What a difference 18 months makes.  Barack Obama has gone from a shining star of hope to a tarnished hapless President.  His glow of election is merely a flicker as his approval poll numbers continue to fall.  His well oiled election team moved to the White House and is awash in gushing oil from the Gulf of Mexico.

Off year elections, two years into a Presidential term often reflect the harsh reality of over expectations born in false promises of hope during a Presidential campaign.  President Obama delivered fabulous rhetoric to get elected but now faces a disillusion of expectations from the liberal left wing of the Democratic Party.   At the same time he has ignited an unprecedented firestorm of grass root conservative activity, a tea party movement in opposition to his leading this country in a perceived progressive direction.

The recent gushing oil well polluting the Gulf of Mexico and his ineffectual response has caused his poll numbers to plummet and former voices of support have begun to question his ability.  The real question is perhaps not his ability but the ability of the American people to understand the reality of who Barack Obama really is.

Barack Obama ran on his experience as a community organizer.  Just what did his supporters expect from this man?  History is a good teacher and we can tell something about what to expect from a President weaned on social liberal causes.  The “War on Poverty” and the “Great Society” are examples of social programs delivered with expectation and promise of good intentions.  The approach we often see from community organizers of social programs is wonderful grant proposals overloaded with good intentions.  Too often the lack of real measurable success results in applause for a program of good intentions.

The gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico can not be stopped with good intentions.  This gushing oil well is not a social program it is an environmental disaster.  The people of this nation are watching closely and as a nation we measure a President not only by actions but also by results.  Barack has sold his experience to the voters as a man that can be expected to deliver in the face of crisis or dilemma.  Was he a talented huckster or empty suit elected to lead or did we the people choose wisely and have a highly capable President?  Do you feel the same today as you did eighteen months ago about your expectations of this President?

Should Barack Obama take the blame for not realizing the critical nature of the gushing oil well sooner?  Did he under estimate what needed to be done to address the problem?

Maybe he just felt that the measurement of his success would be the same as had been applied to the social programs of which he was most familiar.  After all he expressed good intentions.  The trillions spent on the “War on Poverty” and the “Great Society” has not cured the ills they were targeting, but the intentions have always been good.  The people have accepted good intentions as a measurement for the expenditure of massive tax dollars on social programs over the years.

Why there is even little measurement of results and accountability in the largest portion of local tax dollars.  The education of our children is not results based but rather funded on good intentions.

The questions we must ask ourselves are many and in some cases the answer appears in the mirror.  Did we as a nation live up to our responsibility in choosing Barack Obama as President?  Do you accept good intentions as a measure of success or do you expect measurable results and consequence for poor performance?  Do you vote based on public perception as filtered by the press and manufactured by a Party or do you take the time to learn about a candidate and their positions.

What do you know about the candidates in this coming election?  Between now and election time the Opining Quill will be writing about many of the races and candidates.  You are invited to become a friend of the Opining Quill on Facebook, or bookmark the blog on your computer or become a subscriber.


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