The Forty Six Percent Barrack Obama Discarded
by Barbara_Donnelly_Lane
September 27, 2012 12:42 PM | 3072 views | 11 11 comments | 122 122 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
In 2008 when it was obvious Barrack Obama was going to be elected President of the United States, I lived in Europe where love for him seemed to have no bounds.   Despite the cajoling of close friends who wanted me to see the progressive light, I disagreed strongly with the policy positions put forth by the Obama campaign, and I never jumped onto the Big O bandwagon.  

However, back then I could understand the enthusiasm for the charismatic candidate both at home and abroad, and I said on a BBC Radio Bristol program that I sincerely hoped I was wrong about how I thought Obama’s policies would impact the United States when put into practice.  

You see I love my country, even when my fellow citizens don’t agree with me.  I was never like some of those Hollywood types who famously said they would rather live on foreign shores than be governed by George W. Bush.  In truth, after almost three years of actually living in a foreign country, I couldn’t wait to get back home to Georgia in 2009.  I didn’t care who occupied the White House.  

Besides, once the people had spoken, I sincerely wanted Barrack Obama to surprise me by becoming a man who was interested in leading all of his constituents, including the 46% of folks who had voted for John McCain.   

I also thought I could afford to be optimistic.  

If President Obama over-reached his mandate to “change” the country, if he became a polarizing figure because he tacked too far in one ideological direction, if he showed the minority party nothing but disdain in how he governed, if he didn’t listen to the voters who are always the real source of political power in a country such as this one, the incredible amount of Good Will given to him by the American electorate on his inauguration day--that astonishing 69% approval rating he owned in January 2009—would be nibbled away at the edges until it was gone.    

This is exactly what happened by the 2010 Midterms.

Democrats were thrown out of the House in droves, and Republicans regained a seat at the political table: a seat they were entitled to have all along even when they were the minority party in every political branch of government.  

Now it is 2012, and the media seems to be engaged in revisionist history.  

They say Republicans never wanted President Obama to do well.  Old Mitch McConnell didn’t so much as wait for Michelle Obama to hang up her ballroom gown before he announced he wanted to remove her husband from office.  Robert Draper even wrote a book about Republicans scheming over dinner (and cigars, no doubt) to railroad the Democrats.

The thing is, this is all a bunch of tosh.  

Again, President Obama’s approval rating upon entry to office was almost 70%.  If you can do math, you know some Republicans factored into that number.  

Second, Mitch McConnell—a politician representing the opposition—said towards the end of 2010 that his goal was to remove President Obama from office.  This comment was in part inspired by the giant healthcare package that had just been shoved down the country’s proverbial throat.  Almost half of the president’s first term was done, and it was quite obvious the president was not interested in bipartisanship.

And last, even if they had waxed moustaches they could twirl like the evil villains who always tie girls to the tracks in old-timey movies, Republicans didn’t actually have the power to railroad much of anything in January 2009.  

In fact, along with popular support, the Democrats controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House back then.  They weren’t beholden to anyone.    

As I recall, when Congressman Eric Cantor tried to add to the plans for how the government might stimulate the economy and pull the United States out of recession, the new leader of the free world showed exactly how inclusive he was going to be of Republican ideas by responding, “Elections have consequences…. I won.”  

By the time Al Franken was installed in office, the Democrats enjoyed a supermajority, which meant they could do absolutely anything they wanted, and they did.  

Instead of working with Republicans who represented at least the 46% of Americans who had voted for John McCain, Democrats ignored them.  

However, President Obama did more than just ignore.  In a “uniting” radio address full of nice sentiments, he told Latinos in October 2010 to go out and vote, after which “we’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”  

So I have the memory of an elephant, and I recall quite clearly how much Republicans like me felt when Barrack Obama demonstrated through his actions just how much he respected our opinions.

I recall when the American people tried to slow down the Leviathan that was a healthcare bill they didn’t want by filling very liberal Ted Kennedy’s seat with Scott Brown, the Democrats still weren’t bothered.  They simply used procedures to get what they wanted and then called people like my parents—my middle class schoolteacher mother and retired Army father—such lovely things as tea baggers while trying to make their concerns about national debt seem like crazy talk.  

So now we are in another election year, and I hear the continued refrain that the Republicans who were elected in part to stop the Democrats have been nothing but obstructionists.  If only they’d played nice, the economy would already be fixed. Because of them, President Obama doesn’t own his policies.  

Are you kidding me?  

Liberals say Mitt Romney made a mistake by telling supporters 47% of the electorate is going to fall on President Obama’s side no matter what.  This didn’t sound inclusive from a prospective leader.  

But can someone remind me again how President Obama has represented the 46% of the electorate who didn’t support him in 2008?  I’ll give you a hint.  In general, he hasn’t.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.  After you’re done reading Draper’s thoughts on 2009, pick up a copy of Bob Woodward’s book about President Obama’s leadership style.  It’s not flattering.  

It’s a shame, too.  Whatever anyone says now, Republicans like me really did have high hopes for the new guy back then.  Sadly, he’s never shown he’s cared very much about us.  

Why would that have changed in 2012? 
Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 13, 2012
The GOP DID try to obstruct Obama, BUT your accusations are true also.

From what I saw Obama basically ran Bush's third term!!

I saw NO big "change" at all, wars still going, President still a war criminal. Not just torture, but drone strikes killing hundreds, including kids. Even 'double taps' to kill rescue workers helping the drone victims!

Instead of giving our rights back he assaults the Constitution & Bill Of Rights even further.

Everything he could have changed, only changed for the worse!

See that's what people aren't getting, both the main parties are being run by big banks, big oil, war contractors, Wall St, etc etc....

We need to stop the OLD Dem VS Rep routine.
November 08, 2012
its a shame how W and his pals all respected the 49% who didnt vote for him funny how some people only remember that which benefits their argument. Once elections are over the goal should be to benefit the 100% that live in a country.
Laura Armstrong
October 01, 2012
Fantastic big-picture column!

This puts half the syndicated tail waggers for BO to absolute shame, factually decimating libs like Foley.

Please keep up the great writing. You just keep getting better and better, Ms. Lane.
Lib in Cobb
September 28, 2012
@Critical: One must also consider that for the last two years an obstructionist congress has blocked bills which would have helped all of us, including the military. The GOP is biting their noses. Please remember GOP leaders stated it was their goal to ensure that President Obama served only one term. By virtue of that statement they said we are not going to represent the people, who elected us, we have our own agenda. The days of reaching across the aisle and agreeing upon a compromise are over and there are a variety of reasons why congress has elected to behave this way and none are very pretty.
September 28, 2012
Every time I see something speaking to, or implying, Republican obstructionism, I think my head is going to explode.

Mr. Foley wrote, "...she has nothing to say about the GOP controlled House and the Senate minority stopping jobs legislation and most everything else."

How long has it been since the Democratic controlled Senate brought a budget resolution to the floor? Three years and counting, right? THAT, my friends, is obstructionism. THAT, is preventing serious discussion and movement on the looming fiscal crisis. THAT, is proof that the Democrats do not deserve to govern.
Critical Reading
September 28, 2012
Someone should point out to a couple of the posters here that the writer's point is that President Obama has only done what liberals want to do with no consideration of conservatives at all. Goodness sakes. The title is "The 46% Obama Discarded." So if you think he has a list of accomplishments, great. He hasn't cared what half the country felt about that list. It's also fairly clear that if he has that long list, he has to take responsibility for not keeping any of his promises for results on the economy. The question to ask as a voter is are you happy with these results?
Concerned Citizen
September 27, 2012
I think that President Obama has failed to move the economy forward. Look at the number of people who remain jobless, the number of people who have lost either their homes or the value of their homes, the price of gas every time we fill our cars, and the national debt. By the way, it was interesting to me that when President Obama was on Letterman, he couldn't remember exactly what the national debt was when he took office. I believe that many informed people believe that Obamacare is going to cost far more than the President suggested. The list continues when I think of the failures of this administration, and I am very tired of the blame Bush attitude and of the Hollywood demeanor I see and hear every day. By the way, the President didn't save the auto industry. I believe it would have been better if the government had stayed out of that. Normal bankruptcy would have accomplished the same thing at much less cost to the taxpayers of our country. Should I mention Solyndra, our ambassador to Libya murdered, the failure to call terrorism terrorism, our flag being burned and disrespected throughout the world? I'm afraid my list of complaints is getting too long. I can only hope that the coming election will prove that Americans will vote for what is best for our country.
Lib in Cobb
September 27, 2012
Kevin: The right wing easily forgets all the good President Obama has been able to accomplish. Ms. Lane is one of those who forgets far too easily.

I will suggest Ms. Lane do 15 minutes worth of research and see what was accomplished prior to the obstructionists taking office and also look at what was blocked by those same obstructionists.
Dr. Michael Donnelly
September 27, 2012
Mr. Foley is going to have a very sad day when November 6 rolls around. He is the revisionist here not Mrs. Lane. If Mr. Foley really thinks that Obama tried to reach across the aisle then there is no hope for him and persons of his ilk. They will vote for this president who is busy campaigning while Americans are dying in the service of their country and no amount of spinning on his part can change the facts. Good luck Mr Foley. If you have private insurance I hope you are well enough off to pay double the premiums since this amateur television prompter reader was elected.
Off Balance
September 27, 2012
Wow, B D Lane, you have attracted the eye of Faulty Foley. You have achieved solid conservative status. Like Melvyn Fein, the Foley will sit at his monitor waiting for each of your columns to challenge you with his "facts".

Keep on posting. I enjoy your columns and though I do not read Foley's Follies column, I do enjoy reading his replies to conservative columnists.

Kevin Foley
September 27, 2012
Ah yes, revisionist history. From the January 27, 2009 New York Times:

If Mr. Obama’s separate sessions with House and Senate Republicans on Tuesday did not win him any immediate additional support, they got high marks from Republicans for outreach.

“This was not a drive-by P.R. stunt, and I actually thought it might be,” said Representative Zach Wamp, Republican of Tennessee. “It was a substantive, in-depth discussion with our conference, and he’s very effective.”

“He knows that the debt and the deficit are huge long-term problems as well,” Mr. Wamp said, “and he made a compelling case. He sounded, frankly, a lot like a Republican.”

Ms. Lane leaves out the astroturf Tea Party movement (what happened to that, BTW?) engineered by the Koch-financed Freedomworks that harnessed Fox News and Glenn Beck to push its anti-Obama agenda in the first months of his presidency.

She also fails to mention Obama won the election by an electoral college landslide because he made healthcare reform and rescuing the economy central to his campaign. He had a mandate from the electorate.

Obamacare is helping tens of millions of Americans and millions of jobs were saved by the stim, not to mention Obama's resuce of the auto industry.

Finally, she has nothing to say about the GOP controlled House and the Senate minority stopping jobs legislation and most everything else. They even killed a bill that would help returning veterans.
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