Peter Lemiska
Obama's contingency excuse
By Peter Lemiska
September 5, 2011

The economy is in shambles, and Barack Obama is running out of excuses.

For two and a half years, he blamed President Bush. It was a fairly effective strategy for a while, though it wasn't particularly dignified for a world leader. After all, the presidency wasn't thrust upon him one morning, while haplessly wandering the halls of Congress. He fought tooth-and-nail to win that office, presumably bringing with him solutions and, perhaps, a sense of responsibility.

Nonetheless, Obama and his administration successfully blamed his predecessor throughout the first two years of his presidency. But nothing lasts forever, and that strategy began to wear thin. Obama, himself, has admitted that if he could not fix the economy in three years, he would be a one-term president. Then in June, Democratic Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz acknowledged, "We own the economy."

So having exhausted the blame-Bush pretext, Mr. Obama recently offered another excuse, complaining that his economic recovery had been thwarted by events completely beyond his control: the Arab Spring's effect on oil and gas and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. That excuse didn't go over as well. It was even less credible than the one blaming ATMs and technological advances for the soft job market.

Now, thanks to the 2010 elections, Obama has a newfound understanding of America's two-party system, and a new scapegoat. He's again shifted responsibility for our economic woes, blaming congressional opposition, accusing Congress of holding back the recovery by blocking his "common sense measures."

Many politicians, like narcissists, have an uncanny ability to deflect blame, and Obama has proven to be more resourceful than most. No matter what goes wrong, he's somehow able to find an excuse to absolve himself.

Now as conditions worsen, and Obama's numbers continue to plummet, Democratic Representative Andre Carson and others in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are upping the ante, employing that thread-worn contingency excuse, racism. At a recent CBC event, Carson argued that congressional opposition to Obama's policies was intended to hurt African-Americans. He bellowed, "Some of them in Congress right now with this tea party movement would love to see you and me... hanging on a tree."

And, in response to these vile and baseless accusations, we heard not a word of condemnation from our "post-racial President." While it may be unseemly for Obama, himself, to level such inflammatory charges, it appears that he's perfectly content to leave that to the likes of Carson and others in the CBC.

But while they work tirelessly to convince their constituents that Obama's woes are due to racism, they conveniently overlook the fact that in January 2009, America was in love with Barack Obama. And that affection crossed racial lines. In fact, he could not have won election without the support of vast numbers of whites. One poll, back then reflected a 65% approval rating, with only 30% of respondents disapproving. Not only did he have popular support, but he had a Democratic majority in the House and Senate.

Americans truly believed they had elected a winner, not a whiner.

And while the country was still solidly behind him, he successfully implemented most of his far-left agenda without regard to cost. Today, we're feeling the impact of his policies.

Two and a half years after his election, the same poll showed Obama's approval rating had fallen to 42%, while his disapproval jumped to 57%. Now, Obama's skin color hasn't changed since he was welcomed with open arms in 2008. So what caused the reversal in public opinion?

Could it be that those former supporters have seen the effect of unbridled government intrusion and spending for endless entitlement programs? Maybe they've come to understand that it does nothing to reduce the poverty level, and in fact, has the opposite effect. It bankrupts our economy and destroys jobs.

Everyone understands that there are, indeed, still pockets of bigotry in this country. Some still hate blacks simply because of their skin color. And some hate whites for the same reason. Congressman Carson may even know a few of them. But his inflammatory and unfounded accusations do nothing to explain or mitigate Obama's failures. They only stoke the embers of racism.

Congressional Republicans oppose Obama's policies, not because of race, but for the same reason the rest of the country rejects them — because they have failed.

And there's another reason for Obama's sinking poll numbers. Americans feel duped.

They believed his promise of hope and change.

They believed his promise of transparency.

And they believed his pledge of harmony and unity when he proclaimed, "This is not a white America, or a black America.... This is the United States of America."

© Peter Lemiska


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Peter Lemiska

Peter Lemiska served in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Secret Service. Following his retirement from the Secret Service, he spent several years as a volunteer for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Like most of his contemporaries, he's always loved his country, and is deeply dismayed by the new and insidious anti-American sentiment threatening to destroy it. He's a life-long conservative, and his opinion pieces have been published in various print media and on numerous internet sites.


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