My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


President Obama's Year One Grade 

Yes, I'm doing this one day later than the rest of the world because this was a day whose realities were but emanations of the rest of the week. All the same, you don't really need to look to me for a grade (though I'm going to give one at the end, anyway); all you have to do is look at how his week has gone.

All in one week, the President has:

:travelled to Massachusetts for an improbable emergency campaign stop
:seen his legislature fail to craft a compromise that would have brought a health care bill to his desk before the improbably important election
:seen his supermajority in the Senate evaporate in, of all places, Massachusetts, and by a rather resounding margin
:seen the Supreme Court eliminate the massive funding advantage the left has with one seismic ruling
:try to recraft his message to include populist railing against banks, only to watch the stock market drop about 470 points in the 36 hours after that message
:been warned by some top economists that the recovery will likely be slower than first thought
:ticked off China, who owns about 4 gazillion dollars of our debt
:and is tonight watching our erstwhile closest allies in England scramble their resources to prevent a credible and present terrorist threat

So, let's see, what are the four things a President must manage: foreign policy, the economy, national security, and politics. On foreign policy, he's angered the one country that has the ability to collapse our economy with one phone call. On the economy, he continues to see his policies fail while actually doing stupid things that make the situation worse. On national security, it turns out the rest of the world doesn't suddenly love us just because of his effervescent brilliance, and they continue to plot to do us and our friends great harm. And he's now squandered both a legislative and a structural advantage, while facing the very real prospect that he's led his party down the road to massive electoral losses in nine months.

Being an educator, I like grading based on clearly defined understandings of what the expectations were going in to the assignment. I would say he has accomplished NONE of what he assigned himself to do, or of what the expectations of a President are. Based solely on that, he would have to get a grade of "F." But of course, being the politically mamby-pamby institutions schools are, we have to take into account his troubled childhood and the difficulty of the assignment for someone with as little experience as he has, and up that grade to a "D+."

But then, being me, I also take into account the insufferable arrogance of the Man and factor in the unprecedented degree of media support that he's received, and slap his grade firmly back down to an "F."

Here's the thing about a man like President Obama. Shortly after the Columbine Massacre, we teachers were treated to a series of inservices on student disaffection and spotting the potential loose cannon in our classes. And the one thing I still remember from that time was to look for the student who has an undeservedly elevated opinion of their own abilities, who, for whatever reason, is suddenly confronted with their own shortcomings.

Have you heard the clip of the President from his campaign stop in Ohio today? He seems . . . well, . . .angry. I wonder if he's had a few, well, pressure valve releases with his staff in the last few days. If a few of those happen at the wrong time in the wrong places, his whole persona could crumble right before our eyes. These could be dangerous times, my friends.

Oh, yeah. Did I mention that the State of the Union is next week? I'll bet the speechwriting staff is going to have a very LONG weekend. Talk about "in the line of fire."


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