Day: October 8, 2010

Former Presidents, And Selective Memory Of Critics, Scholars, And Public Opinion!

Being President of the United States means glory and fame and being never forgotten in history, but it also includes bitter attacks, criticism, and a negative reputation in the minds of many critics, scholars and public opinion!

There is something about the passage of time that often soothes bad feelings and helps to restore a positive image of a President who has been under constant scrutiny! While a President may often leave office with a low public opinion rating and be seen as a disappointment or failure by many, over time he may be perceived in a very different light!

Such is the case with former President Bill Clinton and members of the Republican party who were his harshest critics, went after him in a vicious way for eight years, moved to impeach him for his private indiscretions, and used him until recently as a political issue against Democrats!

Now, many Republicans are praising Clinton, calling him a better President than Barack Obama, a moderate who benefited the nation, a compassionate conservative who was willing to negotiate with and work with the opposition party, once his own party lost control of Congress in 1994!

Another example of selective memory and how time heals wounds is that a CNN poll shows George W. Bush only two points behind Barack Obama on a question as to who is the better President! Obama leads 47-45, while last year he led by 23 points!

There is obviously a tendency for the negative emotional feelings that develop during the term of office of a President to dissipate over time, indeed sometimes within just a short span of time!

But it also shows that a thorough, balanced analysis of any Presidential administration takes inordinate amounts of time to accomplish–decades, generations, maybe even centuries!

After all, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and other Presidents before the 20th century are still being researched and evaluated, with no final judgment that cannot be challenged by new evidence!

Imagine This Scenario: The McCain-Palin Administration After 20 Months! :(

Let’s just imagine that Senator John McCain had become the President and Governor Sarah Palin had become the Vice President in January 2009!

How would a McCain Presidency have been different than an Obama Presidency?

1. There would have been no bailout of the banking industry, and the financial collapse ensuing would have likely created unemployment and foreclosures twice the rate that they have been!
2. The domestic auto industry would have disappeared completely, and with it, hundreds of thousands of jobs in allied industries, as well as the auto workers!
3. There would have been no economic stimulus, and America would be in Great Depression Number Two, rather than a severe recession!
4. Health care reform would have not occurred, and health care rates would be much worse than they are, and millions more Americans would be denied health care, because of loss of jobs and homes!
5. The Great Depression Number Two would have created more instability in the world economy than this recession has caused!
6. Hundreds of thousands of teachers, police officers, fire fighters, librarians, and other local and state workers would have been dismissed, creating a breakdown of state and local governments on a scale unimaginable!
7. When the BP Oil Spill occurred, the McCain Administration would not have pushed BP to do anything to provide aid to the victims or pay for the cleanup!
8. There would have been no financial reform legislation, no credit card legislation, no student loan legislation, no action on the environment, no movement on gay rights in any form, a sharper crackdown on illegal immigration, and a continuation of tax cuts to the wealthy despite its tremendous burden on the national debt!
9. McCain would have chosen two strong conservatives to the Supreme Court!
10. A lot of Bush II appointees would have ended up working for McCain, and it is likely that former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, one of the major architects of the home mortgage crisis, would have been Secretary of the Treasury!
11. It is likely that neoconservatives who brought us into Iraq would be in power, and the war in Iraq would be further escalated, at a cost of American lives and treasure!
12. The war in Afghanistan would be further escalated beyond what President Obama has promoted!
13. It is likely that McCain would have been building up toward a war against Iran, and possibly North Korea, at the same time, again part of the neoconservative influence!
14. America’s relationship with the world would be much more antagonistic, similar to Bush II, and tension with the Muslim world would be far worse! We would be less safe from the threat of terrorism!
15. Finally, Sarah Palin would be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, and no one could sleep at night without worrying about John McCain’s health! 🙁

It is certain, upon further reflection, that one could come up with other ideas as to how McCain would have influenced the history of the past 20 months, but the list above is more than enough to say to any reasonable person: Thank God Barack Obama is President of the United States!