Itís easy to understand the appeal Barack Obama had in 2008.
His youthful looks and carriage alone was highly desirable over his campaign opponent.
He oozed charisma, had an endearingly boyish little grin and a strong message of transparency, accountability and honesty. He said he was different from any other man weíd ever put in the White House ó a president for our changing times.
And, even though I didnít buy it any more back then than I do today, I understood the appeal. I understood the frustrations with the Bush-era politics, the indifference to ongoing economic concerns, a deepening division between the haves and have-nots, and the reckless spending.
I guess maybe because I do understand it, I donít judge the folks who voted for Obama in 2008; Letís face it, we all drink the Kool-Aid once in awhile. My question today, however, is this: whatís the excuse this time?
If Obama is re-elected, it will buck all common sense; who in the world re-elects a man responsible for an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent or who has failed the country on so many levels itís exhausting to repeat them all at one time?
From failing to cut the deficit and lower the debt; to failing to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and deliver green jobs, to failing to change the tone in Washington and improve our image abroad, to failing to lower student loan debt and failing to deliver on the promise to save 9 million homeowners from foreclosure, to failing to lower unemployment, reduce poverty, narrow the income gap, hold Russia and China accountable, stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, protect Social Security, go line-by-line through the budget, and cut federal spending, this president hasnít delivered. In fact he hasnít even come close.
If there is an ounce of mercy left for this country, Obama will be a one-term president and his legacy will be riddled with discouraging ďhighĒ points.
The kind of America he promised in 2008 was very different than the America we are living in today.
Debt has sky rocketed to record highs, and weíve had three straight years of trillion-dollar deficits. We were promised that in return for unprecedented spending weíd see consistent unemployment levels below 8 percent.
But the real shame isnít something we talk about very often ó the record poverty levels, including extreme poverty for women.
Income inequality is worse under Obama than it was under George W. Bush, unemployment among black men is at a record high, and thereís practically open enrollment for welfare programs.
The record number of voters that showed up at the polls in 2008 will be overshadowed in history by the mayhem that has ensued in four short years: the dismantling of the middle class, putting people out of their homes and jobs and disenfranchising entire demographic populations that thought he would lift them up. The disappointment among those who voted for him has to be staggering.
No matter what anyone says about overturning Donít Ask, Donít Tell, handing temporary bailouts to illegal immigrants, hunting down a terrorist and subsidizing contraception, those arenít the kinds of things that end up on the resumes of great presidents and, it seems highly unlikely as his economic policies continue to unfold over the next several decades, that weíve seen the last of the devastating economic blows Obama has dealt to American families.
Linda Brown is marketing director for The Ottawa Herald. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org