Recently there have been a much publicized group of high profile people who have been criticizing the president. These include people like Tavis Smiley, a media personality, Cornel West a Princeton educator, Bernie Sanders, Independent Senator from Vermont and others who fall along the same lines. Mostly though there are various media personalities, some who may call themselves journalists, who have been stating one of two main criticisms, one that the president is not keeping to the ideals that formed the Democratic Party. And two, that the president is not keeping the promises he made when running for election. These criticisms are unfounded and unfair.
These criticisms that are laid at the presidents feet, seek to make him the standard bearer for the Democrats. Additionally he is now the face of the Democratic Party and the so called leader. This is somewhat of a tradition, born more of the media and their desire to make a visible person the subject of the current story line. The actual leaders of any political party rarely make the news, are hardly ever interviewed and many would be hard pressed to name them. Its much easier to talk about the candidates and then make the candidates the party.
The persons who have been criticizing President Obama are dubious. They themselves are not part of any solution even as they try to pin down Obama as part of the problem. Worse still, these persons protests are hollow. Senator Sanders is a constant critique of the president. Yet he does not belong to the Democratic Party. Why should anyone listen to him when he won’t commit to the party that he claims represents the people that were elected to represent? It makes for good press, but in reality it carries the same weight as when the Republicans criticize the president. These same journalists do not give Republicans statements the same weight as they do Sanders. Would that be more objective?
The journalist who cover politics, seem to have a preference for Democrats but at the same time seek to pressure Obama into a particular course of action. When the president appears to follow a different course of action, the criticisms increase. This may now be a pattern. Today as the year is more than halfway over, some are calling for the sitting president to be challenged in the election for a Democratic candidate for the presidential election. This is continuously being suggested even as these ideas normally are said to severely weaken an acting president. Thus these same people, who claim that the president is not doing enough, are actually hurting him by their oblique statements and utter lack of support.
People like Tavis and Cornell; have been criticizing the presidents from the day he took office. However, they have failed to include any one of the other people who must concur on any course of action. Further, they fail to criticize anyone else who existed before Obama who had opportunities to make the improvements they claim to seek. The Congress is an equal branch of government and in one way exceeds the president. The congress controls the budget. These two gentlemen and others have been calling for some form of stimulus. However, it’s not up to the presidents but the Congress to initiate this type of legislation. These two men have not sought a coalition of congress to then lobby the president for his support. Instead they began by criticizing the president. This has the effect of making headlines but accomplishes nothing and by some analysts, weakens the president.
What is the goal if any of these criticisms? Are these persons and others just angry? As some suggest are they feeling rebuffed? This criticism neglects all of the other persons who must also join in on any political decision or legislation. Further, this ignores those who work to do exactly as the president is doing. The president cannot initiate or pass legislation. He must work with the bills as passed by congress. Only through a congress that performs to what the criticizers say they want will the president then be able to deliver on what is being asked.