Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 101

There have been lots of people talking about the president's first 100 days. And from what I have seen, there is not a consensus on how President Obama has done. Here are some of my thoughts. Truth-be-told, I am more of a libertarian than anything, but I really want any president to do well. I just don't get democrats or republicans wanting the other side's president to fail once he/she takes office.

Obama is really popular. Four of the last six presidents has similar approval ratings – between 62 and 67%. That makes sense. I mean, I doubt the approval ratings could get much better than that. But this is the honeymoon period, where things should be going well.

100 days is not a long time for a party to do much. Let's take a gander at what Obama has done:

$787 billion economic stimulus package. I really wanted the government to spend on infrastructure. And originally, this was supposed to be an infrastructure bill. Roughly 100B of the bill is for infrastructure. My reasoning: if we are going to spend boat-loads of money, let's spend it on things that will be around for 100 years. A whole lot better than how the $800B was spent as Bush was leaving office. I am still saddened that it was not all infrastructures.

Non-concentrated large initiatives. One thing that bothers me is that Obama wants to spend a lot more on education, renewable energy and expanding health care. He wants to do this while shrinking the national debt. Well, it can't be done. I don't want expanded healthcare coverage – we already cover most of the poor people (with Medicaid) and a portion of the old people. I am neither poor nor old, and I say "don't cover me." I just want Obama to focus on the economy and ending the Iraq War. I think education and healthcare spending should be more local, and it is really expensive. Focus, Obama, focus.

Terrorizing New York City. I saw deb twitter and write about how there was a 747 and fighter jet buzzing NYC for a photo op. Although Obama didn't know anything about it, his statement disturbed me.

Political Appointments. One of the first things that any president does is make a bunch of appointments. Obama's appointments have been disappointing, mostly because his team picked a bunch of tax cheats. I mean, not to have someone heading the Department of Health and Human Services when the swine flu outbreak is in the news. Not a good thing.

Talk Shows. The Tonight Show was a disaster for two reasons: (1) he made a remark that appeared to slight mentally/physically challenged people, and (2) he had nothing to gain really from appearing on the show.

Commander-in-Chief. Obama is moving to take troops from Iraq, doubt troops in Afghanistan (where terrorists are actually living/training), and close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. I think this is a win for Obama.

I don't think Obama had a terrible first 100 days (Clinton did), but it was not terrific, either. If only he didn't spend like a drunk sailor on shore leave (you know, like George W Bush). Then I would be a bit more positive.

If I had to give him a grade, it would be an "incomplete." If pressed for a letter grade, perhaps a C+. What kinds of grades would you give him?


Deb said...

Think about it Leesa: to spend $365,000 on a photo op of Obama's Air Force One - do you really think he didn't know about it? He even apologized and said it would never happen again and that he took full responsibility. Then, later on in the news, the blame was shifted onto someone else. If they can spend $365,000 for a simple photo, then don't you think they can pay someone off to take the blame? Hell, I'll take the blame for that amount of money! But, that's just me. You know I have no trust in Obama and it's not that I want him to fail, I just knew that with inexperience and the whole "popularity contest" - also him being referred as "the hippest president", do you really trust this guy? I'm more moderate/conservative but I'd rather have a total liberal or even green party in office rather than a socialist. I know, my views are extreme, but I'm really disappointed.

Grant said...

I personally grow tired the New Yorkers' attitudes like "We are the world", "We live in NY - nothing scares us", and "OMFG a low flying plane RUN!". So I give him an A just for staging a fake attack on NY. I'll bump it up to an A+ if he mails talcum powder to everyone in Manhattan.

For foreign policy, he gets an F. I distinctly remember a dream of him promising us all a J-bunny in every pot and two more in each garage. I have no bunny, so I have to assume he either lied or that you're hogging them all.

Leesa said...

Deb: I think he knew.

Grant: I returned my J-bunnies. I don't need the competition.

Gary Baker said...

As a former sailor (whose shore leave conduct was usually reasonable), I kind of resent the last part of the post. I'm denying the analogy is reasonable, but I resent. (BTW - For many foreign countries, drunk sailors on shore leave were the original "stimulus" package.)

It's probably no surprise that I would give Obama a low grade, probably a D, and I would consider myself generous at that. You've mentioned a lot of the stuff in your post. Most of it comes under the same heading: Dishonesty. If you insult me, I generally can deal with that. Bold face lies really tick me off. To the best of my knowledge, he has either not accomplished or reversed course on many of the things that he campaigned on. Lack of transparency was a big one for in that bunch. A three trillion dollar stimulus plan that doesn't seem to stimulate anything but government is another. I guess I'm in between you and a neocon. I consider myself conservative and a big fan of limited government. I can't go as far as hard core libertarians want to, though I recognize I have a lot more in common with them than the current batch of Republican leadership.

As you said above, I don't want the President to fail. I simply can't see how anything that he is doing will lead to increases in civility, prosperity, or liberty. One or more of these is essential in just about any definition of success I can come up with as it relates to government.

Leesa said...

Gary: The reason I disliked Clinton was the dishonesty streak he was on. Oh, and I am an easy grader for the first 100 days. Your grade may be more reasonable.

Knot said...

He has set forth some big objectives. Most will take more than 4 years to fix. A high speed rail line across country in under 4 years? Good luck.

A politician is a politician. He spending our money on "butter" instead of "guns".

It doesn't matter what person you put in the WH now, he's a tool to the party he's in.

How can you say someone is good in 100 days? He has 1460 to show me he can turn an economy around and complete his tasks. He was only a senator for 4 years.

In short ... all talk ...