February 10, 2016

OPINION: Obama presidency awakens public

Danedri Thompson


Maybe some good can come from Barack Obama’s presidency.

Don’t get me wrong – the man has been a disaster for this country. When he stepped into office, the country was loaded with debt, and instead of starting to fill the hole, he grabbed a shovel and started digging us deeper. He continually sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong — he said a local policeman acted stupidly, he lectured the American people on freedom of religion when he just should’ve kept his mouth shut on the New York mosque debate. He helped ram a wildly unpopular healthcare bill through Congress, completely ignoring the wishes of the American public. I could go on for days about his missteps and the disastrous consequences we’re likely to see from his policies.

But, he did drag more people into the public arena. Voter turnout was up in 2008, in part, as a response to his energetic candidacy. Of course, many of those folks are now removing their “Hope and Change” bumper stickers. (It’d be nice if they’d replace them with “Oops, I made a mistake,” stickers, but I won’t hold my breath.)

But there is every indication that many of those folks remain aware of what’s occurring on the national scene and concerned about the direction our country is going.

Also, no one can deny that Obama’s dramatic race to Statism has awakened even more people – his policies have dragged Tea Partiers into the streets raging against a government that doesn’t listen to its constituents.
These are good things.

We got into this mess, because collectively, the people fell asleep at the wheel. Those who regularly voted simply pushed the button for the candidate whose name they recognized – typically the incumbent.

But a string of primary elections – and the likely outcome of the November election – reveals that voters are paying more attention, and simple name recognition won’t be enough to carry a candidate through to a Congressional seat.

Three incumbents to the U.S. Senate – Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah; and Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Penn. – were ousted in primary races earlier this year. In the House, Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va.; Rep. Parker Griffith, R-Ala.; Rep. Bob Ingliss, R-SC; Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich. won’t be joining us in November’s contests.

It’s about time.

The seven are some of the country’s most grotesque offenders. They believe they are entitled to power – the people be damned. Murkowski will continue to run in Alaska as a write-in candidate. Specter changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat when it appeared he would be unable to capture the Republican nomination for his seat. Griffith is another turncoat. Griffith, a Congressional freshman in 2008, shifted from a Democrat to a Republican after one year in office.

The message from the people in those primaries was: Power grab over. And I believe we’ll see similar losses in November. The most egregious power-hungry offenders will lose races, because the people are paying attention.

The challenge will come after November. I pray the people collectively will remain diligent after the election. I’m elated that Republicans are likely to take back the House, and maybe even the Senate – but it does the country no good if they’re not held accountable in the long term.

Dramatic shifts in the make-up of Congress are not all that uncommon. Voters continuing to hold the elected accountable is.

Let’s keep our eyes on the road after November. Stay focused. Stay alert, and protect our country’s future.

This country can not survive the people falling asleep in the driver’s seat and hitting more Obama trees.


  1. GardnerPride says:

    Do you have opinions on anything local? How many articles in a row is this where you have blasted the current administration?

    This is a local newspaper after all.

  2. I understand that this is “OpEd” but it is also pathetic journalism. Where’s your opinion about local news and events?

    Keep this hogwash on your blog/Facebook/twitter.

  3. Quit hating on Obama.

  4. At times like this I am forced to reread Voltaire and to paraphrase from the original French ” I may not agree with what you say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it”. Remember that Social Security when it was first envisioned in the 30’s was not what is is today. Medicare at its conception in the 60’s did not include in it’s initial construction the conditions that exist today. There are many people today that are without medical coverage (due to circumstances that are beyond their control) who need our help. As a society we must look after those that are less fortunate than ourselves. The program will evolve and change and within a matter of a few very short years it also will become untouchable. In what appears to be your dream come true that the Republicans will once again claim control of the congress remember simple adage. Be careful what you wish for, because it may come true. I think that it would be advisable for you to look up the word altruism and practice a little.

  5. Jeff Barber says:

    Every time I hear about this year’s elections, all I hear are the tea-bagger’s are going take power! Obama-this, Obama-that, bad, bad, bad… where were they when Bush was in power? That is what put us where we are at today. That we had the biggest terrorist attack on BUSH’s watch! That we had the biggest economical melt-down on BUSH’s watch! That we had the largest shredding of our constitution on BUSH’s watch! If anything, all I see is BUSH-Lite! Obama hasn’t done what I’ve wanted him to do. He’s not gone far enough. This health bill that you mention is bad. There isn’t any change in it at all. Dems allowed the Repubs to water down any REAL change because they are too scared of FOX news is going to say about them.
    That’s what it’s all about. It’s all about the money Lebouski! The Repubs are so mixed up, they think going even farther to the radical right will make it better? So much so it’s split their party into the tea-baggers. Good luck with that. On top of that, the Dems are so weak (and bought by the same people who buy the Repubs) that no change will ever happen because all the politicians are worried about their own parties and personal interests instead of what’s good for the country.
    Where’s your mention of the nutt-balls of Sharon Engle, Christine O’Donnell, & Carl Paladino’s? Follow the money and that’s what it’s all about! All the people who control the money, control the politicians. They will continue to control this Govt. for their own interests. Not for yours and surely not for mine. They buy both sides so all we see is the mud-slinging between paid puppets instead of watching what really is happening. “Look over there so you don’t really see what’s happening over here”.
    Most importantly, you need to relax.

  6. “This health bill that you mention is bad. There isn’t any change in it at all. Dems allowed the Repubs to water down any REAL change because they are too scared of FOX news is going to say about them.”

    Might be the dumbest statement I have ever heard. How was it watered down when they got 0 votes from Republicans? They could have put anything in there.

    And it is always good for the name-caller to tell someone to relax…keeping it classy

  7. You couldn’t be more wrong, Mr. Barber. The rumblings of discontent within the GOP with the direction of the country started towards the middle of Bush’s second term. Only after the 2008 election would those rumblings get more organized and a lot more vocal.

    Bush isn’t popular in the Republican Party. There’s a reason that not a single Republican candidate has sought the endorsement of Bush. There’s a reason that he’s not at GOP fundraisers. There’s a reason that he’s been “low profile” since leaving office and it’s not by his choosing. There is no demand. No one wants anything to do with him.

  8. Jeff Barber says:

    You might want to pay attention, Rob. I never said Bush was the “light of the GOP”. I never said the GOP missed him. You might want to read what I wrote, again. I just said there wasn’t any complaining or Tea-baggers when he was in office. I didn’t see a single story that FOX ran on any tea-parties until after 2008. If your a supporter of these crazy right-wingers, you vote for them. I can’t wait to see the exit polls. and to Chase… do you follow politics at all besides FAUX news? The Dems are so weak that they allow the repubs to run all over them and when it comes down to a vote on a bill, there won’t be a single repub that will vote yes. Even for their own bills! you need to take off the “Conservlican” colored glasses and look past parties and what’s good for the country.

  9. This was pretty much where the Tea Party started…and it wasn’t on Fox


    When one party writes a bill that the other party votes all no, then the party that voted no is the one that ran all over the other party. Amazing logic

    I don’t need glasses to see record spending, almost 10% unemployment and the administration making enemies of pretty much any successful business. They do love the Unions though…Just let us know how much your medical premiums have declined for next year…

  10. Jodi Earls says:

    REALLY? I can’t believe this newspaper prints this. I WILL NOT waste my time reading what this idiot thinks. Love Gardner! Hate the newspaper. It’s almost 2011, get with it!

  11. Robb, you post “The rumblings of discontent within the GOP with the direction of the country started towards the middle of Bush’s second term”. Well, ‘the middle of Bush’s second term 2006’, the Democrats held the majority of Congress. Now, they not only control Congress, but have the oval office.

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