Obama doing the best he can

Anita Babbitt

When Barack Obama was proclaimed victor Nov. 4, 2008, millions of Americans across the country jumped for joy and even wept. Some people treated him as though he was a god who had come to save us, but he is not. Obama is a human being who has the massive job of trying to pull the United States out of both the Great Recession and two wars. He couldn’t possibly achieve those goals in the short time he has been president, yet that hasn’t stopped his critics.
Over the year and nine months that President Obama has been in office, he’s been constantly criticized from both the right and the left and accused of not making any progress. People say he has done nothing to solve the recession and that he is not doing enough to get the soldiers out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of course, people on the right side of the political spectrum have not stopped criticizing Obama since the day he was inaugurated; from their point of view, he can’t do anything right. But even his supporters have started to doubt him. Last week, Jon Stewart gave him a hard time on “The Daily Show,” laughing at him when he reaffirmed his slogan,”Yes we can,” and then started to say “but.”
But what? But it’s going to take some time. Do people forget the fact that Obama took office when our country’s financial system was on the brink of destruction?
This recession is the worst since the Great Depression and it has impacted many lives. The website DailyFinance has estimated that it will take more than one presidential term to fix and that it could even take up to 16 years.
Many people agree that Obama’s stimulus package has not proved as effective as was hoped, but it was only enacted a year ago. Something many critics seem to forget is what would have happened without the stimulus package.
Obama’s stimulus package encourages consumer spending, creates jobs by helping small businesses and keeps or adds three million jobs in public works construction. According to the United States Department of Labor, the unemployment rate is 9.6 percent, which is very high, but how high would unemployment have been without the stimulus? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Obama’s plan has helped over 800,000 Americans stay employed.
Many people also believe that Obama has not done enough to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who got us into this mess? George Bush and the Congress that allowed him to go through with the wars.
The Bush administration convinced many, including Republicans and Democrats in Congress, that Iraq had weapons of mass-destruction and may have played some role in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Many people were thus convinced that going to war was the right thing to do.
We all know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This war started because of a lie and Obama now has to clean up after it. Some people may say that Congress, now dominated by Democrats, could end the war, but it cannot just end. The ending has to be gradual in order to keep peace with Iraq afterward.
Obama is taking steps to remove soldiers from Iraq and pledges that all soldiers will be out of Iraq by the end of next year. He has left 50,000 troops there to advise Iraqi forces and to protect U.S. personnel until the end of 2011. USA Today shows that Obama has already made a huge difference by getting almost 100,000 troops out of Iraq.
It is true that Obama has sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, doubling the number stationed there according to MSNBC. He is trying to end this war in a responsible way to stop the spread of terrorism. There are no simple solutions to ending the war and there is no easy way to win.
Obama has had an extremely hard time making progress because of the Republicans in Congress. Even though the Democrats have a majority, the Senate rules have made it very difficult to pass anything without 60 votes, which the Democrats do not have.
When Obama tried to pass the Health Care Bill, it barely passed in the Senate and took months to pass in the House of Representatives. Not a single Republican voted for his health care bill, says The Washington Post. How is Obama supposed to make a difference when the Republicans in Congress won’t let him?
So to all the people who say Obama has not made any progress and has proved to be a bad president, all I have to say is maybe if you stopped criticizing him so much and really looked at the situation he inherited, you would realize he is doing the best he can in the short time he has been our president.