In a very thoughtful, eloquent and balanced editorial published on Sunday, October 7, 2012, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called for voters to re-elect President Obama on Nov. 6. Calling President Obama “a serious man,” the Post-Dispatch lauded his positive vision for the country and outlined his first-term achievements. Here are some excerpts:
Mr. Obama sees an America where the common good is as important as the individual good. That is the vision on which the nation was founded. It is the vision that has seen America through its darkest days and illuminated its best days. It is the vision that underlies the president’s greatest achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Twenty years from now, it will be hard to find anyone who remembers being opposed to Obamacare.
The editorial reminds readers that President Obama inherited an economy devastated by disastrous economic policies promoted by the George W. Bush administration, and that while recovery has been slower than hoped for, it would be unrealistic to expect a total turnaround in just four years.
To expect Barack Obama to have repaired, in four years, what took 30 years to undermine, is simply absurd. He might have gotten further had he not been saddled with an opposition party, funded by plutocrats, that sneers at the word compromise. But even if Mr. Obama had had Franklin Roosevelt’s majorities, the economy would still be in peril.
The endorsement does not come without some criticism, and the Post-Dispatch also lists some of the disappointments even President Obama’s staunchest supporters have felt:
Mr. Obama has not been everything we expected. In his first weeks in office, Democrats ran amok with part of his economic stimulus package. His mortgage relief program was insufficient. Together with his Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, the president has been too deferential to the financial industry. The president should have moved to nationalize troubled banks instead of structuring the bailout to their benefit. Regulatory agencies and the Justice Department were unable to bring financial crooks to heel.
We had hoped that Mr. Obama would staff the executive branch with the best and the brightest. There have been stars, but there have been egregious failures, too. The “Fast and Furious” operation at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was a disgrace. The vastly expensive and unaccountable intelligence and Homeland Security agencies need stronger oversight. The now-renamed Minerals Management Service could have used some best-and-brightest inspectors before the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
But even given these factors, the Post-Dispatch reminds readers that the alternative to President Obama–Mitt Romney– is a candidate whose beliefs appear to change with the wind, a person who has voiced disdain for people who are economically disadvantaged, and a politician whose policies are virtually identical to those that caused the economic downturn.
Mr. Romney apparently will say anything that will help him win an election. As a president, he might well govern as a pragmatic chief executive, or he might sell himself to the plutocrats and the crazies who have taken over his party. He is asking Americans to take a lot on faith — there’s nothing to see in his tax returns; he can cut taxes and whack away debt while trimming deductions he will not specify.
The editorial ends by describing the choice facing voters in the 2012 presidential election:
The question for voters is actually very simple. The nation has wrestled with it since its founding: Will this be government for the many or the few?
Choose the many. Choose Barack Obama.
[Image credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Gloria Shur Bilchik is a freelance writer and community volunteer in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the editor of Occasional Planet. She views the preservation of progressive values as vital to making the US a humane, livable place for her children and grandchildren.