank’s latest study shows the law will raise insurance premiums for some elderly people in their 60s.

What’s this? But Obamacare was supposed to lower health care costs?!? How could this be?

Disengenous reporting, that’s how this could be. It was designed to lower actual healthcare costs. Yes, some premiums may go up, but overall healthcare costs will go down. In fact, they already have.

Yet, America is starting to buy the malarkey. And who knows, the Republicans may just succeed in destroying the crowning achievement (other than putting one through Bin Laden’s brainpan) of Obama’s first term and, in the process, set back the struggle for decent, affordable health care in this country by decades.

It’s clear now that the lens through which Obama’s presidency is evaluated is so warped  that it’s become farcical.

Take Syria as an example.

CNN today boasts that Putin has had a major “diplomatic victory” by thwarting (hopefully) the deployment of American military might in Syria. Sure, I’ll grant you that. Putin’s gain, though, is not necessarily Obama’s–or America’s loss.

One of the main reasons everyone who has been saying that America must act in Syria has given is simply that American credibility is on the line (which sounds kind of like a juvenile pissing contest, but I won’t elaborate on that because John Stewart has already  illustrated that point too brilliantly for me to want to retread it).

So if Russia coaxes Syria into giving up its inventory of chemical weapons, not only are we spared the awful responsibility of causing loss of life in Syria with our own hands, but we get to keep our precious “credibility” to boot.


Yet if you listen to the blowhards at Fox News and other punditry mills, this is some kind of setback for Obama. The accusations are flying fast and furious (and predictably) from the television proxy of the Republican party. Obama’s been “played” they say. Keep in mind these people were, of course, criticizing Obama the day before for wanting to intervene at all. Now they’re going to slam him for finding a way not to have to.

Let’s just make this crystal clear:

Obama says the use of chemical weapons is a “red line” and when they are used, he goes to the American people and Congress to argue that we must act to uphold “international norms.” When Secretary of State Kerry is asked how high the Syrians would have to jump to avoid military action, he offers up what he thinks to be so far fetched a suggestion that they would never comply. But lo and behold, Russia gets out the meter stick and holds it up for Syria to do the jump.

Essentially, our threat of military force worked so well that Syria is willing to do exactly what we said we want them to do (even when what we said was really kind of a joke) and that is somehow a black mark on Obama’s record?!?

If this deal goes through, then it’s Obama’s win. But as with every other issue since 2008, expect the right-wing propaganda machine to grind on and on–as it did with Obamacare–until nobody in this country knows which way is up and which is down and suddenly Syria becomes yet another failure for this president.

I ask, in all sincerity, what other president has had to put up with this absurdly partisan opposition? I mean, they hated Clinton, but it was nothing like this. Nothing.

But go ahead, tell me again how it has nothing to do with him being black.