Weeks of bickering with Republicans over the debt ceiling did take its toll. Standard and Poor’s downgraded the United States credit rating to AA+, citing the inability of the Congress and President to get their acts together on the national debt. The credit rating agency left them both to blame.
But, there is only one man in the White House, the focal point of credit and blame, and that is Barack Obama. As the news, as odd as it came on a Friday night, came in about the Standard and Poor’s decision, a more pressing matter came into the White House.
In Afghanistan, 31 American troops were killed in one shot from a Taliban supporter’s anti aircraft weapon against a Chinook helicopter. Seven Aghans were killed as well. The war in Afghanistan, thought to be one the United States was winding down victory in, is all too real again.
Add to that dismal economic numbers that came out this week, along with a sluggish stock market. We are indeed a long way from the heady day in January 2009, when the President took office, and even farther from his campaign promises to win in Afghanistan, get out finances in order, and get our economy moving again.
Indeed, this President, whose election was to so many a dream come true, is living a nightmare. The bad news just keeps coming to his desk. And, fair or not, he will take the blame. That is how life in the Oval Office goes. Sometimes the circumstances overwhelms the man holding the job.
It happened in 1968. Lyndon Johnson passed more legislation to help the poor than any President in history. He also did more to fight the communist menace than any President during the Cold War. But it whipped him politically, and he wisely sought no second term on his own.
Perhaps President Obama should think of Lyndon Johnson. The economy suffers, our credit is downgraded, the war he promised to win for us is still hot, perhaps the President should shock the world and remove himself for re-election. It would give his Presidency a boost past this low point and be a real act of patriotism. Besides, a former President Obama will live a comfortable life with book and speaking deals and secret service to boot.
Chances are Obama will run re-election. And, as he does, he will, by the force of campaigning, have to divide this nation. The President will do the very thing that Standard and Poor’s says is the problem. The Republicans will answer him in kind. Doing business in this country is secondary to their respective political whims.
But, one thing is not a whim. Like him or not, President Obama has overseen growing debt and military and economic setbacks. His promise is nowhere near being fulfilled. Indeed, his Presidency, with the recent news is at a low point not seen since that of Jimmy Carter.