Much to the dismay of Congressional Republicans, the fervor and outrage over the events in Benghazi have begun to subside, once information surfaced that emails related to the attacks in Benghazi had been altered by Republicans, and not the White House. Unfortunately, in its place is the decidedly unpopular Department of Justice wiretapping of AP reporters, and those on both sides of the aisle are rightfully outraged.
I think my outrage has been tempered by the recent watching of the film “Fair Game” which documented the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame by Vice President Cheney’s hatchet men. It showed the consequences of that choice; made purely for political gain and to substantiate the lies being told by the administration to the UN and the American public. Is accessing personal information in violation of the Constitution bad? Yes. But on a scale of comparison, wiretapping in an effort to determine the source of confidential leaks is one thing, and outing a covert agent is a treasonable offense. Watching the response to the Department of Justice admissions you would think the president personally lied to the American public and the world about invading a country based on inaccurate information or something. Oops…that was the OTHER guy. The other guy supported by the same indignant self righteous Republicans leading the charge against Obama today, I should say.
I am disappointed in those who work in Obama’s administration and engage in actions that reflect poorly on him, but I’m also disappointed when the man himself doesn’t make the choices I’d like him to make. The difference between me and countless others is that while I may condemn the action, I still support the man making the decision. I don’t agree with all the decisions made and actions taken by my family and friends, but I still accept and support them. Everyone wants to make this world a world filled with only black and white issues. The problem is it’s only shades of gray. And that makes it difficult.
At issue here with his opposition is whether Obama knowingly is running a corrupt administration that acts in violation of protections of the US Constitution. I don’t believe he is. I do believe he is frustrated that his attempts to move this economy and build the middle class get reduced to putting out fires every time he turns around. It’s hard to move forward when you’re working hard just to maintain where you are.
I think a lot of people underestimate just how perfectly destined for the job of President of the United States Barack Obama was as he gained life skills around the world. As a biracial boy growing up in places like Hawaii and Indonesia, he was an outsider at every turn. He didn’t find full acceptance anywhere he went. He was always the outsider and always different. He could have manifested that alienation in a couple of ways. One way would have been to be aggressive and assertive and demand that he be recognized. Another way would be to learn how to adapt, blend in, and listen to and learn about those around you. That’s the path Obama took.
Had he come into office railing about the plight of African-Americans in particular, and minorities in general, he would have been shut down a long time ago. If he had come into office an angry man with a chip on his shoulder, he would have gone nowhere as well. He doesn’t take things personally, and he’s calm and cool and collected. And that’s why the leaks that led to the wiretapping were so frustrating to him. Right now his opposition is using these problems to create an impression of our Commander in Chief that is less than flattering. Some of the criticism is deserved, but most of it is not. And somewhere along the line, people began to treat the man in terms of right/wrong, good/bad, and legal/illegal. He’s been put into the hell of absolutes; the world of all or nothing, and that’s a crummy place to be.
It is tiresome to recant how hypocritical the Republican party has become in regard to President Obama. We all know the examples. But it’s the non-Republicans who have jumped on the “all or nothing” bandwagon that concern me. Their expectation for perfection of behavior in choices and outcomes in regard to Obama rises high above the expectations they have for themselves or those around them. I agree that the person in charge is ultimately accountable. But mistakes do not mean his administration does not have any value or is corrupt. It means, he, like the rest of us, is human.
I recognize we need to be vocal when inappropriate liberties are taken by the government. But in light of a recent administration and its blatantly illegal acts, I do wish the complaints would be limited to real issues, and not just those that serve to rally up a particular political mentality. One of my favorite expressions, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” sums up my attitude about Congress right now. We have a lot of problems, but not many solutions. It’s time to change that dynamic, and switch it around. We need a lot of solutions, and far fewer problems. If we can’t do that, we should at least adjust our expectations to reasonable levels. Until we’re all perfect there’s no point in expecting perfection from Obama.