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Why Would Anybody Want To be President?

By James Donahue

While watching and listening to the constant assaults against President Barack Obama, it occurred to me that this man is suffering through such an overwhelming stack of issues it is hard to imagine how he keeps going.

After clawing his way into his job in one of the most vigorously fought presidential battles we can remember, Mr. Obama took the reins of a nation collapsing under the weight of its own debt, caught up in two wars overseas and burdened with so many social, environmental and infrastructure problems it was almost impossible to decide what needed attention first.

The wheels of intensifying the problem of a collapsing economic system were already turning by the time Mr. Obama was sworn into office. He could do little to put the brakes on this massive swindle by big business interests that seemed intent on cleaning out the national treasury before the new Democratic Administration had a chance to make any decisions.

Even though outgoing President George W. Bush and his administration had already driven the nation into a multi-trillion dollar deficit, Mr. Obama gambled on even more debt in an effort to not only keep the housing market and automobile makers solvent but to launch a public works program designed to put as many people as possible back to work and help them avoid foreclosure on their homes. He has had no cooperation from the House and Senate Republicans who are using every trick they can muster to block or weaken every move Mr. Obama and Democratic legislators attempt to make.

What Mr. Obama has had going for him is a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, which, in the end, has helped push through a lot of important legislation in spite of Republican generated bottlenecks. It has just taken time to accomplish, thus tying the president up on these issues instead of giving him the freedom to tackle the long list of other matters that are daily flying into his face.

While he did squeak a national health care plan through the cogs of the House and Senate, it took a year to do it and what was finally drafted fell far short of what the people needed. Most benefits from the program won’t even go into effect until 2014, which gives the Republicans time to regain power and change it into something far worse than it already is.

In the meantime, Rupert Murdock’s growing newspaper and television enterprise is busy stirring up as much trouble is possible. Commentators like Glenn Beck on Murdock’s Fox News cable network and Rush Limbaugh on his Fox-owned radio networks have been busy spewing constant assaults on every move Mr. Obama makes, and working hard to frighten followers who appear to take the daily garbage they deliver seriously.

Fox News was instrumental in helping launch the national Tea Party movement that has attached itself to the extreme right wing of the Republican Party. Also various militia movements are springing up in frightening numbers. A recent documentary by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews explored this phenomenon and found that these groups appear to be extremely conservative. Members are upset about such a wide variety of topics it is difficult to find a single uniting objective for their existence. In general, they think the government has become too big, is a threat to state sovereignty and individual freedom, and they don’t like the fact that America now has a black President.

The British Petroleum disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has helped fuel the fire of discontent. Ironically, while the Tea Baggers are calling for less government, they are expecting Mr. Obama to assume a role of leadership in resolving a problem that even the best minds in the petroleum industry couldn’t seem to fix. It has been a runaway oil well, spewing millions of barrels of raw crude oil and methane gas into the Gulf every day from a broken pipe located a mile under the ocean surface.

While BP officials claim to have capped the spill, there is still some question as to just how “capped” that damaged pipe really is. And few people believe reports that most of the oil and the millions of gallons of chemical dispersant dumped into the oil-contaminated gulf waters have gone away.

What it all boils down to is that big money interests in the United States and possibly also abroad, are doing everything possible to make sure that Mr. Obama does not succeed in accomplishing the ambitious agenda he outlined during his presidential campaign. Even though Obama swept enough Democratic Party candidates into office with him to capture potential control of both the House and Senate, it appears that some of those Democrats have sold out to lobbyists representing big business interests, and are not cooperating with the Obama agenda.

In spite of all of the obstacles, President Obama has achieved a remarkable list of accomplishments in the two years he has been in office, both on a national and international scale. We notice, however, that this president’s hair is turning white and he is aging quickly from the weight of the job he has undertaken.

So we must ask again; why would anybody want to be president of the United States, especially at this difficult time in American history? And how can any president, even a bright and dynamic one with the natural charisma that Mr. Obama portrays, lead us out of the quagmires if people rebel and refuse to follow?

After the George W. Bush debacle, with that president not only handed an illegitimate seat by a right wing dominated Supreme Court but then selling his soul to big business interests, the cartoon image of Mr. Bush still raises guffaws among the boys in the back room.

Those Tea Baggers may have been among the millions of other people in the United States who had hope and joy in their hearts the day Barack Obama was sworn in as our new President. Everybody knew then that the nation was in terrible trouble and this upstart young Democrat had promised that he had a plan to fix the mess and get America back on the right track once again.

Some of the television talking heads were even comparing Mr. Obama to the late President John F. Kennedy in those early days, suggesting that a man with the charisma and mental skills that he was demonstrating were just what was needed to offer the kind of bold leadership this nation needed at such a dark time in history. They remarked how amazing it was that such men always seemed to come out of the woodwork when we needed them.

Then the propaganda machine went into high gear. How quickly the masses forgot how badly this nation needed fresh leadership.

Mr. Obama appears to be going above and beyond the task he may have thought awaited him in the job he was elected to do. Instead of belittling and criticizing this president, Americans should be supporting him in prayer and voiced words of respect.

He is not superman and he is bound to make mistakes. Many of his advisors may be steering him down wrong pathways, especially in dealing with the complexities of the economic melt-down and the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet when you sit back and look at President Obama from an objective point of view, no one can say that he is not giving this job all of the gusto he can muster.