To Try and Perhaps Fail – or Fail to Try?

I can understand why so many American taxpayers are in revolt. Their hard-earned money has been blown away in senseless military adventures, handed over to a bunch of crooked bankers, squandered on hare-brained projects at home and abroad…

It’s enough to make the most mild mannered citizen yell, “Enough!”

But what I don’t understand is why they’re blaming President Obama.

He didn’t invade Iraq. He didn’t occupy Afghanistan without a plan to get out. He didn’t initiate the bank bailouts and treasury initiatives that turned over trillions to the banks without any guarantees that the money would be used to revitalize business and head off the collapse of the housing market.

He inherited all that. And he inherited a huge deficit, reckless tax cuts and unfunded programs that – if they are not curbed – will ensure even bigger deficits in the future.

You can argue that the president picked the wrong advisers. That the measures they introduced to check the disastrous economic avalanche have not proved effective. That the recovery has been too slow. That the nation’s resources are still being swallowed up by a wealthy elite while millions are trapped in poverty.

Writing about the departure of key economic adviser Larry Summers, author and columnist Robert Scheer comments:

Obama had absolutely nothing to do with the causes of the financial meltdown, but he wasted two precious years being misled by Summers and (Tim) Geithner as to how to respond to it. The key error, and it is not too late to rectify it, was the failure to force the bailed-out Wall Street titans to give back something significant to the public in the way of mortgage relief. A temporary moratorium on mortgage foreclosures at a time when 11 million homeowners are “underwater,” at risk of joining the almost 4 million who have already lost their homes, is a must to recharge the economy. That is what Obama should have initiated when he first came into office, and I hope it will be done now that the dead hand of Summers has been lifted.

And you can blame the Democrats in Congress for failing to act decisively and in a unified manner to help the president turn the economy around.

But you can’t say President Obama hasn’t tried.

And you know he will continue to try. Perhaps he will find smarter advisers. Perhaps the Democrats will sort themselves out and enact critically needed legislation, instead of trying – and failing – to work out compromises with the just-say-no Republicans.


But there’s no “perhaps” about the Republican agenda.

They openly propose to dismantle the country’s safety net, destroying Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And they unabashedly embrace the kind of economic Darwinism that created the catastrophe that Obama inherited. They make no secret of the fact that if they get into power again, they will pursue unbridled free-market capitalism with even more vigor than before.

Their message, in effect, echoes the Biblical proclamation by Jeroboam that “my father chastised you with whips; I will chastise you with scorpions.”

So what I wonder is this: Will the American voters really take out their anger on Obama, who did not cause their misery, and put their real tormentors back in power?

If they do, they will deserve what they get.