April 5, 2011

Are You In?

Yesterday while browsing CNN, an ad in the upper right hand part of the page caught my eye. After a fancy burst of graphic goodness, the image of the President popped up then was quickly replaced by the words Are You In? It was, of course, an Obama campaign ad, nicely timed since he's filing his papers to run again this week. It wasn't the ad itself that stopped me and got me thinking. It was my answer.

Well, Mr. President, four years ago it would have been YES but now, well, I'm not sure.

Since he took the oath of office, the president and his administration have done some good. This administration is, I think, owed some thanks for their part in turning the economic tide (somewhat), passing sweeping healthcare reform (which will never survive in its current form) and injecting a certain amount of much-needed common sense into our political system (which is being rejected as quickly as it can be introduced). That said, the political climate her in Monkeytown has never been more heated, the rhetoric has never been more intense, and the frustration with government has never been higher. And there are balls getting dropped left and right while other issues are handled with all the sophistication of a high-school freshman baseball team taking on the Yankees.

I don't want to hear I told you so because I'm not expressing any regret here. I'm just saying that things could be better.

The reality is that few democrats will put up a fight and the republicans who do will make my skin crawl. So, realistically, I'm in. But ideally I'd like to see some action before I cast another vote.

Are you in?

Posted by Chris at April 5, 2011 6:35 AM

Hell no.

Posted by: Jenn at April 5, 2011 6:44 AM

I'm feeling the same way you are. Why is it? Are the Democrats just that inept? Do the Republicans just know how to throw their weight around and look more, for lack of a better word "official"?
It's disturbing and I don't forsee it getting any better as long as NOBODY wants to work TOGETHER. I think that pisses me off the most. Sometimes I think we'd be better off all as separate countries!

Posted by: NancyB at April 5, 2011 7:31 AM

I have to say yes only because there is no acceptable alternative. I still believe in the Obama who ran for President even though I'm not all that impressed with the guy who is President. Clinton broke my younger more idealistic heart back in the day so I'm not as disappointed this time around because I didn't expect as much.

Posted by: Elizabeth at April 5, 2011 8:06 AM

I'm in. Unless a better alternative comes up. So while I'm not excited about it (like in 2008) I'm in. Barely.

Posted by: bethanne at April 5, 2011 8:22 AM

I wasn't in the last time, so, no, I am not "in".
The conservatives have not put up anybody I am excited about yet, and the names that are being thrown around will never win. If I had my way, I would want a Allen West/Marco Rubio ticket. But, both have said they won't be running this time around. Christie/Huckabee would be my next choice, but I think the people are too superficial to vote for two fat guys. Plus, both have said they won't be running. I am afraid it will be Romney, which will be tragic. The next few months should be very interesting.

Posted by: Tess at April 5, 2011 8:26 AM

I'm SO in, but more because there's no one else and less because I'm so idealistically hopeful (like I was during Obama's first campaign)that there will be significant change.

It's way less exciting to be "in" because there's no other options.

Posted by: Robyn at April 5, 2011 8:29 AM

I may not even vote. What is the point? If this election cycle has taught us anything, it is that big business has so polluted the system that our votes really are meaningless. We'll have a choice between a republican that has sold his soul to big business with no regrets, and a democrat that has done the same, but at least feels a little bit guilty about it.

Posted by: COD at April 5, 2011 8:38 AM

Every presidential election I feel like I have to pick the lesser of two evils. Just once I would like to vote for someone I truly believe will make a difference, and then actually does.

Posted by: linda at April 5, 2011 8:53 AM

I'm in.

What most people fail to realize is that the President can't do much of anything without the help of Congress.

Right now we have people in Congress who are throwing temper tantrums and doing everything they can to not pass any of the Presiden'ts legislation. Not because they dont agree with it, but because it is what "he" wants. They will do anything as long as it is directly opposite of what the President is trying to accomplish.

I think we need to change Congress. I am all for anyone (GOP or Dem) who will work WITH the President and work toward compromise. Not just dig in their feet and say 'its my way or nothing' (as the current GOPs are doing; although Dems are just as guilty of it in previous administrations).

I'm tired of listening to a bunch of highly paid 2 year olds waste time and money to accomplish nothing.

All of our representatives need to come back to earth and do what is best for the country. Which means (to me) you may not get everything exactly the way you want it, but you compromise and hope that both teams win, as opposed to what we have now, which is everyone losing.

Posted by: 3jaysmom at April 5, 2011 9:02 AM

I'm in, I guess. I mean, the alternative is fucking scary. I think the Democrats need to be more aggressive. I'd like to think that Obama was playing it safe this term, trying to appease right-wingers so he'd get elected again. I'm hoping if he gets another term, he'll work harder at getting things done, and stop catering to a bunch of assholes.

Posted by: Fraulein N at April 5, 2011 9:04 AM

What do you do-live in my brain and eavesdrop my thoughts? Once again you are right on target.

I would like to see the pres get a bit more in touch with us "common" people. I do think his advisers insulate him too much.
That being said I will probably vote for him anyway because of the lack of alternatives. It WOULD be nice for once to not have to choose lesser of two evils.

Posted by: Amy at April 5, 2011 9:07 AM

I'm in.

I am not ashamed to say that I have a lot of respect for President Obama. It angers me when liberals criticize him because he's not "liberal enough." No one wins when each side is so polarizing that nothing can be agreed upon, ever. I see Obama as a thoughtful, careful and deliberate person who makes pragmatic decisions. Very, very, very difficult pragmatic decisions. I feel that he tries to be diplomatic and cooperative, and Republicans, like schoolyard bullies, attack his "softness." But I don't buy it.

Like NancyB said above, the Republicans look more "official," because they tend to have a more consistent message. And their message never changes. Never. No matter what evidence exists or no matter how the world keeps turning and things keep changing, they don't change. Isn't that a hallmark of insanity?

It pissed me off when Kerry was running and the right mocked him as a waffler. As if changing one's position after considering new information is a WEAKNESS. To me, the willingness to reconsider your position, and the ability to decide that perhaps you were wrong, is a sure sign of competence and intelligence.

Interestingly, though I am about as left-leaning as they come, I wasn't all that excited about Obama in 2007-2008. I was a Clinton supporter. I am highly skeptical of "hope" and what seems like empty rhetoric. But he has actually proven to me to be a leader with substance. While I wish at times that he would make just a little more noise (e.g. the "death panels" nonsense during health care reform debate--sheesh! FIGHT BACK! Why are you letting them win this PR war?), I also respect people who do their jobs quietly and calmly, without all the pomp and circumstance. I feel that our President has cautiously navigated this country through very rough waters, indeed, and we are still afloat. So, without a doubt, yes, Mr. President, I AM IN!

Posted by: Sabrina at April 5, 2011 9:17 AM

Nope! I know a lot of people don't like Hilary, but hell, she'd be world's better! Obama has been a MAJOR disappointment!

Posted by: Maribeth at April 5, 2011 9:39 AM

Well said. If all the Republicans can do is parade around candidates like Michelle Bachmann, I guess I'm in too.

Posted by: Heather at April 5, 2011 9:44 AM

Full disclosure: Not American; Canadian. Have no say. But an observation that I think is universal:

The time it takes to actually effect any kind of change (particularly change for the better, which I think usually requires four times the effort) is usually longer than people's tolerance. In many ways, I get it. Frustration breeds a need to have something done NOW. All I'm saying is that from my frosty, snow covered seat, it seems to me that Obama's the best thing that's happened in the States in a while. After the Bush years, I have to admit that I had a pretty bad opinion of our neighbours in general. But then you folks elected a black man with a hopeful vision for a future that would better things for people. It frankly shocked me, and filled me with envy in the face of our current administration. I was damned impressed. All I'm saying is he deserves at *least* as much of a chance as you gave Bush. Don't fall victim to the sort of political A.D.D. that keeps messing things up. Stay in. Please.

In the meantime, unlikely as it appears at the moment, I will do everything I can to get rid of the fool who's been at the helm for 5 years up here. 5 years is enough time to see where things are really going, particularly with this dude. 1.5 years is not, particularly with Obama.

My $0.02.

Posted by: machei at April 5, 2011 10:02 AM

Of course I'm in. And yes, I'm disappointed in what couldn't get done but then there's reality.

The House passed at least 300 bills last year that died in the Senate because the Repubs forced a 60 vote so-called majority. We were lucky to get what we did. Now we have a Republican House which might not have happened if a few more people had shown up at the polls. Remember the Senate vote in Minnesota? Franken v Coleman? Franken is now a Senator because people showed up. I wonder what would have happened in your state if a few less discouraged Dems had stayed home. Now you're stuck with a monster as are several other states who are now exhibiting buyer's remorse.

We don't vote - we deserve what we get.

Posted by: Ann Elizabeth Adams at April 5, 2011 11:08 AM

Probably, but only because I'm not sure I'll see a better option. It would be nice to see a serious democratic contender put up a fight (if only to light a fire under Obama's ass), but I agree that's it's unlikely we'll see that, since it's Just Not Done. I suppose the right Republican candidate could be interesting, but from what little I've heard, that seems unlikely as well.

Posted by: Dawn at April 5, 2011 11:18 AM

I'm in, without qualification. I am pleased with what Obama has tried to do. I am not pleased with Congress and all their bullshit, Democrat and Republican, that has blocked a lot of useful legislation. With more compromise and less grandstanding, the health care reform bill may have been an excellent solution, a shining example of what can be accomplished when we look outside ourselves and reach down to those who hurt and struggle. Alas.

Posted by: Brooke at April 5, 2011 11:50 AM

not in. im not interested in being punished for being somewhat successful, educated homeowners with crushing tax brackets and are basically footing the bill for everyone else. we pay full freight for everything while i see plenty of people living off the system that we are paying for. no thanks.

Posted by: steph d at April 5, 2011 12:01 PM

I am in, but like you, with reservations. I am waiting to see what other candidates come out of the woodwork.

Posted by: kali at April 5, 2011 12:03 PM

i dont know what or who the answer is anymore. i dont even really think i identify with any particular party anymore. somethings gotta give

Posted by: steph d at April 5, 2011 12:03 PM

I'm in. :)

Posted by: Jen R. (emeraldsunshine.org) at April 5, 2011 12:10 PM

Okay, I'll admit up front that I don't follow every single political discussion so I may be missing something major however...

It just annoys me to hear people refer to how Obama must suck because everything is still crap - the economy is still unstable, people are still unemployed, etc.
Personally, I think it is unrealistic (and totally unfair) to expect ANYONE to fix EVERYTHING in a couple years.

Look at it like a baseball game.
We, the USA, were losing. We were down by 100 runs. Then Obama becomes President and a couple years later everyone is like, 'he didn't help. we are still losing the game'. But people forget to step back and look at the fact that now we are only down by 20 runs instead of 100....

Is there someone who could help us win the game? Maybe, but I haven't seen anyone yet. I'm just glad we're making a comeback.

Posted by: fauve at April 5, 2011 12:31 PM

I'm in because I'm not able to vote for Hillary and because a vote for anyone else of any party is a vote for the Republican. I don't feel like making life easier for the rich.

I disagree that things are more intense or more heated now. This is just the flip side of the W years. The other side of the same inept coin: media creations of a presidential son with little experience and now a smiley good speaker with absolutely no experience whatsoever.

OK, I'm going to go try not to think about politics for a while...

Posted by: James Proffitt at April 5, 2011 12:41 PM

I feel a bit disillusioned by Obama, too, but I know he's been held back a lot by congress and such. I think he has made a solid effort to do the things he aimed to do, but of course wish he could've really been the magic bullet ;-)
Also, we're coming up on a federal election up here quite soon, and I'm pretty sure whom I'm voting for, but even then it feels a bit ... pointless. How sad!

Posted by: Heather at April 5, 2011 1:03 PM

I'm disgusted. In so many ways, he is as bad as Bush.

I am sick of the GOP being the bullies and every democrat just takes it. Just once, I would like someone to call them out on their crap.

I feel the economy has a long way to go. My family is fine, but so many families are really hurting and struggling. I feel Obama no choice, but to do the big bailouts, but how we pay for everything has to change.

Those who make the most should pay more taxes. Tax cuts for the rich and businesses shouldn't be happening. Most businesses that make massive profits pay absolutely nothing in taxes. That is unreal and absurd. How can you expect the individuals to support the entire country when most businesses don't pay their share?

But, I'm stuck. I can't see myself ever voting for the GOP for President. I can only imagine that state of our country had McCain won.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at April 5, 2011 1:47 PM

While I acknowledge the issues you pointed out, I feel like he's done a pretty good job given the situation he walked into, and I guess I never really expected miracles in the first place. Especially living around here, where so many people listen to Rusn and think Obama's a socialist, I KNOW the power of the opposition that he's faced from the day he took office. So, in summary, I'm in :)

Posted by: Angela at April 5, 2011 3:28 PM

Yikes! If you're not so sure about being in, that gives the Republicans a good chance, doesn't it?

Meanwhile, Canadians seem to be happily ignorant to the immoral and illegal ways of our government; I'm sure we will elect a right wing majority. And then I will cry.

Posted by: Heather at April 5, 2011 6:37 PM

I'm... I don't know.

It depends a lot on what the alternative is - I can think of no republican candidate that I would be on board with (I'm so liberal, there's just really...NO WAY) - so, while I'd love to see a liberal candidate that I felt could DO THINGS, I know that realistically, the President isn't the only reason things do or don't get done.

Having said that, I felt a LOT OF HOPE and OPTIMISM surrounding the last election and now I'm basically pissed off that I already have to start hearing about elections already. I'm not ready for it all over again.

Posted by: Sarah at April 5, 2011 10:06 PM

I'm with you. I am in, but much less so than I was in 2008. Reality is never quite the same as what we build it up to be beforehand, I guess.

Posted by: Julie at April 5, 2011 10:17 PM

I am happy with the job the President has done. He's not perfect, but he's principled. He can't exactly change the entire culture of Washington just by waving a magic wand of awesomeness. Unless Jesus Christ himself runs for president, I'm in.

Posted by: Laura Gato at April 5, 2011 11:22 PM

ugh, dragging my feet "in" :)

3jays'smom and fruelein said it, as did you...

Posted by: kati at April 5, 2011 11:48 PM

In, out, on the sidelines -- the current bi-party system is just two tug-of-war teams yanking each other back and forth over a widening hole in the middle. As opposed to, say, avoiding the hole together. Or Founding Fathers forbid -- filling it in.

I'll never really be ballots-to-the-wall 'IN' until a new paradigm emerges, with a different sort of candidate. It's nigh impossible to listen to any politician in the current climate and not hear their words in a Diamond Joe Quimby voice.

Which is entertaining, sure. But not exactly 'inspiring'.

Posted by: Charlie at April 6, 2011 1:42 AM

Cynical me never bought the "Hope" thing. Ever. It pissed me off. He's not a messiah. There's no miracles to be done. It set him up for "failure" in the eyes of his supporters.

Here's what I have faith in:

1) We have more minorities and women in positions of power whom Obama nominated. I have friends I know have the utmost moral and intellectual right to be in the positions they've achieved.

2) He's made sure his administration has been civil. People complain the Democrats should fight against the Republican rhetoric. They complain the arguments have sunk to the worst levels ever. Catch-22, anyone? On an even more powerful note, his race has become less and less an issue. I admire that greatly.

3) We have better relations abroad.

4) The economy HAS been getting better. People I know are no longer taking jobs just because they have to. They're taking jobs they were trained to take.

5) Obama is focusing on cutting the budget in ways to create bi-partisan support. He wants more money in education, particularly the sciences. Guys, we have an economy where we really don't make anything anymore. We don't really export much. China and India are kicking our asses. We need to get back to our ingenuity, and this is the way to go.

6) DADT repealed. Constitutional fight against SB-1070. He's not forgotten his base. He's doing his best to be strategic, not just blindly going forward with a sword in hand, trying to slay a dragon.

Do I agree with everything he's done? No. Do I think perhaps some others could have done better? Sure. But he's sure as hell surpassed this cynic's expectations.

Posted by: alektra at April 6, 2011 10:53 AM

No Way Jose!!

Posted by: christine at April 6, 2011 2:10 PM