Obama plays into Bush's plan
President Obama has received much criticism for maintaining policies that are very similar to former President Bush's. Although there is some unfair criticism, much of the condemnation is deserved because Obama has not reversed many Bush-era policies.
Health care was a big problem under Bush, and Bush did not do anything to solve the crisis. So far, neither has Obama.
One aspect of health care reform that he campaigned for was a public option, an alternative plan for people that did not have health care. It would have provided more competition in the market and would not be mandatory for people to buy.
Obama threw the public option into the trash to appease Republicans, something that was wrong on his part. Although it is sometimes necessary to negotiate in order to find common ground, health care should not have be sacrificed in order to make the Republicans happy.
It is admiral that 32 million Americans will have "access" to health care, but the public option was the main deal. Obama had one chance to pass it and instead he cowered in front of the right wing for the sake of "working together."
Obama has drawn much criticism regarding his treatment of foreign prisons, including Guantanamo Bay. The president had signed an executive order at the beginning of his presidency to shut down the prison, but few countries were willing to take suspected terrorists, making his good intentions difficult and slow to realize.
Obama still reflects a continuation of the Bush presidency by his allegiance to unwarranted wiretapping. According to The New American Magazine, Obama has sponsored wiretapping in the name of "state secrets," a strategy used by the Bush administration to perform illicit activities. And even though Obama signed an executive order to prevent the torture of prisoners, the risk of abuse is a slippery slope for an administration that claims its right to monitor citizens' activities under the auspice of protecting its people.
Obama continued with the war on terror by bombing Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan. And now even as Obama withdrawals troops from Iraq, he is deploying them to Afghanistan. This is a cold shoulder to "change."
People want to believe that policy changes will emerge with a new administration, but the influences of the old administration remains. On the campaign trail, an individual can make promises, but if the ideas aren't carried through, they are rendered ineffective.
Somehow Obama still manages to represent a beacon of hope for the masses, but he needs to make sure that his legacy isn't just a doctored version of Bush's original plan for a better America.