Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Death of a Presidency

I remember the night when Obama got elected 5 years ago. At that time my knowledge of politics was a bit less  limited then it is today. I didn't agree with what Obama was preaching, but I couldn't help but hope with the rest of those Americans that there would be a positive change in this country. I really wanted  the election of the first black man to the White House. As a Republican who didn't vote for him,  I held myself back. 
As the first 100 days went by, I knew Obama would be no ordinary president. I never thought that one day, this self proclaimed savior of America would be the instrument of his own destruction.
In those 100 days, Democrats had garnered majorities in both houses of Congress, and finally after the electoral euphoria wore off, the discussion turned to healthcare insurance and economic recovery. Obama proposed a plan that he purported would provide the millions of uninsured Americans access to affordable healthcare. I thought to myself, 'hey this is cool, maybe he won't be such a bad president after all. Maybe I can get insurance!' But as I began to learn how to investigate and do research, I found out how little of this law was going to work.

Republicans repeatedly and without fail warned that millions of Americans would lose their insurance and that premiums would skyrocket, while the newly elected president continued to assert that if they liked their plans and doctors they could keep them. Despite the objections of millions upon millions of Americans against this new proposal, on Christmas Eve that same year, Democrats passed what would be now known as Obamacare. Republicans could do little else to stop it's passage, other than to unanimously vote no. Little did I know just how loud those objections would become.

In 2010, the backlash was tremendous. Throughout the year, millions of Americans assailed their Representatives and Senators during the congressional recess, the question most asked was "Why? Why would you ignore the will of we the people to pass a law we didn't consent to?" On election night that year, the Democrats paid dearly for their unwillingness to heed to the will of their constituents. They were swiftly rendered a minority in the house, and though miraculously, kept control of the Senate.

The next year and a half didn't see much debate on the law, since the inevitability of the ACA's implementation was almost certain. In 2011 and 2012 we saw Obama campaign on his promises, amidst the Arab Spring, the Benghazi Scandal and Superstorm Sandy. The previous four years saw him do little to fix a broken economy, but yet he was put back in the White House for a second term. Republicans would try in futility to repeal Obamacare, only to be vilified successfully by their opponents.

This year, all hell broke out for Obama, as it was made known that people under him had been targeting Tea Party organizations unfairly during the previous election. Then it got even worse, it was discovered that the NSA had been spying on millions of Americans. Scandal after scandal broke out in Washington, damaging a once proud presidency.

Still, Obama remained undeterred, unblemished. He had the entire media behind him, he could do no wrong. There was so much momentum from the passage of the law that it seemed as if Obama would be the proverbial Democratic version of Ronald Reagan. Obama appeared to be invincible. Nobody could stop him. But after all those years of broken promises and scandals, it would be the signature law that supposedly defined Obama's presidency which would be responsible for undoing it. Millions of people began losing their healthcare, and premiums began rising exponentially.

The death blow came as Obama admitted that he lied to America about keeping their insurance plans and paying lower premiums. He tried to make it right by issuing an executive order allowing those millions adversely affected to keep their insurance, to no avail. In five years, I have watched myself metamorphose into someone who departed from the two party world, as I watched the presidency of a self anointed savior evaporate into the thinness of the air. The death of a presidency has come swiftly and the aura of hope and change has faded.

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