Monday, December 21, 2009

Obama Will Triumph — So Will America

By Frank Schaeffer

Before he’d served even one year President Obama lost the support of the easily distracted left and engendered the white hot rage of the hate-filled right. But some of us, from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds -- including this white, straight, 57-year-old, former religious right wing agitator, now progressive writer and (given my background as the son of a famous evangelical leader) this unlikely Obama supporter -- are sticking with our President. Why?-- because he is succeeding.

We faithful Obama supporters still trust our initial impression of him as a great, good and uniquely qualified man to lead us.

Obama’s steady supporters will be proved right. Obama’s critics will be remembered as easily panicked and prematurely discouraged at best and shriveled hate mongers at worst.

The Context of the Obama Presidency

Not since the days of the rise of fascism in Europe, the Second World War and the Depression has any president faced more adversity. Not since the Civil War has any president led a more bitterly divided country. Not since the introduction of racial integration has any president faced a more consistently short-sighted and willfully ignorant opposition – from both the right and left.

As the President’s poll numbers have fallen so has his support from some on the left that were hailing him as a Messiah not long ago; all those lefty websites and commentators that were falling all over themselves on behalf of our first black president during the 2008 election.

The left’s lack of faith has become a self-fulfilling “prophecy”-- snipe at the President and then watch the poll numbers fall and then pretend you didn’t have anything to do with it!

Here is what Obama faced when he took office-- none of which was his fault:

# An ideologically divided country to the point that America was really two countries

# Two wars; one that was mishandled from the start, the other that was unnecessary and immoral

# The worst economic crisis since the depression

# America’s standing in the world at the lowest point in history

# A country that had been misled into accepting the use of torture of prisoners of war

# A health care system in free fall

# An educational system in free fall

# A global environmental crisis of history-altering proportions (about which the Bush administration and the Republicans had done nothing)

# An impasse between culture warriors from the right and left

# A huge financial deficit inherited from the terminally irresponsible Bush administration…

And those were only some of the problems sitting on the President’s desk!

“Help” from the Right?

What did the Republicans and the religious right, libertarians and half-baked conspiracy theorists -- that is what the Republicans were reduced to by the time Obama took office -- do to “help” our new president (and our country) succeed? They claimed that he wasn’t a real American, didn’t have an American birth certificate, wasn’t born here, was secretly a Muslim, was white-hating "racist", was secretly a communist, was actually the Anti-Christ, (!) and was a reincarnation of Hitler and wanted “death panels” to kill the elderly!

They not-so-subtly called for his assassination through the not-so-subtle use of vile signs held at their rallies and even a bumper sticker quoting Psalm 109:8. They organized “tea parties” to sound off against imagined insults and all government in general and gathered to howl at the moon. They were led by insurance industry lobbyists and deranged (but well financed) “commentators” from Glenn Beck to Rush Limbaugh.

The utterly discredited Roman Catholic bishops teamed up with the utterly discredited evangelical leaders to denounce a president who was trying to actually do something about the poor, the environment, to diminish the number of abortions through compassionate programs to help women and to care for the sick! And in Congress the Republican leadership only knew one word: “No!”

In other words the reactionary white, rube, uneducated, crazy American far right,combined with the educated but obtuse neoconservative war mongers, religious right shills for big business, libertarian Fed Reserve-hating gold bug, gun-loving crazies, child-molesting acquiescent “bishops”, frontier loons and evangelical gay-hating flakes found one thing to briefly unite them: their desire to stop an uppity black man from succeeding at all costs!

“Help” from the Left?

What did the left do to help their newly elected president? Some of them excoriated the President because they disagreed with the bad choices he was being forced to make regarding a war in Afghanistan that he’d inherited from the worst president in modern history!

Others stood up and bravely proclaimed that the President’s economic policies had “failed” before the President even instituted them! Others said that since all gay rights battles had not been fully won within virtually minuets of the President taking office, they’d been “betrayed”! (Never mind that Obama’s vocal support to the gay community is stronger than any other president’s has been. Never that mind he signed a new hate crimes law!)

Those that had stood in transfixed legions weeping with beatific emotion on election night turned into an angry mob saying how "disappointed" they were that they’d not all immediately been translated to heaven the moment Obama stepped into the White House! Where was the “change”? Contrary to their expectations they were still mere mortals!

And the legion of young new supporters was too busy texting to pay attention for longer than a nanosecond… “Governing”?! What the hell does that world, uh, like mean?”

The President’s critics left and right all had one thing in common: impatience laced with little-to-no sense of history (let alone reality) thrown in for good measure. Then of course there were the white, snide know-it-all commentators/talking heads who just couldn’t imagine that maybe, just maybe they weren’t as smart as they thought they were and certainly not as smart as their president. He hadn’t consulted them, had he? So he must be wrong!

The Obama critics' ideological ideas defined their idea of reality rather than reality defining their ideas—say, about what is possible in one year in office after the hand that the President had been dealt by fate, or to be exact by the American idiot nation that voted Bush into office… twice!

Meanwhile back in the reality-based community – in just 12 short months -- President Obama:

#Continued the draw down the misbegotten war in Iraq
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices regarding the war in Afghanistan
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Restored America’s image around the globe
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Banned torture of American prisoners
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stopped the free fall of the American economy
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Put the USA squarely back in the bilateral international community
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort to halt global warming
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stood up for educational reform
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Won a Nobel peace prize
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Moved the trial of terrorists back into the American judicial system of checks and balances
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Did what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost impossible process of health care reform that 7 presidents had failed to even begin
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Responded to hatred from the right and left with measured good humor and patience
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Stopped the free fall of job losses
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed and dangerous far right opposition that included the sort of disgusting people that show up at public meetings carrying loaded weapons and carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the “blood of tyrants” needing to “water the tree of liberty”…
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Showed that he could not only make the tough military choices but explain and defend them brilliantly
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)


Other than those "disappointing" accomplishments -- IN ONE YEAR -- President Obama “failed”! Other than that he didn’t “live up to expectations”!

Who actually has failed...

...are the Americans that can’t see the beginning of a miracle of national rebirth right under their jaded noses. Who failed are the smart ass ideologues of the left and right who began rooting for this President to fail so that they could be proved right in their dire and morbid predictions. Who failed are the movers and shakers behind our obscenely dumb news cycles that have turned “news” into just more stupid entertainment for an entertainment-besotted infantile country.

Here’s the good news: President Obama is succeeding without the help of his lefty “supporters” or hate-filled Republican detractors!

The Future Looks Good

After Obama has served two full terms, (and he will), after his wisdom in moving deliberately and cautiously with great subtlety on all fronts -- with a canny and calculating eye to the possible succeeds, (it will), after the economy is booming and new industries are burgeoning, (they will be), after the doomsayers are all proved not just wrong but silly: let the record show that not all Americans were panicked into thinking the sky was falling.

Just because we didn’t get everything we wanted in the first short and fraught year Obama was in office not all of us gave up. Some of us stayed the course. And we will be proved right.

Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, depending on your point of view) to everyone!

PS. if you agree that Obama is shaping up to be a great president please pass this on and hang in there!

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of “Patience With God – Faith For People Who Don’t Like Religion (Or Atheism).”

Frank may be contacted at Frankschaeffer.com

100 comments:

Ben Vos said...

Thanks, Frank. Merry Christmas! Hope springs eternal. God is in our midst.

shadowlands said...

Happy Holidays to you and yours Frank =o) I still have hope for the Prez too.

Robert said...

Why is it necessary to defend Obama by morally judging those who disagree, and in such strident, unforgiving terms? This is an overwrought, highly defensive screed that implies everyone with whom you disagree has no justification for dissenting opinions -- I accept your viewpoint but you appear to have little tolerance for those who find Obama a dollar short (on virtually every major campaign promise for reform or change) and a day late (his absent leadership on many issues, especially health reform, protrudes like a sore thumb).

In any case, the issue is understanding that some who disagree with you are not knaves or fools and may just be right: what Obama is doing won't succeed, won't save houses and jobs, and it is possible that his risk-adverse, status quo-loving, right leaning politics contradict with the letter and spirit of his campaign. And with success. Just possible,

R. Becker
rbecker@cal.net
http://open.salon.com/blog/robert_s_becker

Ruinous Right said...

Excellent post Frank. Happy holidays and keep the faith.

Ben Daniel said...

Good piece, Frank. I would add this: the Left Wing of American politics (people like me) need to remember that we don't want to agree with everything a president says and does. It's really not healthy to agree with everyting a politican (or any other kind of leader) says and does. Anyone who takes a close look at the record of any great president will be disappointed in some of that President's ideas or decisions.

Personally, I haven't agreed with all of the Presidents decisions, but I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job than this president is doing. He is, by far, the best President that I, as a forty-one year old, can remember, and I love the fact that he is young and will, like Carter and Clinton, have a many years to serve the world as an elder statesman.

Ben Daniel

Kathleen Valentine said...

Bravo to you, Mr. Schaeffer. What a wonderful article, I'm forwarding it to everyone I know.

On Monday I heard you being interviewed on NPR but now I can't find the program. You made some excellent points about how both Christians and atheists are seen in the media and I'd like to hear or read it again, if I can find it.

Thank you.

Frank Schaeffer said...

Hi Kathleen: Thanks! here's a link to a more complete NPR interview

http://www.wbez.org/content.aspx?audioID=38958

Kathleen Valentine said...

Thank you!!

I put links to this rticle on my Facebook page, blog, and message board. Feedback has been very positive!

Mo said...

Mr. Schaeffer, found you via Kathleen Valentine's blog. Thank you so much for this most reasonable perspective in the face of our increasingly vitrolic public discourse. Am passing it along to friends and family.

Leslie Parsley said...

I am so sad that I just now found your excellent blog. Wish I had come across it much sooner.

This is an exquisite piece of writing and says everything I've wanted to say. You've just done it better than I ever could.

Elizabeth said...

Frank, I sincerely hope time vindicates your belief.

There are things which Obama has done right, and for those he needs to be commended; and things he's done and doing wrong -- and he needs to be criticized for those. In my opinion, lumping all his critics in the same basket, as driven by various petty agendas, misses the point on the importance of an open discourse in a democracy, and, moreover, it enables politicians, Obama no exception, to slip in their committment to their core values and their constituents. BTW, he asked us to do so -- keep him honest-- during his campaign (or was it inauguration?)

There is nothing wrong with holding Obama accountable for his campaign promises. Those promises are THE reason we elected him. If we see him renege on those -- and yes, we have seen this happen, most recently with the health "care" reform -- we not only have a reason to criticize him for it, but it is our duty to do so. Who else is going to hold him accountable? It is not because the left is easily distracted and prematurely panicking; on the contrary, the left has been paying attention, remembers Obama-the candidate's promises and sees him acting contrary to those -- thus the understandable disappointment and criticism. What exactly would be the appropriate reaction here? And when would be the disappointment not "premature"?

Also, it is important to distinguish the criticisms from the right and those from left -- and not treat them the same way, as tempting as it may be for Obama's supporters. The first are largely rooted in the desire to see Obama fail, no matter what; the second are (mostly, I think) motivated by a sincere wish to see him and the country succeed in the many difficult tasks facing us at this time. There is a big difference here, and one which, by the way, escapes Obama himself, judging by his reactions to critics from the right (see his bemused and benevolent responses to death panelers and Joe Wilsons) and those from the left (e.g., calling Howard Dean "insane, "irrational" and uninformed through his surrogates). That's just not right (in the "proper" sense).

NiaLoves2Dance said...

I thank you so much for this succinct and spirited rendering of our President's first year. He is indeed a great leader and his success will be ours. I have been waving my support like a flag on Facebook and in my "Peace Correspondence" since the beginning of his candidacy and I have no intention ceasing my support. President Obama is visionary, courageous and truly good. We need him now, more than ever. Thank you for stating his case with such humorous conviction. I concur wholeheartedly. And with my whole soul.
Peace,
Mamie~Louise Anderson

Fishsticks said...

I am glad someone is still supporting the President after helping to put him in office. It saddens me that some Americans are such turncoats - when the going gets rough or maybe doesn't ease up as fast as we'd like it, our loyalty dies. I'm thankful for someone like you who points out the facts about what has happened and how we need to give our president a chance.

kerins said...

Thank you, thank you for this wonderful article !

Never have I felt so in tune with anything…I am so upset that so many of us “progressives” are unaware that the reality of government, as opposed to campaigning, is a slower process; and also that “PROGRESSIVE” should somehow encompass tolerance of other’s view points !!!!!!!!!!!.

I AM COPYING THIS WONDERFUL ARTICLE TO EVERYONE I KNOW !

Thank you so much,

Stephanie

Nina - Ancient Summit said...

I too am glad to have found your blog and saddened that we judge him so quickly and so harshly. I am keeping the faith.

Free said...

Wow. As my mother used to tell me: sometimes we all need to stop and "check" ourselves. This was my reminder. I got this post via an email & have already sent it to every one of my contacts. Thank you!

csantathemom said...

This article makes me fear less for the safety of our country and our President. I am so proud that we elected this smart man, and savvy politician as our President. Like others maybe I expect too much, but I have never had more hope that my expectations will be met if not exceeded.

Englishkat said...

fantastic article... thank you. LOVED your book btw.

Sara said...

So good to know I am not alone in my thinking!

Carolina said...

I love this! I think I love YOU! So sad that I didn't see this for Christmas - but it's perfect for Spring too. Thank you!

ibejedi said...

Sad I din't see this until now...but brilliantly written, and I do hope that your predictions will out in the end. I am so sick of all these people from both sides of the fence using such hateful speech towards our president; and I honestly don't remember it during any previous president's term (even GW Bush). Give it time people - the US didn't go to hell in a hand basket in a day, and it won't be rescued in a day either...patience!! Will be sharing this with my friends

Franklin Delano Williams said...

...a friend just emailed me this! Great work Frank...posting this on my FB profile...perfect piece after the recent battle in Washington...."Keep On Keeping On"

Susana said...

In Newsweeks March 5 conventional wisdom on Republicans it says, "In defeat, their true nature comes out; Cheerleaders for anger, bigotry and hatred." And on Palin, "Uses gun language to "target" Dems. It is all fun and games til someone gets shot."
I fear for our President and our country.
We may have miraclously elected an intelligent, enlighted man to the Office, but some America are still showing the world how ignorant, uneducated, backward, uncivil, and just insane this country is. Is this really what the Republicans want to stand for? Who is holding the gun to their heads? They are tearing our country apart and inciting anarchy.

Wendy said...

We need more articles like this. It is such a shame that all the naysayers and haters get all the press. I wonder what they really mean when they shout "We want our country back!" Unless they are Native Americans they have no right to say such a thing. There are more of us who do support our president. When will some Americans just accept the fact that we have a Black president who is a and intelligent and decent American????

Berd said...

I have received this post via email from two different sources this past week.

RobbytheDragon said...

faint of heart Fig. people who are squeamish; someone who is sickened or disturbed by unpleasantness or challenge.

This missive strikes a perfect tone, Mr. Shaeffer. Exactly how I was feeling and a wake-up call for all those whose spine has turned to jello while we battle for our children's future. Don't know why the don't get it, and I am getting past caring, but you have set the rallying cry for those that know what we are up against, and how close we came to complete global disaster.

snoland said...

This was like a glass of wine after a 12-hour day of work. Thank you for this.

Toni said...

GREAT article!!!! I'm almost 40 years old, and Obama is the first president I have seen deliver on a campaign promise. He has deserved better, and frankly the Republican party deserves better than what it is now. I admired Bob & Elizabeth Dole. That the party has become the party of hate is just sad

Hankytankyhanger said...

I love it when the truth is told!
Keep anti-environment crusader Sarah Palin off #Discovery: http://bit.ly/bGQNiV (via @CREDOmobile) Pls RT

alissa4760 said...

Thank you for sharing the truth. I feel that the USA is divided worse than the civil war and it's scary how far these tea-baggers are going, and the right-wing "Christians" too. Jesus would HATE what you're doing. I've never seen a president in 50 years accomplish so much in a year and with what he was up against. Unbelievable.
Bravo, Mr President.

Mae said...

Thank you for your intelligent words!! I couldn't agree more. Hopefully his supporters who have left will return and those on the right will see that differences can be constructive. Thank you again!

kateemo said...

I've just received a copy of this in an email from my Aunt in the States (I live in the UK). I have been saddened by how my fellow Americans--those who know better as well as those who are unforgivably ignorant--at home have been disparaging our President, who has acted heroically in a time of serious crisis after serious crisis. I sincerely hope attitudes adjust to reality in time for the next election in 2012.

pierce79 said...

Hi Obama Will Triumph — So Will America this is truth cause for a better life the country have to be better so let enjoy america along with the president , and let obama get low the prices to buy viagra and enjoy of this great benefit .

Tom said...

Very true. My bishops worked to elect republicans even after Pope John Paul urged the US to avoid an unnecessary war in Iraq.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Excellent commentary. God bless President Obama.

shark said...

I just discovered you Mr. Schaeffer and I'm so glad I did. You speak for me and millions of Americans who hold your truths to be our truths. Thank you for expressing them so well for all of us.

Torgny said...

A very good article. It is about facts. And the true mission of Obama is to make people cooperate - the beginning of a new epoch of cooperation. Cooperation in USA between right and left - cooperation between nations.

This is the start of a new paradigm - a new age on national and international cooperation.

Kiku said...

This is being passed around Facebook now. It's as true now as it was 9 months ago. I see the left finally coming around, some of them anyway.

Thanks for all you do!

JOHN O'LEARY said...

Wow, I missed this. Best thing I've read about the O-man yet.

linda said...

DEAR FRANK,
this wonderful black man is chosen.
He has a calling.
So, I thank you all who still support him.
He is the eample of listening, sharing,
working together for the higher good of all.

The excitement from so many people
from all over the world was a message.

And when he makes decisions we do not like
or agree with;
please say so about his action, not the person. Besides that, we do not have the whole picture.

Please, let us keep on reaching out
for eachother and for mankind.
Please, let us keep the faith.
Please, let us support our President
and his family
and those around him.

Please, keep the bigger picture in mind.
We may be different from the outside,
but the same blood is
running through our veins.

Let us enjoy and rap ourselves in
the love this couple shows us.

Frank,
I'M SO GLAD I 'FOUND' YOU.
I'M GRATEFUL TO YOU,
YOU WROTE WHAT I THOUGHT.
SO, YOU ARE IN GOOD COMPANY,
WITH ALL OF US WHO SUPPORT YOU.

LINDA

Anna said...

Frank-
I am directed here through a blog over at Multiply-

This is an excellent piece, and needs to go viral; especially now.

I am also hoping that you still stand by these words?

deej_jim said...

Obama is the only national candidate ever to oppose saving the lives of infants born alive during a botched abortion. His positions are still extreme on abortion. (His executive order that convinced Stupak to sign on to the health care bill was a last ditch concession, not a principled act.)

Mr. Schaeffer places too much confidence in politicians, and seems to have too high a stake in the success of the one he voted for.

Perhaps if he didn't, he wouldn't call anyone who disagrees with him one or another dismissive epithet.

jean said...

curious how there are no negative comments. rare in most uncensored blogs.

jean said...

deej jim, sorry, I hadn't read yours. Thanks

Luis Jonas said...

You know the honeymoon is over when the comedians start.....

Jay Leno

The liberals are asking us to give Obama time. We agree . . .
and think 25 to life would be appropriate.

Jay Leno

America needs Obama-care like Nancy Pelosi needs a
Halloween mask.

Conan O'Brien

Q: Have you heard about McDonald's' new Obama Value Meal?

A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to
pay for it.

Jay Leno

Q: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?

A: A fund raiser.


David Letterman

Q: What's the difference between Obama's cabinet and a
penitentiary?

A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers, and
threats to society. The other is for housing prisoners.

Jimmy Fallon

Q: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat in the middle
of the ocean and it started to sink, who would be saved?

A: America!

Jimmy Kimmel

Q: What's the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?

A: Bo has papers.

David Letterman

Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for
Clunkers" program?
A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.

Sue Mitchell said...

Frank - could you right a more current appraisal of the President so we have something current to forward and facebook in Obama defenase...thanks...sue

jumbojet4377 said...

i love this and i totally agree. check out my blog
http://things-i-think-are-right.blogspot.com/

Bergen1 said...

Don't get emotional very often, but you knocked it out of the ball park with this essay. Hope many many people will take the wisdom of your words to heart. Thank you

I'm Here said...

Thank you for your excellent piece, reflecting my views exactly. I think people need to be reminded often of just how much our President inherited when he took office. His concern has been for the people of this great Nation, and not for his personal gain.

Keep speaking out for the rest of us whose voices go unheard!

Neal said...

Your thesis that people who don't cheer loudly enough to suit you are idiots and ingrates makes it hard to respond rationally, but I'll give it a shot.

I'm one of those "lefties" you say are easily distracted. Far from it, I've been paying close attention. I have watched Barack not insisting that the Dem majorities work hard for his agenda. Watched single payer, public option, the real teeth of financial reform get traded away in the name of bipartisan ship for what exactly? What did the GOP give in return? Disruption of town halls? "You lie?" Pull the plug on grandma? Frank Lunz sloganeering? No GOP votes at all? Why was it always the progressive Obama agenda that had to be watered down, in exchange for nothing?

Yes he did a lot. It could have been so much stronger though. He has proved to be a lot less change than advertized. Too willing to pass up this one sterling opportunity for Democrats to do Democrat things.

Most hair-pulling of all is to watch Democrat majorities walked all over in Congress, when the GOP basically said, rule change, fillibusters on everything but we don't have to actually fillibuster, just say we might...and the Dems ~went along with that~ why oh why, make them stand up for a week reading the phone book and seeming ridiculous. Dems fold and fold and what has been accomplished, however laudable (and yeah, I agree, it's been good) could have been twice as good without this weak acceptance of minority rule in the Senate. Since when do 40 Senators control the flow of legislation?

So when the "easily distracted left" seems a bit unfulfilled, it's not that we've "turned on Obama." We just know how much better it could have been. Why wait now, fighting for middle class tax cuts before an election, to START playing from strength.

Neal said...

And when I say "START playing from strength," notice the headlines and commentary on the news channels, whoa, they say, Obama says no compromise on tax cuts. The fact that that is newsworthy says a whole lot.

He could have done that from day one. But he started with the idea (commendable) that he could build bridges and find bipartisanship. He wasn't even sworn in before the first GOP memo leaked "this auto industry thing is awesome, we can screw the unions and hurt Obama." You'd think after that, or the 2nd time, or the 10th time, or every day for the first 3 months, he'd have sussed it out that all he was getting from the GOP was daggers. At that point, he should have just gone ahead and rolled over them. Think where we might be. Farther than we are now, that's for sure.

Neal said...

'President Obama is succeeding without the help of his lefty "supporters"'

Without those lefty supporters he would not be in office, and without them he has no chance of still being there after 2012. So laugh it up, hot shot.

Michelle said...

Neal, you speak as if you believe you could be doing a much better job. Impressive. Sure hope I see your name on the ballot with a proven record of achieving visionary, hoped-for successes against all odds.

Maybe you've promised a failing company's CEO a major turnaround during an interview...then discovered the other members of the management team were being paid bonuses to make you fail.

Looking forward to learning how you still turned the company around.

Frank, I'm so relieved you're out there, visible, and writing about this issue. I'll do what I can to increase your audience.

juliechatterbox said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! As an Obama supporter and Democrat in a small Republican town, life is not easy. I am bombarded with hateful emails about Obama all the time, shocked that some of my "Christian" neighbors and friends could be caught up in such vile hate-mongering. It's very sad. I respect their political views and agree to disagree on policies, etc. but the ugliness of their attacks on Obama has left me weary. Anybody who believed we could turn this country around in such a short time is delusional. I have complete faith that Obama's intentions are honest and open and that he will continue to do the very best he can in the face of such opposition. That's all we can ask of any man. I am frankly ashamed of some of my fellow Democrats and those in office who are just caught up in saving their own political behinds. If the ship goes down, Obama will still be at the helm trying to pursue his vision, and I'll be paddling along next to him. Thank you for your support of our president and our country!

Sharonkay said...

Dear Frank:

Thank you so much for this wonderful article. I too get sick and tired of hearing people complain about Pres. Obama. Maybe these clowns should run for office in 2012 and try to do the job that Pres. Obama is doing. Pres. Obama inherited a big mess from the last administration and it will take some time to get this country back on the right track. I think that he has done a whole lot in 2 years, much more than most other presidents.

Brownboy said...

Thank you! Frank i have truly been revived.

Qtballbstr said...

Please add to the wish list:
Improvement in the transparency, efficiency and reducing of bureaucracy in all levels of government. Have more critical thinkers, independent thinkers work in government, more people we can trust with our money. Help reduce the waste, redundancy and increase accountability.
It wouldn't hurt to keep all levels of government to the same (high) standards, scrutiny and rules as those working in the private sector have to follow.

Larry said...

Frank, I agree with almost everything you said about Obama's accomplishments and I too am cautiously optimistic about the future. The only thing that really upsets me about our President is he's too quite. The news media, for all its faults, will cover him where ever he may go and what ever he may say. He has the ear of the nation and the nation will listen but he's got to say something first. He needs to have regular press conferences and he needs to tell the people what he's doing and why. There's no one else any better qualified to do that and no one else will have the impact he would. He has allowed the nattering nabobs of negativism to control the media. He's in the best position to counter their idiotic rantings and its his for the asking. If I invent a better mouse trap, it means absolutely nothing unless I tell people about it. Lately he has made some high profile remarks but he has to keep it up. A few times a year won't cut it.

Ray Bishop said...

Frank,
Thank you for putting things in a better perspective. I would hate to think where we would now be if it were not for the election of President Obama. I felt sad when he took the oath of office knowing what he would be dealing with and even worse when so many turned against him. He deserves our support for what he is doing for us and for what he is not doing for the political cronies.
Ray Bishop

Ray said...

I am not thrilled that Obama has not accomplished more, but I shudder to think of the horror if McCain-Palin were at the helm. I once respected McCain before he showed total contempt for our republic when he embraced an air-head for his running mate. Today he showed contempt for the military by blocking gays from serving. This has damaged our military more than any other policy in recent history. We need the talent of intellectuals and linguists who are being barred from service because of their sexual orientation. Insane.

Kevin said...

I haven't heard a single criticism of Obama since he was elected, glad to hear people are finally getting over the fear of the racist label. My experience w/ liberals (and believe me I know liberals from being one myself and having lived w/ their "core" for many years) is that we imagine racism in every corner and use its imaginary existance as a springboard for every issue. That's what I see here in Schaeffer's opine, hate mongering against the right and the usual hypocritical holier than thou race card using pendulum swinging. Until we treat ALL people, including white straight men with an equal right to justice we are no better than the white right who have, in the past, based their race on an open claim to superiority. That said, here is my opinion of Obama:
Obama has been the first president since Carter to courageously fight big business in favor of the environment.
Obama has restored our respect from foreign countries, he is an expert orator as was Clinton. He has superior emotional control under attack and has permitted the press to openly confront him as in Britain.
But he has been in favor of firing teachers and blaming them for the (mostly) black community's children who don't do their homework and disrupt the classroom.
Obama spoke out for healthcare reform but what has he achieved for us? A worse condition than before: he caved in the face of insurance company influence.
When Obama spoke of justice and equality at the beginning of his compaign I was ecstatic, finally a wise leader who can see the root of our problems, but then he used cultural contempt as his fulcrum to connect w/ the working class by trying to isolate himself from "Prius- driving, latte drinkers" and then did nothing to end policies rooted on priveleges based on gender and race, so politely called "Affirmative Action". It was then that I realized, although certainly more polished, he was no wiser than Bush.
It is w/ great sadness that I see Obama reveal his true colors over these months of his presidency, I had hoped for a breath of fresh air wisdom but have to accept that Obama like most of the country doesn't base his beliefs and actions on principal but rather the vagaries of our present ideologies based on "momentums" from the past. (specifically that all our problems are caused by straight white men).
Do we need to stand by him, this hypocrite and no- doer? Yes we do, we need to accept that he is just a man, a man who can't be right in everything because the main crisis at this point of history is our planet and no republican will stand up for it.

Tiffany said...

why don't you have a "'share on FB link??? I want to share this!

Julie D said...

Sorry. I wish I could agree. I am heartbroken that the man I pinned my hopes on began his presidency by NOT getting us out of the middle east--like he promised, bailed out care companies by buying Americans cars, then tried to 'cure' the mortgage crisis by buying them homes...Nice, if you can afford it. Don't confuse the idiot name-callers with the true reason why the left is no longer standing by their man. My dream is that this smart man will one day wake up, rid himself of all the self-serving advisers who were put in place to help this 'newbie' get started, and start governing from his heart, and his head. I'm still looking, and waiting for that man.

Kevin said...

Unlike that disappointing "supporter" at a recent town hall meeting...I for one am NOT tired of defending my President.

It would be a shame for people to witness, but I almost wished they had McCain in office to see how reckless the Republicans would've run our country. Yeah, tax breaks for the rich will get us out of this mess...repeat it enough times and silly Americans will believe this crap.

It took 8 years to get us into this financial mess, so how can you expect things to turn around so quickly. You can't magically fix things overnight. You've got to stop the bleeding before the wounds can heal.

To those that are heartbroken, wake up and have your own reality check! Let's not forget he is working for us and not for his advisors, etc. So things are taking a little longer, but is he not still working towards his promises?

Only a true leader can stand in the face of adversity and still maintain his will to not be distracted by noise. All I hear is noise...and why is it every yahoo article about Obama creates a swarm of right-winged extremists in the comments section!

Carl S said...

Nice words - thanks. Was sent to me by a friend. But . . . I fear that the irrational voters in the mass are not listening to this. Fear and idiocy prevail. There oughta be another way to run this democracy than the lowest common denominator. Thanks for the good words.

Gary said...

Reading all these slobbery posts, glorifying this article of nonsense piled on excuses, makes it obvious why our system of government is in a gross state of failure. Robert Becker's post is by far the most accurate thing on this page.

Just because someone takes the time to write something down, or do some careful video editing, doesn't make the content true. The ignorance of the people of this country will be it's undoing.

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Xavier said...

#Continued the draw down the misbegotten war in Iraq
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Nope he still has 50,000 troops there.

#Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices regarding the war in Afghanistan
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Added 30,000 more troops when he promised us we would be leaving, nope.


#Gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Where was he in the support for repeal of don't ask don't tell? Seems like he made a bigger deal out of the Koran Burning and Mosque building in NYC.

#Restored America’s image around the globe
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Nope, we are the same if not worse. When Ahmadinejad gave his speech blaming 9/11 on the US, our delegate's left as did the others from the European Union, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, not much of different global team than Bush.

#Banned torture of American prisoners
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Nope there are still prisoners in Guantanamo and even worse is that a provision in his "ending torture" bill was that prisoners were just taken to overseas military bases.

#Stopped the free fall of the American economy
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

#Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort to halt global warming
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Nope,when he spoke to the G20 trying to convince them to pass a carbon emissions bill it failed horribly.

#Stood up for educational reform
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

He vetoed the widely successful school voucher system in DC, the kind that would all children the same opportunity that his daughters receive at there elite private school...

#Won a Nobel peace prize
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Please explain what for?


#Did what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost impossible process of health care reform that 7 presidents had failed to even begin
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

If you call that ridiculous peace of legislation a victory, then you deserve to be losing horribly in all the polls as all democrats who supported it are doing now.

#Stopped the free fall of job losses
(But that wasn’t good enough for his critics)

Nope, in October 2010 the private sector actually lost jobs again.


Guess you were wrong on every single thing.

Sam said...

Right on, Frank. This is an EXCELLENT post. Ignore the haters, naysayers and whiners here. Today's Right Wing is the biggest party of cowards and pussies this country has ever known. They elected not one, but TWO Vietnam cowards (i.e. those who ran when it was their turn), wasted countless hundreds of billions and thousands of American lives (and hundreds of thousands of others), tried to drag the name of a Vietnam hero (Kerry) in the mud, and spend their time hiding behind mommy's skirts while throwing out names and insults. Yet none of them have a viable alternative to get the job done and clean up the mess GWB left behind. So instead they whine and wheedle and run when confronted face-to-face, and say no to everything in the house and the senate. I've never seen such a collective waste of oxygen as that party and its retarded, in-bred, mutant turd of a brother - the tea party. Ignore and drive on with the mission.

patandfritz said...

Do you still feel the same way sir? I am an out of work 60 something with no health insurance and running out of unemployment insurance. What is your answer to me? What do I do with the age discrimination that everyone claims isn't there when I am job hunting? What do I do with my life since you believe so much in this President and Congress that has done nothing to create new REAL jobs that will last longer than 12-16 weeks? What do people like me do? This isn't an issue left by the previous administration. This is an issue created by a Congress that took over our country in 2006 and started running us amok. I do not have the employment, money, health insurance or future that I had before 2006 when the Democrats took over. No one deserves the blame more than the people that took over Congress in 2006 and threw my life and millions of others into the dumper!

fospirit said...

"Meanwhile back in the reality-based community – in just 12 short months -- President Obama:"...has done none of what you stated he has done.
Here is reality.
The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $4.14 billion per day since September 28, 2007!
source: http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock

"Jobs scarcity is hurting consumer spending, which normally accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, leaving the recovery from the worst recession in 70 years sputtering."
source http://www.tradingeconomics.com

Mr. RiGHT 4 PREZ said...

1.) RUN RUN RUN REPUBLICANS ARE GONNA BURN "BLACK CHURCHES IF "JUNIOR: IS ELECTED
RUN 4 YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


2.) IF WE DONT "SAFRIFICE" & *(REINVEST) IN GREEN ECONOMY "WHICH SERVED SPAIN SO WELL @ 20% UNEMPLOYMENT ) --> ALL .... SO CORPORATE BUREAUCRATS & GE , DUPONT & GOLDMAN SACHS CAN STUFF THEIR POCKETS ..............))))))) THE OCEANS ARE GOING TO RISE AND BABY SEALS ARE GOING TO DIE


3.) If we dont Pass "COM"prehensive healthcare the Insurance Companys are going to run amok....So Let Govt. run amok instead ...and the Rethuglicans will cut medicare.... "meanwhile who cut medicare??? .....And now were taxed 40% on so called Cadillac plans and Fortune 500 companys like McDonalds cant even afford to give employees basic benefits anymore :-(



P.S. then again this is the same propaganda that thinks a New York City Cop
who puts in 15 hours overtime a week and makes 150,000 a year and combined with his wife as a Nurse makes an aditional 90,000 a year are rich!
Not only "rich" but "wealthy and in the top 2% of earners!!!



in conclusion:

increased TAXES doesnt hurt old wealth especially when some of them are subsidized it hurts NEW WEALTH and aspiring upwardly mobile ...and hurts the Consumer in the end!

Sunfire said...

Back in December of 2008 I wrote on my blog, "if we expect Obama to be an avatar or savior he will deeply disappoint us. If we – and by we I mean all Americans who want peace, political justice, social equality and environmental security – can seize this moment when the forces that have been plundering our nation for their own personal gain have been, perhaps only temporarily, put on the defensive, then we have the possibility of making some progress toward the society and world we seek. We can’t say, “Let Obama do it.” We must put pressure on Congress and the administration to make the changes we need."

Thank you, Frank, for helping us see what the President has accomplished. While my blog does not focus on politics, except as it relates to my life as a gay spiritual explorer, I intend to put a link on it to this posting.

Sunfire said...

Back in December of 2008 I wrote on my blog, "if we expect Obama to be an avatar or savior he will deeply disappoint us. If we – and by we I mean all Americans who want peace, political justice, social equality and environmental security – can seize this moment when the forces that have been plundering our nation for their own personal gain have been, perhaps only temporarily, put on the defensive, then we have the possibility of making some progress toward the society and world we seek. We can’t say, “Let Obama do it.” We must put pressure on Congress and the administration to make the changes we need."

Thank you, Frank, for helping us see what the President has accomplished. While my blog does not focus on politics, except as it relates to my life as a gay spiritual explorer, I intend to put a link on it to this posting.

piperb1865 said...

Hey Frank. I received this fantastic piece from an old classmate of mine.. The only left winger I still write to.. I have no idea what happened to him??? Maybe it was DRUGS??? Anyway he told me to read this and just try to believe it!!! I tried and tried but none of it made any sense what-so-ever. I didn't really know that we all have to be saved?? Thanks for enlightening us all with your brilliance. I’ll be sure to send this out to all my right wing friends and see how many will really buy into this masterpiece.

Sondra said...

God was and is in the plan from the start. Just sit back and watch God work!!!

piperb1865 said...

Hey Frank. I received this fantastic piece from an old classmate of mine.. The only left winger I still write to.. I have no idea what happened to him??? Maybe it was DRUGS??? Anyway he told me to read this and just try to believe it!!! I tried and tried but none of it made any sense what-so-ever. I didn't really know that we all have to be saved and after reading your article I know, without a doubt, that we don’t need to be saved. Thanks for enlightening us all with your brilliance. I’ll be sure to send this out to all my right wing friends and see how many will really buy into this masterpiece and think we need to be saved as well.

Eilish said...

I am not disappointed in President Obama. He is as I thought back in the '08 campaign, in fact, considering the impatience and fear in the nation and how it is expressed, Mr. Obama is extraordinarily disciplined.
I believe he learns as he goes on through this gauntlet of leader. I also believe that he will ultimately be ruled by his morals than his idealistic approach of bi-partisanship.

Americans want good endings in movies, T V. We don't want the truth , not
really. This cluster of awful factors-war, economy exacerbated by unethical and inhumane mmoral conduct, cannot be corrected, stopped or even mitigated in 4 years but maybe 6. I support Mr. Obama.

msbutta1 said...

And of course, EVERYONE (meaning most white folks - especially those damn liberals) wants to skirt the race issue. I mean, let's actually discuss the devaluation of his efforts and undermine him at EVERY turn just because he is who he is. Let's pretend that there isn't an agenda to effectively sabotage his administration. Despite that, the Obama Administration is making progress.

I have a SERIOUS problem with this expectation that he was a redeemer or saviour. Really people? What better way to ENSURE he doesn't succeed. Still, now America loves everything "Palin" and "Tea." I thought America was a coffee loving nation? Hmmm. Talk about a distortion of history's truth: the original Tea Party folks were considered terrorists for their actions against the king. You mean to tell me we're back in colonial, Indian-killing, slavery-sponsoring and witch-hunting America because Obama is president? Uh, I don't think so.

I never thought America deserved Obama's talents and leadership. Had he received the FULL SUPPORT of his party, the health-reform bill would've been passed as designed. Remember, it was Blue-Democrats who sabotaged that. Corporations and Wall Street Reform are the reason why the economy is suffering; it is an act of retribution for making them more accountable. No one wants to take responsibility for why the shortcomings happened, but everyone wants to assign blame to the POTUS. How convenient.

Truth is, no matter what the POTUS wants to do, there is that "No!" knee-jerk reaction, even when it's a good idea. Meanwhile, the working and lower classes are getting more exploited by higher rents, fewer jobs and an increased cost of living. Do they care? No. They're busy worrying about "dirty Mexicans" instead of seeing how they are all in the same predicament of being exploited. There's SO MUCH more at stake here than people realize, and they don't care. Americans really just don't care. They only follow the sound-bite.

EHGray said...

If you don't know who Raila Odinga, Frank Marshal Davis, Cloward and Piven, Saul Alinsky, Van Jones, Rashid Khalidi, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Jones, George Soros, and let’s not forget Lt. Quarles Harris Jr. along with Donald Young, Larry Bland, and Nate Spencer (is that George Soros I smell?) just to name a few, you better Google them because they are all significant in Obama’s life and will give you a picture of who you are supporting! If you do know who and what they are and are still for Obama, then you are an anti American Communist! Those are the facts!

John said...

@EHGray: Ever look at the list of those who backed, supported, and in whatever form influenced other presidents in some way? You are certain to find some whose politics and ideologies you might question. Yes! I support Obama. I also know who many of those folks are, and agree with some, but stridenly disagree with others. I'm neither Anti-American nor communist. You don't makes points by hurling labels at people with whom you disagree. Schaffer's points would have been better made without the gratuitous jabs as well.

If most Americans stopped seeking to be entertained and/or led by a messiah, and instead educated themselves by more than the 24hr psuedo "news", they'd get what's being accomplished on their behalf. No more microwave expectations, please!! And "get government off my back" is what led to the worst fincancial crisis in history. Geez! Can no one see that?

Don said...

Excellent read & I co-sign each and every sentiment expressed.

I should print and frame this article.

d.b.g. said...

Wow, I wonder how soon he can bankrupt America and what you will say about him then. Careful what you wish for!!

Teri Beaugez said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. The far left, is sometimes more ignorant, more MISLED, and more annoying that the far right. Jon Stewart, is of course, correct about that.

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Obama will turn out to be the next jimmy carter and get canned from office and the arab world will see to it.

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SAPPHIRE said...

Does Mr. Schaeffer still feel the same way?

jack said...

I put in on my Facebook,thanks

J.P. Lane said...

Well, Frank, your post is still making the rounds. It was e-mailed to me today - the first time I'm seeing it. What you wrote in 2009 still applies - even more so at this time when the next presidential election is a week away. I give what you've written a resounding hear, hear!! And yes, Obama will triumph!

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Bravo to you, Mr. Schaeffer. What a wonderful article, I'm forwarding it to everyone I know.

On Monday I heard you being interviewed on NPR but now I can't find the program. You made some excellent points about how both Christians and atheists are seen in the media and I'd like to hear or read it again, if I can find it.
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