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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Passing blame will only work for so long

    Many Democrats are reconsidering their faith in President Barack Obama. In an interview with The New York Times, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, was even so blunt as to say “there is tremendous discontent with (Obama’s) direction.” A rather restrained attitude, numerous failures to convince the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass anything that looks agreeable to anyone but themselves, and an unemployment rate of just more than 9.1 percent have all contributed to the president’s high disapproval rating. Even some of the most devout Obama supporters are reconsidering their support. DeFazio said they all feel as though they voted for him once and that they’re not sure they could do it again.

    While disapproval of Obama is nothing new, it was often regarded as nothing to really worry about in regards to re-election. With the Republican primary field flashing a different front-runner each week, Democrats could write off the GOP as a party unable to unite behind one entity. All the contenders set to challenge Obama seemed too conservative, too inexperienced and too unknown by the party base or even by the general public. Now though, Democrats seem fearful enough that Obama’s support has dipped beyond the threshhold and are sounding the alarm.

    All hope doesn’t seem to be lost though. Obama’s most recent job speech is regarded as one that displays his long dormant passion and fire. There are those who feel that as long as Obama gets back to his roots that won him the presidency in the first place, he can fend off a Republican threat.

    There is no doubting Obama’s presidency hasn’t been what his supporters would have hoped for. Yes, he passed health-care reform, but it wasn’t exactly what everyone wanted. Not only that, it’s been tied up in litigation from the get-go. Guantanamo Bay “closed,” but not by the definition that people wanted. The recession ended, but the country didn’t recover. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was discarded, but gay individuals haven’t realized their full equality from the federal government’s end. And ultimately, the change in the bickering and boorish behavior in Washington still hasn’t come. Democrats had sweeping victories in November 2008, yet they’ve managed to completely fumble away their momentum, in no time at all.

    Democrats hoped to regain the lost ground from the Tea Party’s “mad as hell” campaign in 2010 but, at this rate, the look of Washington will return to its pre-2008 appearance. It could even be worse, depending on who’s behind the wheel and what other stubborn politicians enter the playing field and steal a spot in the 2012 elections. The harsh reality is that the trendy movement that allowed Democrats to blame their way to large scale election success is now being turned against them.

    Ultimately, the ground made up by the Republican Party begs the question: When is it no longer enough to just blame your predecessor? In 2008, it was all George W. Bush’s fault. In 2012, it will no doubt be Obama’s. When is it no longer enough to just point the finger?

    Regardless of who you believe is to blame, what are you going to do to rectify the issue? We’re all aware that these are trying times. We can point our fingers at whomever, but with what credibility and what purpose? Even the most uninformed American needs only to look at their paycheck and their job security to understand something is wrong and someone is to blame. But a true visionary and a true leader looks at worsening situations and figures out how to fix them.

    Perhaps Obama isn’t the visionary that many thought he was. He has made minor, or indirect, strides at accomplishing his campaign promises and ultimately his failures to rectify economic woes are the only thing that matters to the everyday American. Regardless of whether he is or not is the leader many thought he was is honestly irrelevant. As voting trends will likely show, it’s who makes the best case for being the least to blame that will win in 2012.

    _— Storm Byrd is the Perspectives editor. He can be reached at _
    letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

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