2008: no endorsement
earlier: many democrats
Let's break it down.
Barack Obama has earned four more years as president of the United States (Kalamazoo Gazette Editorial)
Four years ago, when Barack Obama stepped into the presidency, our nation’s economy was in shambles, we were at war in Iraq, and the way we financed health care in America was flat out broken.The President doesn't make the economy recover. Economies recovered on their own long before governments tried to fix them. What is notable about the "recovery" is how weak it has been, and how long it has taken. Obama's policies are to blame.
Today, the economy is on the mend, the war in Iraq is over and the historic Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.
We still have have troops in Iraq (not combat troops). But we were already drawing down and ending the war under Bush. Obama inherited that!
Yes, the Affordable Care Act is flawed. But after years of hand wringing and do-nothing by Washington, a president finally came along who had the vision and the guts to force major changes in a health-care system that should be a jewel for America but is instead a disgrace because it is out of reach for so many.And he made it much worse.
There are some who have said they wished Obama could have made his historic run for president at another time, that he could have claimed his presidency in an era of peace, calm and economic certainty. That, however, was not his destiny.Diligently? Everything that has come out about his work ethic says that he is not a particularly hard worker.
His destiny was to lead us through our current economic crisis, and he has done this work diligently in the face of enormous obstacles. We believe his work is not yet finished and thus we endorse Barack Obama for another term as president of the United States. Against tremendous odds, Obama has earned another four years in office to continue crafting his vision for our nation.
In 2008, the banking system was collapsing, the housing market was in upheaval and General Motors and Chrysler were heading toward catastrophe. America continues to reel from the worst financial crisis to face this nation since the Great Depression.TARP was passed under Bush. So were the mortgage programs. So were the GM and Chrysler bailouts. Who is the Gazette endorsing again?
Job growth has been nominal, the deficit looms large and only now is the housing market beginning to come back. But, we believe we would be in a worse position had Obama not been in the White House, where he was able to stabilize our free fall through use of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, mortgage relief programs, the stimulus package and the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler.
The last two programs had very visible impacts in Southwest Michigan with the widening of I-94 coming out of the stimulus package and numerous automobile parts manufacturers being able to stay afloat with the rescue of the auto companies.The economy has done far worse than Obama projected that it would, both with and without the stimulus. By their own standards, it failed. Most of the money did not go to "shovel-ready jobs" (I-94 being an exception.)
While maneuvering through the troubled financial landscape, Obama has managed several other notable accomplishments. In foreign affairs, he has repaired strained relations with key allies, ended the war in Iraq and has begun to draw down troops in Afghanistan.He made relations worse with our real allies, Britain and Israel. Casualties are way up in our increasingly pointless war in Afghanistan.
Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the administration of President George W. Bush kept the issue of terrorism at the forefront of its public policy, including using it as a pretext to launch the Iraq War. But let’s not forget that it was under President Obama’s watch that the true culprit of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, was finally tracked down and killed.By Obama? Obama cancelled the mission three times and drafted a statement blaming the military if it failed. He also left our Libyan ambassador to die.
There are other accomplishments we could cite, but perhaps the greatest is that President Obama managed to get anything done at all in the face of ongoing hostility from Republican members of Congress, whose main legislative goal — perhaps their sole objective — has been to undercut his every move.Which the voters massively rewarded in 2010.
Some of the best evidence of that can be found in the debt reduction talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. They were well on their way to reaching a compromise when the Republican Party forced the speaker to walk away from the talks.No, Obama sabotaged the near-deal.
Have there been failures in the Obama administration? Yes. In his first campaign, Barack Obama promised more than he could — or did — deliver. He has failed to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. He has not been able to repeal the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes. He has not been able to ban companies in bankruptcy from giving bonuses. He has not supported the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.He failed to be left-wing enough!
Perhaps these will make their way to the top of Obama’s agenda if he is re-elected, although we have to believe that the economic recovery of the country would remain his primary concern. The recovery would have to be the main focus for Mitt Romney, should he win the election on Nov. 6.What a distortion of what Romney advocates. Conservatives support property rights for everyone. "Social programs" promote dependency and punish individual responsibility.
And, that is our concern with the Republican nominee. Romney echoes the failed economic philosophies that have brought us to this point in history.
We simply do not believe the relentless arguments that protecting the assets of the wealthy and cutting social programs for everyone else provide the only hope America has for economic recovery and growth.
To ask the wealthy to help fund a government that invests in education, health care, infrastructure and other essential services is not socialism — it is asking all members of our society to be socially responsible. Indeed, it is in the interest of the wealthy to have a strong middle class.Ask? What if they say no? You want to put a gun to their heads. Of course, it is not "the wealthy" who will be "asked", but high income earners (not the same group). "Invests" is liberal propaganda-speak for "spend". Education and health care could be provided far better by the free market. Raising taxes is "responsible" for increasing poverty. Capitalism gave us the middle class.
President Barack Obama has led with a steady hand for the past four years, opting to invest not in big government but in active government that will use its power to guide us toward a healthy future. We believe Obama deserves another four years to continue that work.Not big government? How much bigger would our "active government" have to be for the Gazette to consider it big? The future Obama is guiding us toward is anything but healthy.