It’s Your Own Fault If Obama Disappoints You

President Obama promised changes we have yet to see. Is he the disappointment, or are we?

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“This is not class warfare. It’s math.”

That line from President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction speech, delivered from the Rose Garden on Monday, was an instant classic. It cut to the heart of the matter and sparked a deafening sigh of relief from democrats and legions of presidential supporters who have been increasingly (if reluctantly) expressing their displeasure with him around the water cooler, on camera, and on Twitter for months.

Ironically, when he took to the microphone, I was a few blocks away, interviewing Labor Secretary Hilda Solis about his jobs proposal, presented the week before. So I didn’t get to see Obama yank the gloves off in a live speech, whose tone was later described as “combative” and “confrontational.” But I watched online afterward and then heaved my own sigh of relief as a mighty fan base that had fallen silent–wanting to defend the president, but also wanting in the area of powerful ammunition with which to do it–seemed to come back to life.

A dear friend of mine who lives in Oregon falls into that category. She emailed me about a week ago to confess that she was “disappointed” in our president.

“He’s not been fighting,” she wrote. “He’s a conciliator by nature who found a calling as a community organizer. Since he’s been in office he has tried repeatedly to continue in that vain of bringing people together and treating the Republican House as decent, well-meaning people despite the fact that they have done everything [they can] to bring him down. He just seems to be going along to get along, with maybe a not-so-hidden desire to be liked.”

“They’re never going to like him,” an old college boyfriend ranted on the phone. “Forget them! Why does he care? He has to let that go!”

Obama was the first presidential candidate either of these friends (or I) truly believed in. So confessing their disappointment in him was painful for them and it ignited a visceral reaction from me.

I am not disappointed in our president. I’m upset that he has been seemingly unable to assemble a team of insulators, a group of staff, cabinet members, mouthpieces and supporters willing to launch the snares and arrows on his behalf and to take the hits for him when they come firing back. No one seems to go to bat for him. No one seems to have his back, we who voted for him included.

The GOP and others live and breathe to dismantle and destroy him. It’s their sole purpose, they’ve made no bones about it, and they don’t appear to mind destroying the country in the process. Meanwhile, Democrats and other onetime presidential supporters, stand aside and wait for him to fix everything by himself or suffer the consequences. They refuse to stand with him, to wrap him in a cloak of unqualified support and solidarity.

Dick Cheney defended George Bush at every turn–and I don’t get the sense that he even much liked or respected the man. Still, he was willing to be both Bush’s key hit man and bodyguard. Who does that for Barack Obama? No one. Where are his Cheney, his Rumsfeld, his Powell, and his Rice?

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  • Steven Lemon

    Obama has not delivered on a single promise, he as created more debt than Bush did in eight years and three million Americans have lost their jobs since he took office. He blames BUSH. Now, this writer wants us to blame ourselves.
    Barack Obama has not disappointed me because I never expected much from him or John McCain in the first place. Anyone who believes that politicians ca create jobs (other than government or union) should get used to disappointments because they will always be.

    I don’t know Where this blame game will lead, but I do know when it will end.

    • f15422

      Obama is his own worst enemy. he needs to take some College Business Courses in order to confer with his advisors. He does not know it the Sun is up or the Moon is up when it comes to the economy.

    • elfinla

      Obama “has not delivered on a single promise”? Where do you get off saying that? The Republican Party and their Tea Party supporters have fought the President’s initiatives on EVERY TURN, to the detriment of the national welfare. If Obama’s disappointed you on that score, you’ve only got the Republican Party to blame. One doesn’t have to be a socialist to agree with at least some of Obama’s policies. Nor does one have to roll over and agree with all of his policies either. What the Republican Party DOES need to do is meet the President half way. Anybody with a lick of sense can see that since Obama took office Republicans act as if they don’t know the meaning of the word “compromise”. But I guess that reflects their view (shown in polls) that the majority of the American people were idiots for electing an “illegitimate” candidate to the highest office in the land. (“You know, Obama wasn’t born here…”)

      • AOldDad

        Whether it be the President or the Democrats, neither has the right to complain about where they are or what they have not done. For the first two years of the Obama Presidency the Democratic party control both houses of Congress and could have passed ANYTHING they wanted regardless of what other voted for or against. Do not blame others for having your having let the opportunity pass.

        We needed a jobs bill in 2009 and 2010 why did one get passed by the Democratic controlled Congress.
        We needed leadership in 2009 and 2010 why didn’t the Democratic House, Senate and President lead?

      • David

        For two years, the Democrats had the majority in the House, Senate, and the Presidency. No one could stop what they wanted. And the Democrats didn’t have the courage, nor did the President show any leadership in getting a budget passed prior to the election. If you call “Health Care Reform” a positive, I would only have you listen to those famous words of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who said “We need to pass it so we know what is in it”. Also, the President said, if elected, he would have a more open administration, and all bills that were to be signed by him would be posted for 3 days prior to his signing so you… American Citizens… could see them. Not one has been posted, and now all he does is blame someone else for his problems. So cut the “compromise crap”, and this President should meet the Republicans half way and possibly he could try leading rather than complaining.

      • Carpie

        Watch a video called “Media Malpractice” about how a bunch of things about Obama were hidden by the media until after Obama was elected, how they edited interviews with Sarah Palin to make her look stupid, and a host of other evil things the media did to get Obama elected. BTW, it was made by an honest Democrat.

      • Carpie

        By the way, NO COMPROMISE WITH SOCIALISM. The Marxist Dialectic requires one compromise after another!!

    • Jerome Brackett

      What do you expect, we live in a society that has taught us to blame everyone except for the party responsible.

  • Calvin J. Adolph

    This thought is exactly in the same vein that I have said since all of the inauguration hoopla receded. Like Mr. Lemon, I never expected the miracles that politicians would ever deliver for Americans. But I am not naive because this is what I studied in school as a Political Science major. The disappointment I have stems from the fact that another presidency was stolen from someone who rightfully won it. Are we post-racial? Hell no! Just because we are creating interracial babies who have little to no knowledge of the gains created as a result of the civil rights struggle does not deter us from the fact that America is still a racist country. President Obama has been attacked on every angle during the campaign by blacks (note I did not say African Americans because most of us are afraid to embrace our own heritage)as well as both Democrats and Republicans. His campaign was brilliant (where was the use of technology in a campaign before his)and we bought in because we finally found someone who genuinely cared about all of us (he has an Ivy league education, but didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth). He is the first person who has had to change his campaign by copying all of the successful strategies of those who have gone before him. We will never know how great the man is because he had to accept those who unsuccessfully lost in the democratic primaries as his cabinet (otherwise they would have still torn at him after his election. If Secretary Clinton can’t handle the Secretary of State post just imagine how she would have responded as president. Oh, but I digress because she would have had Bill in the White House. Right!) The Democratic Party is worst than the Republicans (Party of No!) because they had the winning hand, but BECAUSE OF RACE,decided to fold instead. No other president has had to fight more with his own party than President Obama (which shows that politicians will put their own self interests before those of the people every time). The problems that we are dealing with began eight years before President Obama’s election and will take more than one term for us to overcome. The question that remains is: Will we give him the support he needs this time? (I am talking about more than just votes and then asking him to perform the miracles)

    • Carpie

      Please, friend. Al Gore blocked military votes which would have made no difference in the dimpled Florida chads. So please get off the “Bush stole the election” bullspit. I’m not saying that Bush II was the greatest president ever, but Al Gore’s pants have been on fire for a very long time.

  • Daphney

    Oh goodie! the blacks thought because we has a house negro in the white house things were going to get better. Well! Well! look what happen. It will continue to happen as long as he is in there Vote him out!
    Obame only has interest in gay white and wealth! blacks need to open their eyes.

  • Mike

    This president was given a free pass by the press and received support from Hollywood and the media at every turn. No one wants to see Obama fail, but America is a right/center country that will never tolerate Obama’s far left agenda and philosophy. Obama has failed because his policies have failed. All of his campaign grievances about Bush and promises to end them have fallen by the way side. Obama has played favorites with the unions and those who backed him and continues to practice cronyism. After inheriting a terrible economy, he doubled down on wasteful spending and partisan politics.
    Obama staffed his cabinet with 90% academics and few who have real world business and job creation experience. As a constitutional lawyer, Obama is way over his head on how to right the economy and get the country headed in the right direction. His czar’s and cabinet appointies continue to give him bad advice. Obama is a likeable guy that needs to be a one term president. It is not a race thing, it is a competence thing.

  • Clarence Counts

    I am not disappointed in President Obama. He has accomplished more in his three years in office then former Presidents Carter, Clinton and Bush. He signed into law the Afordable Health Care Act, Dodd Frank law and he repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy. His Stimulus Law is still having a positive impact on the economy some 30 months later, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The agency said the law’s combination of aid to states and localities, public works projects, tax cuts for the middle class and other spending increased the number of people with jobs by 1 million to 2.9 million between April and June of this year. The Republicans do not like this President because of his success.
    I will continue to support my President with my vote and contributions to his re-election campaign. He will win a second term.

    • Jerome Brackett

      It isn’t about how many laws you can pass, it is about how effective those laws are. The “Quality over Quantity” paradigm. It is better to stay where you are at, though not the best position to be in, than to take two steps back.

  • elfinla

    I’m white and I was so happy that America appeared to have moved beyond race by electing Obama. I think most voters realized that he was obviously the most intelligent and competent candidate by far. Unfortunately, it now seems we were wrong about a post-racial America. Instead, we find that all of the racists have crawled out of the woodwork since 2008: the “birthers”, “Obama is a Muslim” bigots, “Obama didn’t deserve to get into Harvard” fabricators, the idiotic Donald Trump, the Tea Party ad nauseum. Caroline Clarke hits the nail on the head about the aims of the Republican Party and their supporters.

    • PlayTheRaceCard

      Oh, I see. Just because Obama’s policies don’t work, despite the fact that head two years to do ANYTHING he wanted, it is racism that is causing the economy not to improve and why so many people are STILL out of work. Keep playing the race card and see where it gets you, because people are not so stupid as to call a jackass a horse just because you say he is. Obama is a failure in every sense of the word, and color has nothing to do with it. This country has never been so divided nor had such a bleak, dismal future. Obama is COMPLETELY responsible for that.

  • Truth

    The base lie that opposing his policies is about race is losing steam with ever repetition, and this column once again proposes that nonsense. Wise up…and tell the truth: When you thought Bush’s policies were wrong for your family, your neighborhood, or your country, YOU wanted him to “Fail” to enact them, too. That’s no more about his whiteness than this is about Obama’s blackness. It is, furthermore, cowardly to hide behind that nonsense argument instead of actually being willing to defend Obama on the issues and policies he’s enacted and supported. So far, the results of those policies have been pretty dismal–from Solyndra to Jobs, from “Fast and Furious” to regulatory excess, (and let’s not forget the unaffordable “Affordable Care” boondoggle which in in the process of raising costs even while it is being found unconstitutional) this President, who’s gotten a huge amount of what he’s asked for, has been a net negative on the lives of average Americans. We are poorer, have less hope, and more crushed by the burdens of an all-powerful Federal bureaucracy than ever in recent memory. Voters were sold a bill of goods, folks. This guy just isn’t up to the job, and his basic credo is contrary to economic growth. Sure, he believes in it still, but real people–black, white, republican and democrat people–living the results are perfectly entitled to be more than merely “disappointed”–they’re entitled to be angry, disgusted, and looking for a change. If we should be disappointed in ourselves, it is for buying the hype and letting the media avoid serious scrutiny of Obama in the name of an “historic” moment. We had our moment. Now let’s get some grownups with real experience, working plans, and common sense back in charge….no matter WHAT color they are!

    • elfinla

      “Truth”, your kidding, right? I mean, your use of that moniker MUST be tongue-in-cheek. Fair-minded people (and I think it’s fair to define them as mostly Democrats at this point in our history) don’t have any problem with people disagreeing with Obama on issues of policy, even though, let’s face it, based on the non-existent job growth arising from Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, I think it’s fair to say that supply side economics is dead. Or for that matter, let’s not forget either that Obama was the only major candidate in 2008 “grown up” enough, with a big enough intellectual underpinning, to have opposed America’s invasion of Iraq, possibly one of the biggest foreign policy disasters in U.S. history. No, “Truth”, it’s NOT a base lie about race. What president in the history of the U.S. has undergone as much totally unwarranted, totally undeserved scrutiny as Obama, suffered as many falsehoods, questioning his legitimacy to hold the office of president? What did that April 2011 CBS News/ New York Times poll find? That fully 45% of all Republicans AND 45% of Tea Party supporters believe Obama was born in another country, despite OVERWHELMING evidence to the contrary!! 45%!!!!!!! What else can one infer from this nonsense other than Republicans/Tea Party supporters telling the rest of us, in effect, “You saps elected some guy who was not even legally eligible to run for president! Obama shouldn’t even be in the White House! You guys are idiots!” Is this kind of opinion what you would consider to represent a cogent analysis of the pros/cons of Obama’s policies? How about Tea Party Express organizer Mark Williams’ unabashedly racist “letter to Lincoln” in July last year? It took what was described in the press as “a week of intense debate” by a national coalition of tea parties before they moved to expel Williams’ Tea Party group. If it took them as long as a week for them to move on what was a humanistic, not even a policy, issue, I’m willing to bet that it took some fancy talking by some Tea Party members to successfully push through the idea that their party’s political interests were better served by avoiding fallout over continued support of its racist elements. In other words, to heck with such motivations such as a genuine wish to do the right thing.

      • Carpie

        1) I can get my birth certificate in about two weeks.

        2) Birth certificates in the 1960s said “negro” or “black.”

        So where is your OVERWHELMING evidence??

        If there were not an issue, there’d be no issue.

  • Jerome Brackett

    Wow. You must be one of those girls, who do not get mad at their boyfriend for beating them, and only make excuses for why he is such a good person.

  • joe

    Democrats have been scaring people since I first saw the advertisment by LBJ showing the little girl being bombed if Goldwater became president.
    They still scared older people about no social security checks if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised.
    Now our vice president continues the scares and lies.
    As for obama and company, chicago, long a corrupt democratic strong hold, sends it’s “finest” to washington, what do you expect will happen?

    • Chuck

      Are You a fake plumber too, Joe ?

  • steve jacob ball

    Obama doesn’t need any help… He crammed Obama care so far down my throat that I’m wiping it off my tail every time I go to the john!

  • Larry B

    Obama didn’t disappoint me like the whiney liberalist says; I could tell from the way he was talking when he was running for president that he was going to screw things up. As a matter of fact he hasn’t disappointed me at all. From what I can see he has kept his promises he made in the election. The problem was the people who voted for him were so enamoured that they would’ve had to have a glass bellybutton to see what he promised.

    • Susan Rivers

      You are so very right… I knew he was a Marxist from reading his comments from 2002. The guy brags that he hung out in college with Marxists. Also, who spends a fortune SEALING their college records? No, not a “genius” like we have been told by the media! Someone who has something to hide.

  • Susan Rivers

    I read this article with some apprehension but found Ms. Clarke to be naive at best. Not so many Americans saw Obama in the negative because he was a man of color. Those jumping to that conclusion are equally faulse when they add that the deck he was handed was “stacked.” Not so! This man has campaigned for the Presidency for his entire time in the US Senate–so no one can pretend he didn’t go after what he wanted with a vengence. He got it! And with an entire Democratic Congress for the first two years–he was pretty much on a roll, having it his own way! What did he do? He passed a MASSIVE health care bill that did nothing to reform the maladies of the current health care system–but instead amounted to a total government TAKE OVER which also included the STudent Loan program. He signed this monstrosity without reading it–no one who passed it actually READ the BILL. Therefore, instead of being the man of hope and change and post-racial America, he became the Marxist in the WH who will stop at nothing to expand Presidential powers, acting like a dictator, and using American taxpayer dollars to reward his polticial cronies via the Dept. of Energy. He stands before us touting a jobs bill, another massive spending bill, while the EPA, Dept. of Energy, and two dozen other government agencies are out there destroying jobs, killing industry, and WASTING our money. So, yes, Ms. Clarke, some of us are disappointed and rightfully so!

  • Chuck

    I just read a dishonest comment by someone posted under the name ‘ The Editor ‘. The Editor posted that the war in Iraq cost us far less than Obamas spending. The more than 2 Trillion dollars Mr Rumsfeld stated that was ‘lost, and could not be accounted for ‘ in the Middle East far alone far and away dwarfs any incentive efforts on our BuhCo ruined economy. I am disappointed in the fact that Mr Obama has not insisted on ‘ for real ‘ investigations into the action and inactions, before, during and after the crimes that were committed on 09/11/2001. Starting at the top, there were quite a few members of the Republican Party that are guilty of negligent homicide ( or perhaps manslaughter ) in the deaths of thousands of American citizens,not to mention an invasion based upon known( to them )lies, and the deaths of more than a million Iraqis and if anything Mr Obama has helped the GOP cover it up by, if nothing else, inaction himself. It has been his duty, as well as that of our overpaid, and over perked, Congress to prosecute real, and thourough investions into those crimes.

  • ss26mar

    I am old enough to remember history and I am very disappointed in what is going on. The civil rights movement was all about equality. Dr. King stated a lofty goal in 1963 “judge a man by the content of his character not the color of his skin…” Ok, when does that start to occur. under obama and the democrats we have 20% unemployment as blacks; I would agrue that relationships between black and white has went down not up due to the overwhelming support for a radical president — content of character issue again; there are no messiahs to lead anyone out of the wilderness this country has to do it by itself.
    herman Cain has said one thing very true and many dismissed it — the democratic party has blacks locked it and take all for granted. if we want to change things we must support both parties and effect change within. Unttil the republics believe the votes count they will dismiss blacks. until the democrats must work for the black vote they will take it for granted and not work to address issues that are important to the community.
    this has been true for many decades and needs to change. I submit that jim crow was a democratic insitiution and the republican party was instrumental in the civil rights movement and should receive some credit the democrats need to take some blame and blacks need to get realistic on their expectations of support and start demanding attention to the enormous unemployment and other issues.
    split the vote and watch what happens they will beat a path to the door to get the vote.

    • Carpie

      You are absolutely correct in the spirit of what you said, Malcolm X saw the sudden racial about-face that the Democrats made when they saw the political expediency.

      The Republican Party was established for the purpose of limiting slavery so that it could eventually be extinguished. During Reconstruction (late 1860s), they worked hard for equality. The KKK was the militant arm of the Democratic Party. Black codes were established by Southern Democrats. Many White Republicans lost their lives trying to get equal rights for African Americans all the way up to the 1960s when Dems saw they would lose. Ever heard the term “Radical Republican?” In the 1960s, Dems turned everything around, that bastard, LBJ, took sole credit for something Republicans (and a few Democrats) had worked on, and suddenly became the “party of the Black man.” As I said, Malcolm X found this laughable.

      I wish we could all get passed the race issue.

  • RobM

    Your article/post was cross posted at jack&jill by rikyrah

    I have serious disagreement w/ your analysis. Certain locks can’t be opened even if the key is in the lock. It requires the turner of the key have the courage to turn it.
    The President has failed the nation on three issues. One, race and class, two the economy and three the FI’s(large multinational financial institutions. One the first his actions show his misguided belief that he can ignore the working class. Far to many of his legislative success do little if anything for the working class but a large amount for the upper middle class. Take the health insurance reform act. All the benefits accrue to those w/ health insurance. If you don’t have it your children can’t be on it. Most of those who have it have upper management jobs or union members whom are only 11.9% of the workforce. Most unions now can’t even afford it and most union employees are government employees. So the act does little for the working class. The poor who receive their care through medicaid or (S)chip are having it cut by the legislation the President passed to achieve a debt ceiling adjustment. Lily Leadbetter fair pay doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a job.
    On race the president has done more to run away from it than Condie. His merciless throwing of Shirley Sherrod under the bus and letting a white boy to do it, while standing back like Pontius Pilate was nauseatingly revolting.

    Two he totally whiffed on the economy. He whiffed because he never looked nor did most of his advisers recognize the problem is that we did not have an typical over expansion of manufacturing output but a full fledged credit bubble. A credit bubble so big, abetted by the Greenspan/Bernakkke, and perpetuated by the FI’s, in their overzealous expansion of credit to poor borrowers, primarily in the housing market, because the FI’s knew they could transfer the risk to CDO(colllaterized debt obligations, the debt being mortgages holders, that it expanded the economy to many times its normal level of expansion. As a result he did not make the argument to the Congress, let alone to the Dummycrats, that the stimulus need to be both larger and longer than what he proposed. since then he has continued to act as though the American Taliban, aka the Republican Party, was going to sit down to tea w/ him when the Taliban have stated since day one their sole job was to prevent him from being elected.

    Three, he failed to rein in the large FI’s and refuses to hold them responsible for their part in the debacle the economy currently is now. In fact as of today there is more proof that his intention is to totally let them off the hook(http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/10/latest-leak-on-state-attorney-general-mortgage-settlement-a-shameless-sellout-to-the-banks.html). How has he let them off the hook of responsibility. it occurred early in his administration when he allowed them to repay their TARP money and while under that act in Jan of 2009 allowed them to receive their bonuses. Politically it was a winner and for those who would not have received their bonuses they had nothing to say or do as no one was creating private trading houses for them to work at. Worse, the FI’s were and still are bankrupt(they only survive FDIC liquidation because Congress, w/ Fed approval, changed the laws from mark to market to mark to make believe in regards to the value of their assets. Many of these assets are either CDOs or bonds of other FI’s that held large bad portfolios. And all of this come despite the fact his best economic decision was to use the money to provide reorganization in bankruptcy for GM and Chrysler.
    Yet after all this you expect people to be a key for him. Why be part of a key for him if he won’t use it? That’s backward.

    union numbers: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

  • Stanley Osgood

    I have to laugh at the accusations of racism against those who disagree with Obama’s policies. The black voting community voted almost 100% FOR Obama only BECAUSE he is black/African American. That ONE reason: He’s black. Never a thought about experience, no consideration for any other criteria or candidate. Just “I’m black, he’s black, he’s my man”. Don’t you think that is purely racist? Wake up, you slaves to the Democrat party. All they do is tell you the same crap time and again, pandering to what you want to hear!

  • Jamie Mae Smith with USAF

    To the person who wrote this article. You are a sincere idiot. You really need to open up your eyes, and respectfully if you are blind which it seems you are, listen up. Listen to the Americans around you. Listen to what this fake actually promises and what he actually does. Do a little research into what he has voted for and against in the past and then you can come to me and tell me this man is even worth being called “our leader.” It is my fault that the guy promised to pull me and my commerads out of Iraq yet were still being deployed there every year? On top of that now getting the chance to hop on over to Afghanistan and Kuwait. Oh what a joy it is for him not to keep his promise and I get to spend every major holiday away from my family. You can sit there and write this article knowing you will see your family when you go home for the night or whatever it is that you do to make you happy. But until then, shut your damn mouth until you have the facts. That is all I have to say for now.