I voted for Obama twice. I support both of those choices over candidates who had messaging problems.
Having been a democrat for 20 years or so, I supported him strongly and was ecstatic when he was sworn in! I also felt a wave of change in this country, perhaps where some minorities see a majority white vote put a man in office with a mixed background. To me, I didn’t care one way or the other about his color, the dude inspired me. After 8 years of war mongering and illegally attacking Iraq – and destroying the economy – I was happy to see Bush go and Obama taking over. My mom is a staunch democrat and proclaimed, in 2008, “it doesn’t matter who wins, they have a terrible path ahead with recovery”. I kept that perspective in the back of my head as I watched the debt climb every year. Without this, I believe much of our country would be in shambles today.
Obama gave us hope with health care for all! In 2012, Romney couldn’t really oppose it, because in an off twist of fate, they implement Romney’s plan – one in which he could not really go after. They didn’t work with the republicans at all, and passed it in 2009 with no republican support.
My friends who opposed Obama – I thought the same as many of you. There must have been some form of hidden racism there. This is what CNN and other networks told me, so it must be true. Over time, some things happened which started to unfurl, and with this, my blind support for Obama started to wane.
I saw Bush 2 as a really good man who was in over his head. He put people in play who were incompetent, but he came from a good place. I see Obama as a great family man, but someone who is more aloof and naïve to the world. He is someone who is far more leftist that I had imagined. Now, Obama is not the evil villain that many republicans want you to believe, but his presidency had many bad marks along the way. These added up over time, and got me to a point where I started re-considering my membership to the democratic party.
While I didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton, I had strong leanings on Trump. I also thought he was going to get obliterated, as every poll had him losing badly. I can tell you that while I was no fan on Clinton, she was “part of the game” and knew how things worked. She was a symbol of no change, to be a person at the helm for 4 years who would not steer the ship in any direction. The nail in the coffin for her, for me, was when I saw a campaign ad – I can’t find it on youtube – but it stated that her plan was to “fine companies as they left the country”. I was out of my fucking mind. This was not a preventive strategy to bring jobs back to this country. And Trump’s message was a LOT more powerful than this “fine them as they leave” bullshit. So, I heard this past weekend that Clinton was now saying she lost because she’s a woman. As good as Obama’s messaging was to capture the White House, Clinton’s message was THAT terrible. Because she was an agent for “no change”, we then had to evaluate where Obama left us.
- Debt. If you read above, you know I understand some of this debt. But it just kept going. Sometime last year, there were 50 million people on food stamps. 50 MILLION. Then, they are bragging about the low unemployment numbers. Mr. Perez was the labor secretary out and about toting these numbers. Sorry, but your numbers are juked and total bullshit. I was once unemployed for over a year. Not by choice. Long story short, when your unemployment runs out, they take you off of the numbers as “voluntarily leaving the workforce”. So – many of these people had long unemployment and dropped off. Others took jobs that were part time or didn’t pay as well. They are called “under-employed”. What we had were juked numbers that LOOKED like perfect employment, but in reality, painted a picture where 50 million people needed food stamps…with perfect employment. Their answer was to try and raise minimum wage. This is not logical, and starts to skew more socialist than anything I am comfortable with. The debt was running out of control with them not even acknowledging there was an issue.
- IRS. This Lois Lerner thing. This was the first time I seriously broke ranks with my people. This was bullshit. From what I recall of this, the IRS was slow walking charities and political groups that had anything to do with right-leaning political groups. On the flip side, left-leaning groups sailed right through. Some of these were taking 3+ years for approval. Then, Lerner is called in front of the congress and mysteriously all of her emails were deleted. And all of the emails of her top people. Gone. The government agency who requires you to keep all documentation for 7 years couldn’t even save the emails of their top people. Really?
- Spying on people. This is another area where I was having issues. I am at odds with the whole Snowden thing. I’ve been told he’s a traitor. Objectively, I just don’t know. One of the items he released, I believe was good for him to release. Other things, he should be jailed for. The one program he mentioned kept the phone metadata on everyone and all big telecoms were ultimately ordered to provide information into this database. I immediately wondered what would happen if someone in power, whether the dems or republicans, used this information to blackmail or influence elections for their party’s favor. For example, imagine if a candidate had an affair with someone three years earlier and someone had the phone records to tie this candidate to this person. Not cool.
- Fast and Furious. While this was early on, they had an operation to allow guns to be sold to groups to trace where they went. It backfired, and one of these guns were used to kill a law enforcement officer.
- Choosing which laws to enforce. And here, my friends, is the unraveling of democracy. If you don’t like a law, campaign to change it. It starts with things that people feel strongly should be changed. For instance, pot. 70% or so of people want it legalized. Instead of changing it from a schedule 1 drug, he instructed his agencies to sort of not enforce those laws. Suddenly, states vote to legalize pot. They have dispensaries in these states – but they have to use cash because banks won’t get involved – because it’s still against federal laws. Immigration laws aren’t enforced, and you see people coming across on trains overflowing with people. The “deporter in chief” deported 3 million people, I’m told. Yet, mysteriously, the number of illegals in this country did not dip. Then there’s gay marriage. While I support gay marriage, marriage is a state law, not a federal law. I think my LGBT friends don’t give a shit HOW it happened, but just so it’s legal now. Granted, this was not Obama, but the SCOTUS. These items could have been done with laws. We now see the results of this – sanctuary cities were born. They flaunt not listening to federal law, because they feel that morally they don’t have to. That’s the Obama legacy, right there. 200+ cities feel they have a right to violate federal law. Which, they do not have the right to do.
- Obamacare. It started as a GREAT idea! Let’s get people coverage. But, of course, being government, we’re going to bungle every step of the way. Famously, the web page somehow cost billions of dollars and didn’t work well. Then, you had these state exchanges subsidized by federal dollars. Then…it became a law that you must by health insurance or face a fine by the IRS, and if you didn’t pay the fine, you could go to jail for tax evasion. Now, staunch proponents of this start saying things like “it wouldn’t come to that”. Messaging folks. You are forcing me to buy a private industry product at the threat of jail. Ummmm….gofuckyourself. Then, they wildly fucked up how sick people were and how little to fine the healthy people that didn’t want to sign up for your shitty products. 26 to be on your parent’s health care? Really? 26? I get that in 2008 during the world melt down, but now? Stories are all over, everywhere, about how much this costs people, in reality. How their premiums sky rocket every year. The system is collapsing in on itself….now, they could fix it, but there’s a problem. “Obama”. A few years back, the shut down happened for 3 weeks. Obama clowned the republicans in a short term chess move. He completely made them look like asses. Well, dems, that was the price to pay. That bill will never, ever be fixed. They will tear it down, and perhaps build the exact same thing, but it cannot have his name associated with it. It’s the price you pay for bare knuckle politics sometimes.
- Foreign policy – Iran. While I applaud the foreign policy move with Cuba, I feel what he did with Iran was indeed naïve. Sanctions that were taking a toll on the country were lifted, then we paid them something like $400 million in cash. They directly finance terrorist groups that fight against Israel. That fact might have been lost on them. Then, they put this deal in place that we literally cannot enforce. They “self report”. We have to give like a 30 day notice of inspection. The orange man just paid a visit to Saudi Arabia, who fights against Iran’s influence in the middle east, and assured them we are their ally against Iran. Then the orange man went to Israel to also assure them we are with them against Iran. This was a terrible, terrible deal – and only somehow assures nuclear be avoided for 10 years, not forever.
- Foreign policy – North Korea. What exactly did he do against them? Punted. Now, they are testing long range missiles.
- Foreign policy – China. China has been running cyber operations against our private industries going back forever. They take our intellectual property, then create things based on that, rather than buying American goods. Because their R&D is low, and because they have virtual slave labor, they are defeating the United States by bleeding our knowledge bit by bit. Not even a scolding against them. Then, islands were built in the south china sea that apparently China is now claiming as their sovereign territory.
- Foreign policy – Russia. While we all laughed about Russia being our biggest threat when Romney proclaimed it, Russia has been trying to increase their influence. They marched into Crimea, and our response? We sanctioned 8 Russia millionaires. Putin went unchecked.
- Foreign policy – Syria. When we pulled out of Iraq, we then created a vacuum where a lot of the people left over there ended up creating ISIS. Once famously called “the JV team”, they have grown in power and influence. Obviously, it was a great day when they took out Osama Bin Laden – but a new problem was created with ISIS and was not addressed. Then, there was this “red line” with chemical weapons. At the last second, we let Russia take this over. So, we let Russian influence happen here. The situation on the ground grew ever more complex. You have Syrian forces using chemical weapons and barrel bombs against their people. You have ISIS on the ground. You have pro-western rebels. You had us providing weapons to people on the ground, and the weapons were taken. Granted, Americans had NO appetite for another middle eastern war, but the area has spiraled out of control.
- Foreign policy – Libya. Not only did Benghazi happen, and how the messaging for that leading up to the 2012 election claimed a narrative that was NOT a terrorist attack (because they didn’t want it to look like Obama was soft on terror right before the election and lose), but they apparently let Clinton spearhead this whole thing and there was no plan for after Kaddafi was out of power. No plan. So we went in there, killed off their leader, and got the fuck out of dodge. Our embassy there now is inhabited by ISIS from what I remember hearing. Libya is now a hotbed for terrorists.
- Foreign policy – apology tour. This is part of the naïve side of Obama. The middle east is an area that responds to strength. In our world of democracy – we applaud people who make cogent arguments, who admit faults, who can be self-depricating. In that part of the world, for thousands of years, this has been a culture of strength. Trump went in and I felt gave the best moment of his life to the Saudis. While you may hate the orange man, at the end of this 4 years, you may have a list of 435 faults with him, but you may have a list of 10 great moments. His moments with the Saudis were on that reel…and the hope is “peace through strength”.
- Foreign policy – borders. The PC police on the far left have taken over sanity. I recall PC starting awhile back, and it gradually getting worse and worse. PC is now at a point where we are not permitted to say things that are common sense, due to the remote possibility we can possibly offend some group, somewhere. It makes perfect sense that ISIS is in Syria. They say they want to get to the US by acting as refugees. It makes sense to stop bringing in refugees from Syria to potentially stop that threat. PC left tells us we are over-reacting and we must embrace them. I see the articles of the camps in Saudi Arabia that can house several million people in air conditioned tents and wonder why they can’t go there until the fighting stops in their country. No, we must open our homes and communities towards people who may potentially be dangerous at the risk of not offending. We want travel bans from countries who sponsor terror while we vet people better. Today, I just heard Britain has 23,000 jihadists living there that they know about. I wonder how many we know about here?
- Domestic policy – police. Somehow, someway, he pitted people against the police. From saying his son could have been Trayvon, to many other things, the FOP most definitely did not like him. While police brutality numbers were something like .0004% of incidents that led to a death, nothing was said about the bad people they were going against. Being married to someone in law enforcement, I can tell you that I feel strongly that our president didn’t show an appreciation for how hard their job was.
- Domestic policy – Obama phones. This might have been early on, and I get the premise. My wife told me that many people who go through the system rent rooms from houses by the week, and can’t get jobs because they have no phone that people can contact them at. The premise, I get. The optics here spiraled to government freebies for people. I felt that he didn’t communicate things as well as he could have.
- Executive orders – I was a defender of these, for a time. The volume of domestic orders rankled those on the right. However, when you looked at these numbers, they weren’t any more than any other president, in fact, were much smaller. The problem was what he was using them for. The optics on this one was these were items that should have been addressed by Congress, but he bypassed congress because he couldn’t get along with them anymore (remember the shut down?). He then went on to call the congress obstructionist. Today, the left is giving the right a dose of obstructionism. Ironically, Obama punking Boehner with the shut down was the start of this. And the dems might want to lick their wounds and start working with the right again.
There you go folks….
I did have a lot of hope for Obama. He’s not the worst president ever, but I can tell you he’s probably in the bottom half somewhere. While he helped keep the country from imploding after the Bush years of finances, he then didn’t lead well on many issues moving forward and started a path of choosing which federal laws to enforce.
From someone who fervently supported him and voted for him twice, objectively, I felt he fell short.
Because Clinton was representing 4 more years of the Obama legacy and had little messaging of her own, you can also see why many moderate leftists moved across the isle to support the orange man. It’s not being sexist. It’s not Comey. It’s not the Russians. Clinton had overwhelming support in 2014, and through her own bungling…took a slam dunk victory and pissed it away over 18 months of shitty campaigning.