The 100th Day: America not dead, utopia yet

On this 100th day of the Obamadency, this most arbitrary of days, what are your thoughts on the performance of Our Mutual President?

I offer my own thoughts very quickly. In fact one word: Disappointing. In a couple hundred words:  On the balance, I’ve disapproved of the rest of what’s been done–though I also count bad stuff he did before entering office, during the campaign and after clinching it. He flip-flopped on prosecuting illegal wiretaps. He slighted a good chunk of his constituents when he picked Rick “Trademarked the Phrase Purpose Driven ®” Warren to  lead his inaugural thing. It was nothing if not a well-played maneuver to suggest “bipartisanship”, inviting the most easily identifiable pastor on his staked-out side of the culture wars. But even if we discount the gay bashing and his suggestion his flock be as fanatical and unquestioning as the Hitler Youth or Maoist Cultural Revolutionary, Warren is a striking mediocrity; thinking believers and theologians ought to have raised as the same ire LGBT groups did. (Is the public intellectual dead?) His books are vacuously optimistic New Age feel-goodies got up in the language of evangelism. (The social utility of religion would be much enhanced if preachers took more cues from the 17th-18th century and cultivated humility in their congregations by reminding them of mortal infirmities of human nature. I only began to believe in original sin after encountering Hobbes and Hume. The doctrine is not spoken of in the Catholic churches anymore. How often is depravity mentioned in Presbyterian congregations? Or fallnenness among  the Lutherans? The truer religions are undespairing poetry of the wretchedness of humankind.)

Everything he’s done in office has been overshadowed by his refusal to prosecute anyone involved in the torturing of detainees. (Granted, Obama promised to get around to closing Gitmo and granting habeas corpus to the prisoners therein, but the courts had already been cajoling the outgoing administration into doing that.)The “enhanced interrogation” policies originating within the administration are truly unprecedented in American history, a cancer on our national legacy. That he is not going out of his way to Make An Example is more disheartening than I can say–not that I could have reasonably expected anything differently. Since Washington stepped down, this country has prided itself on peaceful transitions of power. Mostformer presidents will go so far as to refuse to comment on the performance of their successor, so dearly is that tradition valued. That a former US president could be brought before the law for–well, anything–is unbelievable. It’s pointless to mourn the unchangeable and inevitable–but I can’t reason myself out of feeling remorse for justice.

Al that said, I’m still glad he’s president. For example, removing the gag rule was an incredible act of humanitarianism. In any case, a rotation is healthy for the country, especially after what we’ve had the last eight years. Obama isn’t mana from heaven; but he might just be the tonic the country needs.

But enough from me. What do you all think?


One Response

  1. I’m glad Obama is our president. That being said, the first 100 days, meh. There isn’t much that can be done rapidly in politics nor would people allow for him to change things. They would oppose anything big he tried to do simply to spite him even if it would have helped the american populace.

    There is always worse and normally better. I’ll pass judgment on Obama once his 4 years are up. Then we might see what he has tried to do.

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