2009 began with the inauguration of our new and first African American President, Barack Obama, and became the year that GOP and the Extreme Right Wing of the party became energized and very proactive in its goal to be destructive to our new President and his administration and policies by any means necessary.
Obama’s election was electric, exciting, historic and emotional. The whole world was watching and a new wave of enthusiasm erupted from the young and the old. After a dismal, secretive, greed driven and war torn 8 years, a new sense of HOPE had emerged. There was a new spirit that we could once again believe in and the America that we all loved and were proud to be a part of could once again exist.
After massive support of Barack Obama, a new world order began. We put the weight and troubles of the world on one man and his vision and then waited for him to resolve it all. What I want to know is what happened to all that energy, drive and support that elected our fresh new and intelligent President? Why did we think that he could handle it alone? Where was our role and responsibility in the new administration and the CHANGE we were expecting and counting on?
Something else began during this same time period except it had the total opposite impact. Those who had suffered the strong and bitter loss began a new campaign as well with full participation of its membership. The GOP and the Extreme Right Wing of the party became energized and very proactive in its goal to be destructive to our new President and his administration and policies by any means necessary.
The poison spread rapidly. It began with the announcement of Sarah Palin as the running mate for John Mc Cain. She ignited the right wing with wild and extremely wild accusations against then Senator Barack Obama. Fact checking was a vague after thought by the media who once followed Obama. They now had a new media sensation that they found to be far more
exciting and facts and intelligence was not a requirement. The seeds were planted and the main stream media outlets joined forces with the Republican Party and the people who had successfully elect President Barack Obama took a back seat and silently watched the drama play out.
President Barack Obama began his bi-partisan approach to establishing his administration and policies for the country. After the Bush/Cheney administration took the country to the brink of disaster economically, Obama discovered the country was in much worse shape than he had been led to believe before taking office.
As the war in Iraq was winding down, the war in Afghanistan had been left in turmoil. Many of the secrets of the Bush administration had begun to unravel. The neglect in Afghanistan had turned into massive corruption and a Taliban that was much stronger and more established. Troops were barely supported. The surge had reduced the violence in Iraq but violence had increased elsewhere.
The status of the economy had taken priority front and center. It required a bold and massive stimulus to even begin to simply prevent the US from falling off the cliff into the deep depression that the Bush administration had created and walked quietly away from. With the support of main stream media, the GOP began their assault and to this day, they have not let up. They made wild accusations based off seriously misleading information. FOX cable news took the leadership role with the attacks by Glenn Beck, Hannity and others.
Every member of the GOP who wanted to speak out received major air time. Facts were not required. And then Rush Limbaugh, Palin and newly elected GOP leader Steele began their attacks. Back in the days of real journalism versus sensationalism, this would not have happened without verifiable facts to support the claims.
Next out of the dark dangerous world of GOP politics emerges the highly secretive and power hungry former VP Dick Cheney. He has appeared on camera more in the last year speaking out against President Barack Obama then all eight years combined under the Bush administration.
His whole motive was to destroy the image and character of the new President and save his own legacy by implying weakness and trying to change the facts that it was he and the Bush administration who had hurt the country the most through the destruction of the economy and falsely leading America into war with Iraq including illegal torture that is yet to be proven beneficial as he has claimed. His chief of staff was convicted of leaking and endangering the identity of a CIA agent. It was the first time that a conviction had gotten than close to the
office of the Presidency.
In the meantime throughout the course of 2009, President Barack Obama was working hard to resolve the disastrous economy, two wars, a pandemic, joblessness climbing at
a rate the country had not seen in several years, a housing crisis, healthcare reform that was bankrupting and denying millions of Americans coverage and claims and more.
Obama has worked on improving the image of America worldwide. His message is one of peace during wartime. He has managed to move healthcare reform further than any previous President who has tried. He was successfully able to get an intelligent and highly qualified Latina female appointed as a Supreme Court justice and lots more. The GOP has fought him every step of the way on everything.
During this first year of office, where was the support of the media for the President of the US? Where was the left wing? All of the progressives speaking out against Obama now, where were you all year during the attacks and negative drive of the right? In August during those ridiculous town hall meetings that had nothing to do with healthcare other than the confused citizens screaming that they did not want the government running their Medicare!!! If the left and the right are screaming at Barack Obama, maybe it means he is doing something for the majority. Stop your complaining for a minute and take a serious look at the progress and the prevention of disaster.
President Barack Obama has been pragmatic and he is working for the long haul and for the people. If you really examine this time period in our history, this is a period of major transformation. Any leader during this time will have to endure pressure from all directions because he must lead and navigate through the chaos and turmoil that the real CHANGE will cause before the benefit is actualized.
Major structures such as government bodies, corporations, institutions, etc. will have to change because it is time. I wonder how it would be if the President really had the support of those who elected him. Let’s give him time to do the extremely difficult task that he has taken on and that we have given him.
This mess was not created in a year and it is going to take more than a year to alter. These are extremely difficult times, but it could have been much worse if it were not for President Barack Obama. Let’s work with him and not against him. We have to fight the Extremists who represent destruction. It is time to be co creators in the change that is necessary.
There are not many real journalists left to report the news. The cable news giants have bought into the GOP sensationalism. Ask yourselves what you can do to require the mainstream media outlets to report the truth and shy away from the misleading and unsubstantiated claims of the GOP in the New Year? The President needs our support. Everything is at stake.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association