Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Obama Presidency Model -- Roosevelt vs Coolidge

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

With those words, Barack H. Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the Constitution.  As a Constitutional Lawyer & Professor, the President must've very carefully understood the words of his oath, taking the utmost care and precision in their interpretation.

Pretty much from the moment he announced his candidacy before 2008, we've heard again and again the various reasons Regressives use for hating him -- most of them either completely unfounded in fact or a thin smokescreen for a lynch mob impulse.   

With signs like this, did we really need more proof as to why Regressives hate him?  FOX's broadcasts alone are enough to prove that point.

But we on the Progressive side of the aisle also have been expressing disappointment and even rage against our 44th President.  I've often wondered why, considering he did more in a term and a half to benefit the nation than his predecessor ever did.  

And it boils down to interpretation of the Presidential Oath.

In our short national history, we've had Presidents good and bad, but ultimately, they can be broken down into two groups:  The Proactive and the Inactive.  "Protect the Citzenry when they can't protect themselves" or "Protect the Status Quo".  For the purposes of this article, let's use two Presidents as examples.  

  On the Proactive side, we hold up as a shining example Teddy Roosevelt, who, presiding over an era of deregulation, wide economic disparity and deep governmental corruption, took the interpretation that as President, his job was to be the champion for those too poor or too weak to defend themselves against the Captains of Industry who economically exploited them at every turn.  His Square Deal  was the first of its kind, empowering the average citizen and worker to forge the Middle Class that eventually became the backbone of our society.  

 On the Inactive side, there's Calvin Coolidge (most Americans will say, "who?", which is ultimately my point), a pro-business, anti-regulation President who, more than any other man of his time, set the stage for the financial abuses that caused the Great Depression.   If ever there was a President who took his Oath to mean, "Protect the Status Quo", it was Coolidge.

When it comes to our own time, mirroring that era so very closely in so many ways, many of us on the Left were hoping -- praying, even -- for a President who would take the active, Roosevelt idea of the champion-President and undo the damage that Bush left behind.  Despite very clearly running as a Centrist, many Progressives hoped that Obama's personal feelings on the matter would play out in his policies.  Sadly, due partially to his unsuccessful attempts to cooperate with the Regressive Lynch Mob and the various deals he clearly made to get the job in the first place, they haven't.

 Even though Obama's inner circle is not nearly as rife with Wall Street Insiders as it may appear, the fact remains that Governmental Policy, instead of being a necessary check and balance on the unaccountable power of the market, is still in fact an enabler of corporate abuse.  And those few Statesmen we have left, such as Elizabeth Warren, who do what they can to champion the average person are still met with rabid opposition from Regressives.

The failure of the Obama Administration to be proactive in a way that made a real difference in people's lives, when it was in a position to do so, is what's ultimately fueling the disappointment on the Left.  We wanted a Roosevelt, but got a Coolidge.

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