- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Will the real President Obama please stand up? He is whoever he needs to be based on the crowd, the polls and, of course, the teleprompter in question.

Not a lot of people claimed to like George W. Bush. They said he was dumb and spent too much of his time as president on vacation. Well, one criticism you don’t hear about the 43rd president is that he tried to please everyone. I would argue that Mr. Bush’s core beliefs and lack of wavering on principles were what helped define his presidency and keep America safe after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The willingness to stand your ground in the face of opposition is the hallmark of a leader. Mr. Bush showed that type of resolve and leadership, and it cost him his popularity.

Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer with a big smile and bad ideas. He was elected in an anti-Nixon, anti-Republican Party backlash. He led us into record inflation and an oil crisis and watched the Iranian revolution take place while our citizens were held hostage for more than a year.

Bill Clinton also was elected on a wave of anti-Republican-establishment sentiment. The Reagan-George H.W. Bush years segued into the Bush-Quayle years, and people wanted change. Mr. Clinton was young, fresh and exciting. Monica Lewinsky and the famous blue dress couldn’t bring him down. The Clinton machine was too strong and had its hooks too deep in the liberal media of the day. It was just sex that he lied about. No big deal. If Hillary doesn’t care, why should we?

Isn’t liberal justification sad? Now we have Mr. Obama. He ran against George W. Bush despite the fact that Mr. Bush wasn’t running. The people, once again drunk on the Kool-Aid of anti-Republican sentiment, put a Democrat in the White House. Not just any Democrat, but Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States.

Mr. Obama ran against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, wars he briefly supported in the Senate. These were wars he continued and bolstered by sending thousands more troops the very day he received the Nobel Peace Prize. Is he a hawk or a dove?

He ran with a promise of shuttering the Guantanamo Bay military facility after the highly publicized treatment of prisoners of war swept the country and took bleeding hearts by storm. One year and a Democrat-controlled Congress later, Gitmo is still there and still holding prisoners who are praying to Allah for hope and change.

It is time for the real Barack Obama to stand up. If he is a liberal socialist, so be it - we will deal with that. If he is a Blue Dog Democrat who was dragged by the collar to the left, so be it - we will deal with that. If he became a Log Cabin Republican, we would deal with that. It would just be nice to know with whom we are dealing. The stock market and Wall Street sure would like to know, and I think Main Street would, too.

TOM BROPHY

Woodbridge, Conn.


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