I’m probably one of the biggest supporters of the President that you’ll run across, especially considering the fact that I’m in the military surrounded by a lot of pretty conservative types.
Still, I note with interest this piece from the Economist’s Lexington columnist. He asks, “Wheres the courage?” with regard to President Obama and then cites:
“It’s much easier to think of examples where he appears not to have had the courage of his convictions.
Guantánamo is still open, despite his promise to close it. He reinforced the troops in Afghanistan, but set a date to start withdrawing, a careful bit of bet-hedging. He pushed for peace in Palestine, but seems to have retreated at the first sign of gun smoke from Capitol Hill. He established a bipartisan commission on the deficit, but failed to pick up and run with its recommendations. He said he would let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the rich, but backed down after the mid-term elections. His support for gay rights has been a study in caution, as has his position on gun control.”
Let me say where I agree and disagree with his points. I’ve long advocated that the Democrats should play hardball politics just like (or even harder) than the Republicans. Instead of shying away from conflict, they should seek it out. Take the battle onto the Republicans turf. Fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them here…(oops, one too many military metaphors). So, as much as I agree with the sentiment when it comes to Democrats in general, I generally disagree with regard to the President. Would I want the President to be a little more combative? Yes. But which do I want more – more combativeness or a Democratic president from 2012-2016? I think the answer’s obvious. Now maybe that’s a false choice. Why can’t we have a more combative President and also get him reelected in 2012? It’s certainly possible, but I think the President’s a pretty good politician. In the current political climate, I think big gestures = big risks. A more cautious President is more likely to get reelected in 2012. He’s going slowly, but he’s also going in the direction that I prefer. I’d rather have 4 more years of slow in my direction, rather than having the country go in reverse after next year.