Steve Whisler’s Views on Obama’s First Year

On the anniversary of President Obama’s first year in office, the Catonsville Times ran an article in which different community leaders (including Steve Whisler) were asked about their impressions of Obama’s leadership thus far. While some, on both sides of the aisle, discussed their frustrations with the current administration’s stance on healthcare, the economy, fear of more government spending, and the increased amount of troops in Afghanistan, still others seemed to be sugarcoating the current situation in an effort to appear more positive and supportive.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s important to be hopeful and positive about the future, but blinding optimism without a firm understanding of the current state of affairs (in any aspect of life) is dangerous. Let’s be real (even Saturday Night Live has admitted it) not very many of the promises Obama made to the American people during his campaign have been realized during his first year in office. If you voted for the President because of his promises for change and revitalized hope, shouldn’t you be at least mildly frustrated about the lack of action on his part?

Freeman Hrabowski, who has been UMBC’s president since 1992 was quoted in the article: “In a society that values immediate gratification, we sometimes have the challenge of being willing to devote enough time and energy to each problem.”

Rev. Ed Whetstone of Catonsville’s Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church echoed Hrabowski’s sentiment when he shared his feelings that finding solutions to such large scale problems as health care and the economy take time.

My question is this; is that really what’s going on in the Obama administration and with his avid government supporters? I don’t think so. The reason the President has not accomplished any of his promised changes is not because he is deliberating over the best possible solution, spending time discussing options with men and women from all ranges of the political spectrum, speaking with the American people and listening to what they want to see in their government, and earnestly weighing ALL the possible options for health care reform and economic stimulus. No… the reason health care reform hasn’t happened is because he is facing serious opposition from conservatives in congress as well as more than half of the American public.

It’s not like Obama has been marinating on these issues. Remember how quickly he came up with the stimulus package? And many would argue that it did little to help the situation and in some ways made things worse. And health care? Well he’s been trying to push that through for months. The President values instant gratification just as much as the next TV dinner loving guy on the street… maybe even more so. Because every day that goes by without that bill being passed is another day that he hasn’t gotten that monkey off his back.

And while Sam Moxley deserves credit for breaking ranks and questioning the effectiveness of the federal stimulus package and not being in full support of Obama’s rash health care reform bill, it’s Steve Whisler who really stood up and challenged the President’s decision making this past year.

Steve believes that Obama and a liberal congress are ignoring citizens’ reservations about continued big government spending in a struggling economy. “The majority of Americans don’t want to see this level of spending and yet they keep doing it,” he said in the article.

Steve also raised concerns in the article about Obama giving too much of his power and decision making privileges away to others, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Though he is deeply concerned about some of the choices being made on Capitol Hill, Steve remains optimistic when is comes to the resilience and determination of the American people. He ended his interview on a positive note by saying, “I’m very optimistic that the 2010 elections will bring about changes that will help the American people realize what they want.”


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