What a marvelous time it has been. Two years of listening to one of the greatest orators in U.S. political history state his case for becoming our 44th president. President Obama has proven to be not only a great orator but, even more than that, he may be a master illusionist. During the campaign, his many supporters, myself included, believed in his message and happily contemplated what America might become with such a visionary leader. But something seems to have happened on the way to that rebirth of America.
One good definition of an illusionist is: a conjurer or magician who creates illusions, as by sleight of hand. So, what we were watching was an act, a sleight of hand? His performances on our national and the world stage were masterful. He promised many things, he promised real change and doing away with business as usual. He was going to put lobbyists in their place, bring all Americans together, and do away with dissension in Congress. Healthcare would finally become a reality for every American.
Yes, a new America would be born under President Obama, the agent of change. But it just hasn't happened, not yet. To be objective on this supposition, let's judge his performance on four critical issues that cry out for real change.
Iraq War -- Don't look for all American troops to be withdrawn by the end of 2011. There are emerging signs that 30,000 to 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq indefinitely. That should be no great surprise to most of us since the U.S. still has over 71,000 troops in Germany, 37,500 in Korea, 47,000 in Japan and multi-thousands spread all over the globe. Iraq will be just one more U.S. military outpost in the world.