As an Independent voter, I voted for the President as well as some Republicans in the last election and the one before. President Obama has done some good things for our country and lot of good things have happened on his watch. He also done some things that have greatly disappointed me. Yet, the GOP has been firmly aligned to battle every thing he has done and some would run him over in their car if they got the chance. On the flip side, one of my friends jokingly says he is the best Republican president we have ever had. Some GOPers would cringe at this, but it shows what he has always been, more of a moderate, as he has disappointed folks on the right and left. Back in 2008, there was not much difference between him and John McCain on many issues and, for me and others it was McCain’s vice presidential selection that finally did him in.
Here are few things to consider to my friend’s point:
– US domestic oil production has increased significantly in the last five years, where we are much more self-reliant on our own oil. There is nothing more Republican than oil production increases.
– The deficit is on the decline due to spending cuts, lessening our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and tax increases by not extending the Bush tax cuts on the upper end. Republicans don’t like the last step, but they do love the direction of the deficit decline.
– On his watch the stock market has returned in a huge way since elected and many Republicans have done extremely well. The GOP does not like to admit this, but historically, the stock market has done better under Democrat white houses. I would add the president role gets too much credit and too much blame for the stock market results, but it is an interesting data point.
– The economy has gotten better on a monthly basis over the last three years and the number of jobs created on his watch are positive (even when you load in the layoffs shortly after elected due to the financial crisis at the end of Bush’s term). Contrary to GOP hype, the “failed” stimulus bill actually worked and could have been even more, so says six well-regarded econometric organizations. Like the above, the president role gets too much credit and too much blame for the economy, but the GOP might be interested in the data point that far more jobs have been created under Democrat white houses than GOP ones since 1921 by a ratio of 2.5 to 1.
– He quietly has invested in community college retraining programs leveraging state dollars with federal dollars matching up with business needs. Why this does not get more notoriety is beyond me? It is almost as if politicians have to sneak around to do things that might go against the party platform. It is like the high number of closet global warming believers in the GOP party leadership. This investment in retraining is precisely the kind of investment we need to be making to promote job creations.
– And, I have mentioned many times before Obamacare is largely a GOP idea patterned after Romneycare and tracing its roots to a Heritage Foundation idea embraced by GOP Senator Bob Dole when he ran for president against Bill Clinton. The exchanges, in particular, are a capitalistic Republican concept.The fact that Tea Party leader Jim DeMint supported Romneycare, before Obamacare was passed, advocating for it to President Bush is doubly ironic now that he is head of the Heritage Foundation. After Obamacare was passed and Romney ran for president again in 2012, DeMint said both Romneycare and Obamacare were unconstitutional. But, you said….
On the negative side, while Obama has opened the discussions on climate change action and should be commended for the higher mpg requirements on cars, he has not done near enough to move alternative energy forward. I am also disappointed in the lack of transparency of his administration and the NSA spying issues. And, the use of drones may have saved American and civilian lives without troop intervention, but their merciless, clinical nature and poor governance have harmed the US reputation as we have created more people who hate and distrust us. Finally, doing nothing to address our daily gun violence problem, as well as not getting immigration reform across the finish line or offering more help to those in need are disappointing. We have a poverty problem in this country which we need to do more about.
Being an Independent voter, I am afforded the chance to look at the many hypocrisies of both sides. I would like the GOP to return to a more reasonable party to balance against the Democrats. I would like Democrats to better understand the ROI of investments and that, on certain issues, we have to get a better economic handle – such as the high, unsustainable cost of governmental pensions which are contributor to bankruptcy in stagnant cities. We have too many unreasonable positions being bandied about based on anecdotal data, misinformation and disinformation. We need reasonable people to govern based on real data and concern for those impacted and not who wins on an issue.
So, let’s start looking for more real facts and not someone’s version of the facts. We need to ask questions of people, especially our leaders, as to why they feel a certain way. Our problems are too important to base solutions on someone’s biased version of the truth.