Thursday, October 23, 2014

Obama worst president? What’s the whole story?

7/7/2014

I read Tommy Felts’ editorial in Saturday’s Herald and he reminded me of the days back in the 1970s and 1980s when I tried to argue with Green Party Anti-Nukes, they were always long on sound bites, short on substance. I can’t address all of Felts’ sound bites, so I picked just a few for review.

First, Felts inspired me to go read the Quinnipiac Poll that found 33 percent of Americans think Obama is the worst president when looking at all presidents since World War II. The same poll shows 51 percent of All Americans say the Republicans have produced the worst presidents in the same time frame. Correspondingly, 47 percent of Americans say Democrats produced the worst presidents. Mitt Romney said we should ignore the 47 percent.

I read Tommy Felts’ editorial in Saturday’s Herald and he reminded me of the days back in the 1970s and 1980s when I tried to argue with Green Party Anti-Nukes, they were always long on sound bites, short on substance. I can’t address all of Felts’ sound bites, so I picked just a few for review.

First, Felts inspired me to go read the Quinnipiac Poll that found 33 percent of Americans think Obama is the worst president when looking at all presidents since World War II. The same poll shows 51 percent of All Americans say the Republicans have produced the worst presidents in the same time frame. Correspondingly, 47 percent of Americans say Democrats produced the worst presidents. Mitt Romney said we should ignore the 47 percent.

Yes, the editorial was kind of lacking on telling the full story. Obama is blamed for the mess in Iraq, while ignoring the fact that Michael Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s own conservative son, recently apologized in this paper and many others for the lack of insight, foresight, and intelligence the George W. Bush administration displayed and his own whole hearted, but misguided, support at the time when they plunged us into the quagmire of Iraq. I paraphrase: “They had no idea how to go in, what to do when they got there, or how to get out of Iraq.” Now, even Fox News finds Dick Cheney an undesirable mentor on all things Iraq. Bush, with his still-high 28 percent disapproval rating in the Quinnipiac poll, caused us to spend over $1 trillion, roughly 5,000 dead soldiers and thousands injured with no idea how to end it. Also, with all the hate and discontent thrown at Obama over Iraq, I have yet to hear anyone provide any constructive suggestions on how to fix Iraq. Sunnis and Shiites have fought for 1,600 years, equating to an Arizona forest fire on a very windy day; we’re lucky if we can just contain Iraq and Syria. And, no, turning the Middle East into radioactive glass is not a workable solution; as that, I can assure you, would come back to haunt Felts, his children, and if they should come to exist after all that, his sickly grandchildren.

Continuing, those thousands of injured soldiers in Iraq did not seem to be a problem to the Tea Party when they were slashing and burning budgets in Washington, D.C., then shutting down the government. It seems nothing more than just politics now that the Tea Party even cares and odds are being placed as to how long they will care after they find out how much it is going to cost to fix the VA system’s many problems. I heard when I was a young’un, that the VA was where doctors went who had lost their licenses to practice in one state or another. There is a lot to fix there and it will cost real money.

Of course, if one is horrified at the condition of the VA, then one need only turn the same critical eye on the health industry as a whole to see just as much to be discontented with, but on a larger scale, and it did not all happen in the past five years. Felts will want to blame Obama for this, too, for not doing enough to resolve the problems brewing for many years in the health industry. One for instance: I know that many of the rural hospitals across Kansas and across the country, especially in Tea Party-controlled states, are about to fold and close their doors. If the Tea Party would like to explain to me how capitalist economics and a lack of state or federal government support is going to keep them open, I am all eyes and ears. Our current medical system is guided and broken by one simple Federal Right To Life law that reads something like this: Every person passing through the doors of a hospital in need of medical care, shall receive it. That is right; no hospital is allowed to push a sick or injured human being out to the curb to watch them die there, just because that sick or injured person cannot pay for their care. That was one very profound unfunded Federal mandate; what were they thinking?

The Tea Party would have you think the capitalist system will take care of this problem. However, capitalism works very well with desired products and services, and not well for heart attack, stroke or accident injury patients, as they just don’t have time to shop around. A hospital has to have staff, facilities, equipment and training to handle an almost-unlimited number of possible emergencies. Capitalism would easily have you select only money-making medical procedures — tummy tucks, tonsillectomies, appendectomies — while pooh poohing snake bites and trauma. So, at this time, I view Obamacare — excuse me, “RomneyCare” — and Obama’s attempts to expand the Medicare/Medicaid programs as last-ditch efforts to keep hospitals open across rural America. After all, though marketing elective surgery tummy tucks can help keep many big city hospitals open, they are not likely to be of any assist keeping dying farm towns’ hospitals open.

Incidental question: Was Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl court-martialed in absentia and found guilty of desertion or is he still a member in good standing of the U.S. military? Isn’t he awaiting an investigation and hearing on his activities the night of his disappearance? Does he deserve more/less consideration then Staff Sgt. Robert Bales? As for the terrorists traded to get Bergdahl back, we did not have a court case to make against them so now, think of them as catch-release with an open option to shoot ’em the next time they show their heads. That ought to make Felts feel a whole lot better.

In the future, I am looking forward to deep insights and plausible solutions to problems. I’ll be reading and waiting.

John Holland,

Ottawa

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