President Obama was everywhere this Sunday morning, appearing on five taped shows (from Friday) to explain his health care plan, the Afghan war, the economy, and the flu virus threat.
Obama has hit a rough patch in all of these areas. The honeymoon is over, but of course, it was bound to end in any case.
Criticism is rampant on the left and the right on these issues. At a time of such economic hardship and the growing fear of terrorism at home with the recent revelations of plans to attack the NYC train transportation system, the President is facing harsh attacks on both extremes of the political spectrum.
The fear of growing costs for health care reform at a time when unemployment continues to rise makes any action on this issue highly questionable that it will succeed. The growing debate on increase of troops in Afghanistan places the President more with his domestic GOP critics than with his Democratic supporters, an example being Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan, who has made it clear that we should not send more troops there, even though Obama today pointed out that it was from Afghanistan where Al Quaeda struck on September 11. Obama seems to be on a tightrope on this issue, not yet willing to agree to increased troops, but not hinting that he will change course either.
The H1N1 virus threat also plagues many Americans, and the reality that vaccine will not be available for awhile, and one can not be certain that when it is available, that it will work and not cause more grief than protection for American citizens.
Obama backed away from backing President Jimmy Carter on the issue of racism causing a lot of the problems and division that now exists in America, the only statement he could be expected to make. Still, it is troubling that we are allowing so much attention to be drawn to those who promote hate and controversy for their own aggrandizement, so why does Time Magazine have to put an outrageous picture of Glenn Beck on the cover of its magazine this coming week? All this does is feed the paranoia and insanity that he and other talk show hosts represent.
So basically, it is reality that Barack Obama in in very difficult circumstances at eight months in office, but yet his public opinion rating remains in the mid to high 50s, despite all of the attacks and criticisms.
One thing is for certain: We live in challenging times, and constant turmoil will continue as we try to face the many difficult issues this country faces. We can only pray that we do not see a resort to violence and bloodshed because of the poisonous environment that we find ourselves in.
As Barack Obama said, Franklin D. Roosvevelt and Ronald Reagan also faced vitriol and wild extremist reactions because they represented fundamental change, and that he understood that is occurring again because he is involved in similar actions, and there will be predictably negative responses as in the past.
Obama called for civility and decency in political discourse, but unfortunately, that seems extremely unlikely. 🙁