The political landscape in America's presidential campaign is getting very ugly and will get even uglier as a very desperate Barack Obama tries to convince American voters that he is not the abject failure his record shows him to be. Perhaps a sports analogy will put this president in perspective.
In the history of major league baseball, no team has been as pathetic and incompetent as the 1962 New York Mets. Conversely, most baseball historians and experts rank the 1927 New York Yankees as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, team of all time. Mr. Obama's pathetic performance prompts me to quote Casey Stengel who mused about his hapless Mets, "Can't anybody here play this game?"
As a failure in all major areas: foreign policy, the economy, debt reduction, job creation, unemployment and energy independence this president is conducting a huge spin campaign to convince the American people that he is a 1927 Yankee and not a 1962 Met. Hopefully, it won't work! His failures are not only documented and obvious to most Americans, they are also inflicting great economic and financial damage on most of us. Few of us are better off than we were four years ago.
A brief review of Mr. Obama record is painful, but necessary.
The president's greatest weakness is, of course, the economy. Combined, his unworkable policies and his inept leadership finds this nation with an 8.2 percent official unemployment rate, which in reality is closer to 15 percent, and a business environment wherein he has managed to destroy just about all confidence in his ability to lead this nation out of its economic doldrums. Job creation has fallen precipitously in 2012.
Businesses aren't hiring because of his refusal to reduce the maze of regulation and controls they have to deal with, including the health care mess and tax policy. This economy would correct itself if Mr. Obama would get out of the way. Still he campaigns on, claiming he inherited this mess and it will take several more years to correct. We can't wait several more years! Meanwhile constant campaign attacks on Mitt Romney, the Republicans and George Bush continue.
In the field of energy, he has gotten it mostly wrong. Socking $500 million in Solyndra, cancelling the Keystone pipeline and refusing to open up sufficiently the drilling process leaves us with gas prices far too high which are a serious drain on the nation's economy. He foolishly pushes green energy despite the fact that green sources of fuel are years away from producing sustainable quantities necessary for our energy demands. Still he claims success despite failure.
In foreign policy and national security his game of mirrors and shadow boxing are damaging both short term and long term. The national security leaks coming out of the Obama administration these past few months are intended to make the president look like a strong commander-in-chief, but in reality are very damaging to our national interests, and terribly diabolical. The president wants more time for sanctions to work against Iran, which simply allows that country to steadily move forward in its quest for nuclear weapons. The Syrian regime continues to slaughter its people while defying the whole world including Mr. Obama.
The president has claimed success in Egypt, which is very premature. True, Hosni Mubarak is gone and nearing death, but Egypt is now basically controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, the long term consequences of which are sobering to contemplate. If you don't believe this writer, ask the Israelis, whom Mr. Obama manages to periodically offend in a way undeserving of a staunch ally.
Finally, the matter of our national debt remains Mr. Obama's second greatest failure. He ignores it and our budget deficits as if they don't matter. Blame the Republicans, the Congress, the rich and Wall Street, but not himself. His position seems to be that if he ignores it long enough, it will go away. Bad news, Mr. Obama, it isn't going away. It is in fact getting worse.
The 2012 American presidential election is going to be a landmark in American history. This 1962 New York Met president really believes he can fool most of the people all of the time. Most Americans including more and more Democrats are asking for strong leadership, instead we get excuses.
We need a reliable and effective energy program so he cancels the Keystone pipeline, and burns up the $500 million at Solyndra. We seek to avoid becoming another Greece or Spain and Mr. Obama adds $5 trillion dollars to our national debt in his term as president. We ask him to make hard, but necessary decisions in governing our nation.
In response he gives us excuses, rhetoric and yet another campaign fund raiser among the suckers on Wall Street. Mr. Obama's far-left agenda of bigger government, more benefits and an unaffordable health plan is madness in today's economic crisis. Yet he presses on like a teenager with a new unlimited credit card. America can't afford this guy.
And, of course, the scandals just don't stop: Fast and Furious, GSA, the Secret Service and now critical national security leaks. There is a huge vacuum in America's White House. The voters need to pull the plug next November on this deflecting president who is the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. America cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama.
Robert K. Wolthuis, PhD, lives in Pleasant View and is a former special assistant to President Ford. He served twice as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.