Well it has almost been a year since President Barack Obama was sworn into office. As the First President of the United States who is not a member of the White Male Only Men’s Club, many of us thought that the change in this Country would be sweeping and that we were entering into a new era, one unchartered, with monumental changes.
Those on the political right were scared, “what has happened to this great Country, where will it go”? Those on the political left waited with anticipation that a new vibrant America, one without social injustices and an era where the United States would once again rise up to be the envy of all the world would come forth. Yet, after a year in office the fears of the right have not come to pass and the hopes of the left remain unfilled.
Some on the left thought that with the election of Barack Obama that the political abuses, governmental abuses of the Bush Administration would be rectified immediately and there would be a reformation in justice in this Country. Yet, that has not come about. Numerous United States Attorneys throughout the Country, who were Bush appointees, still remain at their posts. Countless Federal Judgeships remain vacant and the Justice Department keeps ticking the way it did under the Bush Administration.
One example that illustrates this best is the case of Governor Don Siegleman from the State of Alabama. Governor Siegleman was prosecuted by the Busch Justice Department on basically trumped up charges. One of the most conservative Courts in the Country, that being the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his conviction. The overturning of his conviction was a sign that even the most of conservative judges thought that Busch Justice Department was being used as a political tool. One used for political retribution to unseat a governor and indict and convict him on criminal charges.
Yet, just recently, the Obama Justice Department filed a brief with the United States Supreme Court in the Siegleman matter. Instead of acknowledging the wrongs of the Siegleman prosecution which was pointed out by not only the 11th Circuit but by 60 Minutes and other news organizations, the Obama Justice Department filed its brief in support of the Siegleman conviction. Under the Obama Justice Department, injustice in this Country seems to be the same as under Bush.
The corruption and malfeasance of the banking sector along with the insurance companies and other economic engines of this Country, many expected when Obama became President would be righted. The hundreds of billions of dollars that were given to the banks as bailouts and economic incentives under the Bush Administration that seemed to go nowhere, still seem to go nowhere. Loans are just as hard to get and the banks seem to do just what they want to do like they always have done. The economy still lags and jobs are still hard to find. Hopes that Obama would bring new prosperity seem to dwindle with every day.
As to the war in Iraq, the only thing that really has changed is that the war in Afghanistan has gotten worse and therefore has usurped it on the media’s front pages. Iraq is no more functional under Obama that it was under Bush. The Iraqi Government is no more truly viable than it was a year ago. Differences between Sunni’s, Shites, Kurds, still remain. The only thing that has changed is that we don’t hear about it as much. That is more an indictment on our attention spans than it is an acknowledgment of success under Obama.
In Afghanistan, the war seems to be getting worse. It was getting worse under Bush, but we were so wrapped up in Iraq that Afghanistan had only become a foot note. Rather than getting us out of Afghanistan, 40,000 more troops will be pouring into that Country. Afghanistan has become Iraq and Iraq is becoming Afghanistan. One gets put in the front seat while the other one gets put in the back seat. However, perilous situations in both countries remain the same.
Maybe it was too much to ask for one person to make so much change in such a short time. Maybe it was too much to ask to expect that one man’s idealism be the impetus for total change throughout our society. Maybe it was too much to ask that the fervor in which he was elected would translate to getting everybody on board to make his dream a reality. Or maybe Barack Obama is no different that every other politician. They get your hopes up, they sell you a bill of goods, they make you believe that they are larger than life, and simply they don’t deliver.