Friday, November 07, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS, PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA, FROM A CONSERVATIVE OPPONENT


I want to wish warm congratulations to President-elect Obama. I am now officially among those feeling "hope" and "faith" regarding him (I knew that "change" was coming, either way). Though I supported "the other one," I am proud that America has elected it's first Black president. The historic aspect of his election must not occlude the historic nature of the problems he faces, upon entering office.



To be blunt: Sen. Obama, the first Black president, will be challenged with problems larger than either Reagan or Kennedy had to deal with, and may end up facing another worldwide depression, as Roosevelt did. I'm hoping that Pres. Obama is the right leader for our times, and have faith that he is. In a changing world, the USA has "risen up" to the challenge of "change."



I can't predict whether things will get better or worse, but if I were a betting man, I'd bet on the latter. Pres. Obama's job is going to be very difficult. Even if he manages to navigate the nation in the right direction, it will be against strong political headwinds. If things "keep going the wrong way," he will get the blame. Welcome to the Oval Office, President Obama.



Here are some questions for, and thoughts about our next president:



On foreign policy, will he follow the "Clinton" model, and return the "war on Islamist terrorism" to a "law enforcement" effort? Will he "escalate" the military action in Afghanistan in a way that destabilizes Pakistan, and perhaps the entire region? No-one knows, but we are in the middle of a global war, unlike any we've been engaged in before. This will be the trickiest minefield for him to cross.



Sen. Obama said that he employed no lobbyists in his campaign, but the head of his Nevada campaign, the late Terrence Tolbert, was "a top official who ran lobbying efforts for the (NYC) Department of Education." Was there an exemption for taxpayer-funded lobbyists? Mr. Tolbert died of a heart attack, tragically cut down at the age of 44 on the Sunday before the election. My condolences go out to his family, and my apologies for using him to make a political point.



I have to repeat a question from an earlier post of mine: "Medicare and Medicaid are losing billions of dollars every year, and are riddled with fraud. If the government can't pay for, and adequately manage these health care programs, how can it afford 'universal' health care? Will you fix Medicaid/-care before proposing any new health care program?"



He can't seriously offer government-funded health care for "everyone" until Medicare and Medicaid are fixed, and he has put both of those on the "back burner," calling them "long-term problems" that he won't try to tackle right off the bat. Yet he still wants to expand government's role in (and financial obligation to) the health care industry (PS: That's what killed Hillarycare, over a decade ago). Forcing businesses to provide health care will be disastrous to many small businesses, as well.



There is some debate over whether he will govern as a moderate, or from the left. I suspect the latter, but will try to keep an "open mind" on this subject until he actually starts governing. Either way, I wish him well in dealing with the serious problems facing our nation. While I may be a critic, I also realize that great challenges often forge great leaders. I hope this is the case with President Obama.

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