With this very simple slogan, the vice president of the United States recently tried to frame the rationale for President Barack Obama's re-election. It would be convenient if the issues of national and economic security could be reduced to such a simple statement, but the recent murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya and yet another round of "quantitive easing"by the Fed shows that the real world is far more complex.
It's not enough to just listen to what the president and his surrogates say, we have to look at what his administration has done.
Using intelligence and the intelligence techniques developed during the Bush administration, President Obama boldly made the decision to carry out the raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Most Americans congratulate him for the decision and SEAL Team Six for its success in executing the mission.
If that were all that mattered, however, then the Middle East would not be in turmoil, al-Qaida affiliates would not be setting up shop across Africa, and Iran would not be continuing its nuclear pursuits, which threaten to engulf the region in war.
The brutal murder of Ambassador Stevens demonstrates the ongoing, dangerous threat posed by radical extremists. Far from getting better as the president promised, the situation has gotten worse and conditions today seem more conducive to the spread of radicalism. The Libyan government is incapable of protecting American lives or providing security for its own citizens, which potentially gave al-Qaida linked militants enough room to organize a terrorist attack to coincide with our nation's commemoration of 9/11.
Egypt is now under the control of the anti-American Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has taken over northern Mali, an Islamist government runs Tunisia, violence in Iraq is increasing, and success in Afghanistan seems further away than ever.
Rather than wasting time condeming a sophomoric online movie, the administration would be wise to begin a top-to-bottom review of its crumbling foreign policy. Not only are radical extremists watching, so are the Russians and Chinese, and their recent assertiveness suggests they detect weakness too.
When it comes to the economy, the president's record is pretty dismal here too. I supported the effort to help GM and Chrysler, and I’m glad that these companies are building cars and employing thousands of Michigan workers, but because of how the Obama administration handled the intervention, taxpayers stand to lose billions.
Combine that with 43 months of unemployment over eight percent, four years of trillion-dollar deficits, an accumulated debt of over $16 trillion dollars, and gas prices that have soared to the highest post-Labor Day prices in history, and what you get is the slowest economic recovery in American history.
With real wages for American workers down, along with housing prices and workforce participation at post depression lows, it is little wonder that nearly 60 percent of Americans think our country is on the wrong track, according to a recent poll.
The president would have us believe that the Middle East hated the United States because of President Bush and that the problems in the economy are the result of Bush's economic policies. The inconvenient truth is that there are still those who hate the United States even though Obama is president, and that his economic policies have not turned the economy around.
Yes, it is true that Osama is dead and GM is alive, but what else can be said for President Obama's record? Other than that it is a pretty sad song, not much. It is time to move beyond bumper sticker slogans and to look at this president's record of actions. We can and we must do better.
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