Hope, Change and Pessimism…

February 11, 2009



Egyptian writer Alaa Al-Aswany wrote this op-ed in the New York Times on Saturday:


His words, especially the lines,

” We had already begun to tune out. We were beginning to recognize how far the distance is between the great American values that Mr. Obama embodies, and what can actually be accomplished in a country where support for Israel seems to transcend human rights and international law.”

echo my own growing hesitance and disappointment with President Obama. Naturally skeptical by nature or perhaps by experience, I tried so hard to suspend my feelings of doubt in order to give this man, who embodied so many hopes and dreams of the American people, a fair chance. I didn’t forget that the Republicans, used to having things their own way, were not likely to disappear without a fight. Nor did I expect the change that he promised to appear overnight. But I did expect bolder gestures, a tougher stance on critics and a more forceful message of change.

Watching Barack Obama in last night’s Presidential News Conference, I felt like I was watching a man who, upon entering the machine, is about to become very bitter. It was hard for President Obama to conceal his frustration and exasperation with Republicans in the Senate who oppose relief for taxpayers when they are responsible for creating the economic mess that we are all in. But, while he expressed his frustration, he also came across as tired, long-winded, rambling and evasive. Trying to hard to be diplomatic, he ends up alienating everyone. As a friend told me, “Barack Obama is a nice guy in a world of not so nice guys.”

Perhaps this comes as a shock to Barack’s highly educated, liberal sensibilities, but no one likes the nice guy. Politics is a cutthroat game and the winners are those who can outmaneuver and intimidate others into going along with their agenda. As much as I wish we were not like this as a collective human race, this seems to be the way it is. If Barack Obama keeps hoping that the Republicans will eventually be won over by the superior moral and intellectual reasoning of his ideas, then he is in for a long, rude awakening. He needs to get tough, embrace real creative thinking and throw his moderate, temperate caution to the wind. 


A similar article appears here:


” I mean, Condoleeza Rice was black and poor, and she still invaded Iraq.”

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