Obama’s First Year: A Look Back

On this day last year, Barack Obama entered into the office of President of the United States with a 63% approval rating and the world in his hands.  He was like a Hollywood celebrity.  He signed autographs at his pseudo-State of the Union address and gossip magazines waited on baited breath to see what kind of dog he would get for his daughters.  He had the fame, the love and the support he needed to take on the world.

What a difference a year makes…

A full 365 days later, Obama’s approval rating has plummeted to 44%.  His agenda’s and policies have sparked the now famous Tea Party movement which has become a nation-wide phenomenon.  His support for causes and candidates carries no weight and Americans are madder than they’ve ever been with, not just the president, but the entire Senate and House as well.  So what happened?  How has the mighty messiah fallen so hard so fast?  Let’s look at some of the key moments over the past year that has led to the toppling of the Obama Empire.

President Obama won his seat using the magic word that has saturated the media and come to make me ill every time I hear it: change.  Barack Obama won the presidency by campaigning against, not his opponent, John McCain, but against former President George W. Bush.  Change was the secret word and the sound of his battle cry.  Obama promised a change from the policies and politics of his predecessor.  The people were happy to hand him the keys to the kingdom because they were, indeed, sick and tired of Bush’s policies and wanted this “change” they were promised.

Here’s what they got.

Obama’s presidency started off with the single largest spending spree in the history of the United States government.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (more commonly known as the Stimulus Package) instantly added a whopping $787billion to our already tremendous debt.  This monstrous bill was pushed hastily through the House and the Senate and across the president’s desk in less than a month!  No one even had time to read the thing before it was suddenly law.  This is where the New American Revolution really began.  The conservative (not just Republican) people of America finally cried out “enough!”  This wasn’t change.  Bush ran up the deficit and now Obama was doing it even more!  This was more the same mistakes only amplified!

It wasn’t just Obama’s agendas that brought about his demise.  When Americans elected Obama to office, they also got what might be the biggest ego the White House has ever seen.  Barack Obama’s ego goes far beyond confidence in himself to absolute arrogance.  When the Olympic committee was deciding where the 2016 summer games would be held, Barack Obama made a personal appearance before them to push for the games to be held in his home-town of Chicago (something the citizens of Chicago strongly expressed their disapproval of).  Obama seemed sure that he could use the celebrity-like status he’d gained around the world to persuade the committee to bend to his will.  It didn’t work, but that didn’t stop him.  He went on to campaign for New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine and Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds, absolutely sure that his endorsement would get people racing to the polls to vote for them.  He struck out on both accords.  You would think three strikes would be enough to send Obama a wakeup call, but no.  Just last weekend the president campaigned for Martha Coakley in her race for the senate seat left by the passing of Ted Kennedy.  Not only did his credibility fail again, but this time it was in the second bluest state in the union!

The reason Obama’s approval rating has plummeted to record lows for a first year president is not hard to understand; American’s know when they are being scammed.  He promised transparency but holds secret meetings behind closed doors to write new laws.  He promised to lower the deficit when he’s only made it soar to new heights.  He promised bipartisanship yet bars Republicans from giving their input on his new healthcare agenda.  It has become easy for even the simplest of minds to see that Obama’s first year has been nothing but a pack of lies delivered from the mouth of a good public speaker reading off a screen.  President Obama came out today speaking of hopes that Republicans will work together with him (now that he can’t muscle legislation past them anymore) to forge a new health bill that everyone can agree on.  If he meant those words he would have said them from the start.  It’s still lies, but now Americans have become wiser.  We’re not letting him get away with his deceitful practices anymore.

What we are seeing now is a man on the ropes, caught off guard by a blow he was too arrogant to see coming.  He is a man that has ignored his people and betrayed his empty vow to uphold the Constitution of the United States.  How the next three years go will be largely up to him, but I think even he is aware that his battle is now an uphill one and that every eye in America is closely watching him.  He has only two options at this juncture, do the job he was elected to do or lose everything.


4 Responses to “Obama’s First Year: A Look Back”

  1. 1 Noah January 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I think this is a pretty unfair blog. It ignores a lot of commonly held truths and points out things in Obama’s behavior that could just as easily be applied to any given politician regardless of his/her party affiliation. For example, us Obama’s celebrity as a mark of poor character – his signing autographs, shopping for a dog, etc. These are traditions evident in every presidency. You also mention that Obama’s approval rating has fallen because of his policies. We have yet to see any result from any policy he has implemented. The ARRA is producing positive growth and will continue to do so (unless something else big happens), but that is a matter of time. His approval rating has fallen, and the Tea Party movement is a result of media – semi-grassroots that was boosted by mainstream figures – not some coincidental individual realization of poor policy.

    It is good that people like yourself complain about spending. I do too. But I am not convinced that the ARRA was a bad move. Keynes would certainly have liked it and his ideas have shaped modern economics. I suppose we will just have to wait and see.

    My suggestion to you is to continue to inform and complain, but be fair. Don’t make sweep judgments of one man without pointing out that it is a trend among all politicians. There may be something to say about the behavior, but lets don’t create division by making the assumption that liberals do X and conservatives do Y. The truth is that both sides essentially believe the same things. The only significant difference between the two is in what group gets to accumulate wealth for society – the rich or the government. I think im going to write about this. I’ll link you.

    • 2 freedomwatchnews January 21, 2010 at 12:10 am

      Noah, I fear you may be trying to make this post something it isn’t. This post is simply talking about one man’s actions and their reactions. This post was not intended to make a direct comparison between Obama’s first year and that of any other president. Yes, I did make a few cross-references but all I’m trying to get across here is simply why Obama’s approval has fallen. You say that my post ignores “commonly held truths” but you didn’t site any except for the fact that he’s not the first person to make some of these mistakes. If that’s all you were getting at then my I point out that, as this wasn’t a side-by-side comparison between him and any other president,that point should be useless. If there is another “commonly held truth” then I’d ask you to site it for me because it’s apparently not common enough for me to know it.

      As for the ARRA, you’re doing well in stating the reality of economics but your words aren’t reflecting Obama’s promises. Obama said we had to rush the stimulus through so that job loss wouldn’t reach 10% and it surpassed that. Obama, Peloci and Reid were selling this as a quick fix to stop the bleeding and it didn’t do that. Whether or not it will make a long-term change for the better is still to be determined but the fact remains that our children’s-children’s children will be paying off this debt that shouldn’t be there’s to bear.

      Again, this post is supposed to simply explain the reasons behind Obama’s tanking approval ratings. A full, in-depth analysis of his first year and all that he did/didn’t accomplish would fill a book, not a blog post. Thanks for linking me and for challenging me. I always look forward to your posts.


      • 3 Noah January 21, 2010 at 1:07 am

        You are right in saying future generations shouldnt have to pay for our mistakes. But that is just how capitalism works – you make an investment, and hope to god it pays off. Granted, this was a HUGE investment, and you are right to be nervous. I think the majority of Americans are. But, you cannot blame him for wanting to attack an escalating problem with fervor. Had he been slow to react, he would have been judged for that. I commend his wanting to get something done quickly in hopes of slowing the recession. Yes, unemployment went higher than he and everyone else hoped – that is due in large part, however, to the banks unwillingness to use the money we gave them to open back up small business loans. More regulation of the banks and oversight of the money loaned to them would have alleviated that problem, but republicans opposed that.

        As to the commonly held truths comment, I was referring to the fact that you claim the Tea Party movement is a response to Obama’s policy and ignore its formation in media hype, you attack Obama’s character without noting that the reasons you listed apply to nearly all politicians, and attack his ‘change’ mantra without realizing that every presidential candidate has used that in the past several decades since the Vietnam War.

        Obama is not a socialist. He isnt scheming ways to ruin America. He isn’t attempting to elevate African Americans above whites as retribution for slavery. He isn’t stripping away our liberties. He is simply trying to accumulate wealth into a centralized location (just as conservatives would like to do) so that the money can be better spent for our society.

        Both sides know that a communist approach to ensuring that everyone has equal wealth can not grow a nation. Conservatives believe that the citizens should determine who accumulates the wealth, hoping that those who do will reinvest it into things that spur innovation, invention, and progress. Liberals think the government should accumulate the wealth so that the democratic society can decide how that wealth is spent in order to encourage innovation, invention, and progress.

        What we have seen in the post war era is that citizens have become insecure and are no longer storing their money in order to reinvest. We are a hyperconsuming culture – the rich consume instead of invest. This isn’t to say that America is not still innovative, but we have been falling behind. Liberals believe that the rich can no longer be depended upon to push our society forward. Conservatives want to hold on to tradition and allow the citizenry to keep trying.

        I can see why both sides are attractive. And I see the dangers in giving government power over more and more of our wealth. But we either give it to the government or we give it to the rich (via dollars or labor). We just have to choose who will reinvest it more wisely. We criticize the government because we have access to their spending habits. We do not have that luxury with the rich. All we can do is look at our economy over the past 50 years and see a decline in their investment. At some point a change has to happen. As to what that change should be, I am not sure. If I could snap my fingers and convince America to stop consuming like idiots, I would. But that’s a process, and it will probably take something dramatic to make it happen.

      • 4 freedomwatchnews January 21, 2010 at 1:51 am

        What you just described about wanting to convince Americans to stop “consuming like idiots” is the reason I initially liked Obama. He’s a charismatic individual with great public speaking skills and a wonderful gift for motivating people. Imagine if your message were his! If he took all his talents and used them to convince Americans to do exactly that (because I believe he could) instead of saying “don’t worry, the government will fix everything” we would be on a REAL road to recovery. The progress we’ve made with the ARRA is like throwing gasoline on a small fire in hopes of making it bigger again. It will work well initially, but then all the fuel burns up and you wind up with an even smaller fire than before. You can’t just throw money at something and fix it. The fact of the matter is that a change in the way Americans view their rolls in society is the ONLY way we’re going to get out of this. If it comes down to wealth going to the government to delegate or the citizenry, I still vote the citizenry. Remember, the government never has to worry about competing with anyone (hence why I don’t back the government run health plan). You are right, I would rather allow the citizenry to keep trying and am very proud of that fact. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” I don’t like the idea of letting the government handle anything outside their job as outlined in the constitution even if it means the burden is off of me. Personal burdens are part of freedom and I’ll gladly take them.

        As for your take on the tea party movement, it is the same that I’ve heard from everyone else who hears about it on the news and wasn’t actually there. Conservatives are not mindless drones who simply nod along with what the media tells them. In fact, the majority of news stations blew the movement off as silly or unimportant. I was there, Noah. I talked with people at the rallies, I listened the the speakers, I’m on the mailing lists. The anger is real and not fueled by any kind of media puppet-master, but that’s not something I could ever convince you of unless you went to the rallies yourself.

        Honestly, it would take all night to touch on all of your points so I hope this will do for now. I’ll try to get to some of your other points later. We DESPERATELY need to meet face to face and have what I believe would be the greatest discussion of my life. Take care.


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