Matters not if you are a Whig, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Dontgiveadamnican, the Bush years were tough for a lot of folks. By the time 2008 rolled around we had been dealt a hand trumped with economic and social despair.
Just when Bush seemed to be down to the cardboard spool sitting there with his drawz around his ankles here comes a ray of hope in the form of a barely known fella out of Chicago with a fresh new roll of toilet paper and some air freshener to clean up.
Like the bum at the grocery store we found ourselves begging for change. “uhhhh….skuze me, Mr. Obama sir….I’m hungry, out of work, foreclosures are through the roof, my kids schools are failing, the stock market is rickety, two wars are raging, banks aren’t lending, the earth is burning up, republicans and democrats won’t stop fighting, hard working immigrants are afraid of being deported, rich lobbyists have influence that common folk can’t match, gay folks can’t legally unite, health care is too expensive, and marijuana is still illegal. So….uhhhh, Mr. President….please, Brutha, can you spare a voter some change?”
As most of us have done, we make promises to the pauper before we go into the store. We pat our pockets as if we don’t know exactly how much money we do or do not have and respond with a promise, “oh…uhh…when I come out I gotchu!”
Over 30 million excited new registered voters between the ages of 18-30 carried the shining star of hope to 1600 Penn Ave. as he promised to give us quite a bit of change before going in. Now here we are a little more than a year out from that historical day in DC where the celebratory paraphernalia ranged from Obama cereal, Obama O’s….”Hope in Every Bowl” to Obama condoms protecting all Americans.
So why don’t we empty our jagged styrofoam cups to see how much change we got from Mr. Obama during his first year in office. A quick google or bing search for “Obama’s 1st year” will show us the big ticket successes and failures, so let’s take a peak at a few of the more obscure promises and changes.
* During the campaign John Edwards and Hillary Clinton wanted all of us to have to buy health insurance (mandate). Candidate Obama was a staunch opponent of the mandate. Fast forward to the current wobbly health care debacle and Obama has switched his position to include the mandate.
* Under Bush there were really tight restrictions on family travel and money transfers to Cuba by Cuban-Americans. In April 2009 it was announced that Obama would direct “the secretaries of state, treasury and commerce to carry out the actions necessary to lift all restrictions on the ability of individuals to visit family members in Cuba and to send them remittances."
* Obama and Biden got together on the campaign trail and promised us they would reform mandatory minimum sentences. Yep…these lil monsters, which ain’t so minimum were passed in 1986 with the intention of nabbing drug kingpins. Hmmmm….not so much. These laws, which required judges to deliver fixed sentences to individuals convicted of a crime regardless of the circumstances ended up increasing the prison population five-fold with mostly…..waaiiiit for it….yep….Black folk! So on page 654 of the 655-page National Defense Authorization Act of 2010, Sec. 4713 contains a "Report on mandatory minimum sentencing provisions."
* For you folks that got fired in this economic burndown and were eligible for unemployment, you have Brotha Obama to thank for the extension on benefits that, by the way, ends February 28, unless congress steps in to deflect.
Well…..we can go on all blog about what Prez has done and not done (and we will in future posts). One thing is for sure, he has a lot of work to do. If he knew what he was getting himself into before he went into the stall is neither here nor there.
He is in the sh!tter now and it stinks.