Inaugurating presidential disappointment


A year ago the world was waiting to see if Americans would elect a president who would bring about sweeping social, cultural, and political change. As Sen. Barack Obama became President Obama it brought a mix of ridiculous expectations and unfounded fears regarding what "Superpresident" would accomplish. I was so captivated by the spectacle of it all after Election Day I committed to attend the presidential inauguration ceremony. I have kept my attendance quiet until now.

Although I strongly disagree with the way House Speaker Nancy Pelosi views America and with many policy initiatives of the Obama administration, in the spirit of honoring the office of president (1 Peter 2:17) and recognizing the legitimacy of government (Romans 13:1), I met family members and friends in Washington, D.C., to witness the transition from President Bush to President Obama. Standing in front of the Washington Monument I felt the magnitude and weight of the office in ways I had not experienced before. It was fantastic to witness all the pomp and circumstance. Watching the procession of congressional leaders, Supreme Court judges, and so on was thrilling. I was particularly surprised by the cold interactions between Presidents Clinton and Carter witnessed by millions on JumboTrons before they took their seats. These two families obviously do not like each other.

Many voters on Election Day and at the inauguration were excited because "change" was coming. We were supposedly ushering in a new era of governance. In the past nine months, however, not much has changed and the Obama administration continues as is normal for Democrats---and for an ever-growing number of Republicans---to expand the tentacles of government into areas where government is neither designed nor equipped to manage. Oddly, there has been much disappointment among many liberals because Obama has not gone far enough in bringing about "change."

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According to The New York Times, Europeans are growing critical of Obama because "Mr. Obama has not broken clearly enough with Bush administration policies that they dislike." I say if the Europeans are frustrated with Obama, then he must be doing something right. Why then has there not been "change" enough to satisfy liberal critics? The answer is found in the reality check President Obama encountered when his campaign rhetoric was met with real facts about the world and by the independent agenda of Speaker Pelosi.

The Rasmussen Reports' daily Presidential Tracking Poll from yesterday showed that 28 percent of the nation's voters "Strongly Approve" of the way that Barack Obama is performing while 41 percent "Strongly Disapprove," giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -13. What does this mean? Friends, the Obama honeymoon is over and most people, with the exception of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, are realizing that President Obama is a regular politician. No change, just Washington politics as usual.

Anthony Bradley
Anthony Bradley

Anthony is associate professor of religious studies at The King's College in New York and serves as a research fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. He is author of The Political Economy of Liberation and Black and Tired. Follow Anthony on Twitter @drantbradley.


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