"The First 30 Days" of Obama
Barack Obama. The very name inspires many Americans to stand up a little straighter and raise their head a little higher. He has exhilarated tens of millions with his message of "hope" and "change."
Following his elevation and election to President of the United States of America, from small towns to big cities, the streets were filled with waves of supporters yelling his battle cry in unison, "Yes we can!" Yes, they did.
President Obama has an innate ability to push people into his state of mind with his pointed speech and non-threatening demeanor that demands attention. His campaign ran on the fuel of Bush's unforgivably bad regime.
He presented himself as the anti-Bush candidate that would shake up Washington and deliver America back to the citizens. Not since the days of President Jimmy Carter has a candidate had so much in common with the everyday American citizen they wanted to represent.
Unfortunately, no candidate since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt has faced such challenging and trying economic, political and diplomatic times.
On the surface it would seem as though President Obama has already stopped the nation from its current downward spiral. He continues to be the darling of the media with his family even being featured on the cover of several fashion and celebrity magazines.
His policy changes seem to go unopposed as he blazes his bills through Congress at an amazing rate. On Tuesday, he signed the largest, most expensive bill ever.
It will cost the taxpayers $787 billion, yet it flew through Congress. But, what is the truth about the changes President Obama has implemented so far?
The Hammer Museum in Westwood featured a lecture by Dr. Theodore Lowi on Tuesday, February 17th entitled, "The First Thirty Days." The lecture was presented as a critique on President Obama's first thirty days in office, relative to that of past presidents.
Dr. Lowi is one of the most respected political scientists in the world. He is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been the
John L. Senior Professor of American Institutions at Cornell University since 1972. He is the recipient of the Neustadt Prize and the Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellowship. He has edited or authored over a dozen books, including a textbook that many of us have used entitled, "American Government- Power and Purpose."
Dr. Lowi was met by an uproar of applause and anticipation. Too bad it was like sheep waiting to get slaughtered. The crowd was yearning for praise of the newly crowned King of America, but was met with some relatively harsh realities of a Presidency that has yet to deliver.
Dr. Lowi did his best to tip-toe around direct judgment of the Obama Presidency because he was always left short of words.
On the issue of the $787 billion stimulus, Lowi said "President Obama did not have any conditions on the lending of the money.
This is a mistake. The money will simply disappear without standards, restrictions, requirements or repercussions."
He also said that the stimulus package was "disappointing."
On the issue of foreign policy, Dr. Lowi questioned President Obama's abilities. "Obama is uncertain of his foreign policy," he said. Dr. Lowi went on to say there is no clear stance on any foreign policies in the entire Obama coalition.
President Obama is definitely going to be plagued with the actions of the former regime, but his actions are what will dictate our dedication to the wars we have waged in the last ten years.
"Obama could be the next Nixon by carrying on war." Dr. Lowi continued. In other words, the continuation of this war, through our own interests, places President Obama in a delicate situation.
He can claim victory and leave, or we can stay and drag on the fighting until someone else gets into office that has the courage to claim victory and leave.
Dr. Lowi did his best to limit his critiques on the first thirty days of the Obama Presidency primarily because he claims there is nothing to talk about.
President Obama has not been clear on healthcare reform, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay or the direction of the stimulus money.
It is important to realize no elected first-term President has done much in their first thirty days in office. There is a transition period to becoming the President of the United States.
It isn't like getting a job in a factory or even becoming CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Barack Obama is the ruler of the free world. He should be cautious of his actions. We can only hope that he will bring the change we all want and need.