11/5/2012 2:06:00 PM Publisherʼs Column
Obama has met every challenge with grace and competence
When President Barack Obama took office, he took over a mess that had been created by eight years of totally incompetent leadership by a well-intentioned nice guy with a gang of poorly chosen advisors. As a result:
the national debt was totally out of control;
the budget deficit was totally out of control;
the national economy was a bust;
the housing industry was in crisis;
financial markets were in crisis;
the domestic auto industry was in crisis;
jobs were disappearing at the rate of 750,000 per month;
two wars for which no provision had been made to pay were underway;
tens of thousands of veterans of those wars were disabled with no provision made to pay for their long term care;
the U.S. was viewed almost as a pariah in the international community, with even long time allies questioning our integrity and reliability.
Economists both foreign and domestic were predicting a recession bordering on depression similar to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Republican leaders vowed to do all in their power to prevent him from being successful in anything he might try to do to fulfill the promises he had made while campaigning and to prevent him from gaining a second term.
No former U.S. President ever took over such a huge, diversified mess. Even FDR at least had a Congress with members loyal enough to the nation that they would not work to undermine him at the expense of our national welfare.
Obama had barely taken office when Mother Nature joined people in throwing disasters at the U.S. at a rate also not experienced by his predecessors:
Jan. 27, 2009 a severe snow and ice storm battered Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Ohio;
Feb. 10, multiple tornadoes tore through Oklahoma;
Feb. 12, a Continental flight crashes at Buffalo, NY, destroying homes and killing 50;
Mar. 27, the Red River floods communities in North Dakota and Minnesota;
Sep. 29, a tsunami strikes American Samoa with 115 deaths;
Oct. 26, 14 Americans killed in helicopter crashes in Afghanistan;
Dec. 30, a suicide bomber in Afghanistan kills eight Americans;
Apr/May, 60 tornadoes rain destruction on the southern U.S.;
May, 1,000-year floods in Tennessee;
June, flash floods bring death and destruction to Arkansas;
Hurricane stops Deepwater Horizon cleanup;
July, Storms again stop Deepwater Horizon cleanup;
Drought that continues to today begins in the southern U.S.;
Sep. Flash floods hit southeastern Minnesota and Wisconsin;
Oct., cholera strikes Haiti;
2011 was the deadliest year ever for tornadoes in U.S.
Apr., 748 tornadoes are record for any month in history, kill 548, do $24 billion damage;
July, intense heat baked the U.S. and Canada, expanding the area of drought stretching across the South and pushing it north;
Aug., Hurricane Irene struck U.S. coast from Carolinas through New England states.
I'm running out of space, but the disasters have continued to the present with massive forest fires, mudslides, drought and, most recently, Hurricane Sandy.
These unplanned crises along with the wars for which no financial provisions were made have added trillions to our national debt.
Congress' refusal to make advance preparation for natural emergencies has forced the federal government to address every emergency by borrowing ever more money.
Despite the mess he was left with and the challenges that have arisen during his term, President Obama has managed to find a way to deal with all of them and do it effectively.
In addition, he dealt with Osama Bin Laden.
He has at every challenge acted with the best interests of the American people utmost in his decisions.
He did it all while being opposed at almost every challenge by intransigent partisan politics.
At the same time, he dealt gracefully with the most shameful, unAmerican, bigoted and unrelenting abuse that has ever been heaped on an American President.
I don't know what the results will be of the election that will be underway when this column is published, but I want to thank President Obama for the example of grace, integrity, competence and dedication he has set and for the care he has taken of our nation.
I pray that whoever wins will do as well the next four years.