All right, I understand the relative importance of Amendment X, but I cannot understand why anybody believes that Amendment X is such a vital part of America's government that the "destruction" of it "causes many of the problems we have today." If that's true, why wasn't Amendment X able to do anything about the myriad problems President Roosevelt was attempting to address?
One thing I hear a lot is that President Obama didn't "meet expectations." He's been a "disappointment." I followed his campaign fairly closely since the primary battle battle with Mrs. Clinton and don't really understand why anybody's disappointed in him who wouldn't already be disappointed about "socialism" and all that jazz.
I mean, clearly Americans knew that electing a black guy wasn't going to take care of the racial issues we spent the last 400 years developing with one another, right? That would have been an absurd expectation.
Were Americans expecting someone who would never lie to them or sugar-coat the truth? I should hope not, since I've seen no indication in my lifetime that the voters actually want to hear the truth.
Were Americans expecting someone who was going to gut the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act entirely? That'd be an odd expectation since there are some good parts of it, such as expediting the sharing of information regarding suspected terrorists and criminals between the C.I.A. and F.B.I. It would also be an odd expectation since getting the government out of our lives also generally makes it easier for terrorists to slip through the cracks. Would the same people who are angry at the President for declining to scale back the powers granted to the executive be perfectly okay with the occasional terrorist attack stemming from the government's full and unequivocal respect of your civil liberties? I highly doubt it. (Yes, I do believe the wide spying powers that the N.S.A. has has prevented at least one terrorist attack; I live four blocks away from the prevented terrorist attack I have in mind.)
Maybe people are angry at the President for not scaling back the debt more. That's another odd expectation since America has been juggling a trade deficit for some time (we're all aware of the necessary implications regarding public and private sector debt-loads when there's a trade deficit, right?) and especially since Americans have this professed love of the Constitution (with whom, does anyone recall, does the "power of the purse" rest, according to Article I?).
If you ask me, I think President Obama has done a decent job. I'd answer "yes."
I heavily distrust the N.S.A. and the wide powers granted to it and the C.I.A. and similar agencies, but America hasn't suffered any major terrorist attacks under his watch, which, presumably, means that those agencies are doing more or less what they're designed to do. The President's first and foremost obligation is to the protection of the American People from foreign invasion or harm, and he has done that job well.
I would have preferred for the ARRA to have spent more time and money on things like vocational training and human capital development (the only real way to fix America's economic problems, imo) and less on tax breaks, but tax breaks are usually a good idea during recessions, and anybody paying attention knows you're only going to get so much through the Congress these days.
I would have preferred he spent no time whatsoever trying to increase the tax rates on the highest brackets (we should wait until 2016 or thereabouts to contemplate such measures), but since the Republicans have become obsessed with the debt (i.e., the not-the-biggest-issue-facing-the-American-economy and ultimately a massive and destructive political distraction), I don't know if he had a good way around that.
There's no doubt that President Obama has engaged in his fair share of political nonsense, but looking at the American People and the ease with which they confound themselves (for instance, most Americans poll as wanting to cut the deficit, but the vast majority of Democrats, independents, and Republicans all disagree with cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and the Armed Forces, i.e., give or take 75% of the budget), I've always found that an absolutely laughable criticism directed at just about all politicians. It's like the wife who gets angry at her husband when she asks if her behind is fat and he's stupid enough to answer honestly.
Anyway, it looks to me like the guy did the best he could in difficult circumstances. GDP is up, unemployment is down, and America looks to be relatively safe from war and terrorism. Seems to me he's done his job. Whether he gets a C+ or an A- means very little to me. He either did his job or he didn't.