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Obama's 'flip-flops'?

David Epps's picture

President Barack Obama has come under fire in recent days both from the political Left and from the Right for “flip-flopping” on campaign promises.

Among the so-called flip-flops are the following:

• Candidate Obama promised to close Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) while President Obama has kept it open.

• Candidate Obama said he would repeal the “Bush tax cuts” while President Obama has left them in place.

• Candidate Obama supported the healthcare single-payer mandate while President Obama compromised and dropped it from his healthcare proposal.

• Candidate Obama pledged to get the U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2010 but, under President Obama in 2011, the troops are still there.

I can see why the Left would criticize the President for what they perceive to be “flip-flops” and a failure to keep campaign promises, but I cannot understand why the Right is joining in the criticism as well. After all, it is one thing to view an issue from the outside and something all together different to view it from the inside.

For example, when I was an associate pastor I was pretty certain that, were I in charge, I would do things better and much differently. I couldn’t understand why the senior pastor thought, behaved, and acted the way he did.

The problem, of course, was perspective. I was in charge of a limited program in the church and he had to contend with the Big Picture — the whole church. I had no experience in leading and managing a church while he had decades of the same.

When I became a pastor, and the whole responsibility was now in my lap, it was an eye-opener. As St. Paul said, “When I became a man, I put away childish things.” Later, when staff members would criticize my decisions and actions, there were times when I had to remember that I was once where they were. I learned that lesson all over again when, in 2007, I became a bishop.

Instead of criticizing and lambasting the President, why not, my friends on the Right, give the President a break and simply assume that, now that he is no longer a Senator or a candidate, he has had a change in perspective?

When President Clinton veered toward the political center during his term, many saw this as progress and a good thing. Is it so different now?

To be sure, for conservatives — and even for many centrists — there is much about which to disagree with President Obama. But when, from the perspective of the Right, he changes his views to more agreeable positions, why not give him credit?

Personally, I am relieved that the terrorists are staying on Cuban soil, that at least some taxes have not been raised, that the government requirement for a healthcare single-payer mandate is no longer there, and that we did not beat a shameful and hasty retreat (as in the cases of Vietnam and Somalia) from yet another conflict.

For these things, I say, “Thank you, Mr. President.” That doesn’t mean that I support certain other policies but — who knows? Maybe some of these will be moderated to my liking as well.

Like it or not, vote for him or not, Barack Obama is the President of the United States and deserves our prayers, our input, and, when he gets it correct (as we see it), our support.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Fellowship in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at frepps@ctkcec.org.]

Comments

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Everyone keeps acting surprised that Obama could not close Guantanamo, kill the Bush tax cuts, get troops out of Iraq and lots of other things. This has nothing to do with Obama's socialist agenda or the people he surrounds himself with - instead it is about growing up or realizing running your mouth while running for office is a lot easier than taking over and having the responsibility of actually running things once you are elected - as Pastor Epps so accurately states.

Obama is just the most visible candidate that has gotten a dose of reality once sworn into office and briefed on how things really are. Probably every modern President has had to backpedal on campaign promises once confronted with reality. Why voters can't understand this is beyond me. People are willing to believe anything even if it flies in the face of common sense. This makes them stupid. Hope and change, my left foot.

This certainly has a local application as well. Think about the things we were told by Lenox, Brown the second, Logsdon, Haddix, Smith, Maxwell, Steele, Brown again, etc. We believe, we vote for them, they don't deliver, we are surprised. We are stupid. Let's stop doing that.

Live free or die!

PTC Observer's picture

"Like it or not, vote for him or not, Barack Obama is the President of the United States and deserves our prayers, our input, and, when he gets it correct (as we see it), our support."

He especially deserves our prayers to get it right.

NUK_1's picture

There aren't many people out there who despise the Obama vision and his politics more than I do, but I have never understood the personal hatred of someone who was duly elected President of this country. Well, that is unless you count the birther idiots who don't think he was "duly elected."

Is it asking too much of Americans to disagree with the philosophy but not hate the person expressing the opposing view? I think the answer to that is "probably so."
Saw the Dems do it, seen the Repubs do it.....what else is left? Intelligent debate was killed long ago and now what's left is complete genetic malfunctions on the far left and right.

Bedtime for Democracy.

AMEN!

Would it be possible also for some to agree that some decisions of the President may have been right all along that they thought were wrong?

You didn't mention any!

For instance: Many righties fumed about the President not invading Libia immediately.
Now that he hsn't had to do so and got others to finally do someting--is that a correct move?

PTC Observer's picture

Tomorrow is the last day to pay your 2010 taxes, enjoy!

Take a look at how much you paid this year and see if you can agree with the following statements:

The redistributive government gave me a good return on the money I paid for services this year. I would gladly pay this and more next year for fewer of the same quality services.

I would have to say that I got a GREAT return on on the money I paid for services this year! Not quite GE returns, which are infinite, but pretty darn good!

Long Live Great CPAs!

Observerofu's picture

Well Good for you.

I need you to keep working so that I might retire soon and I can get mine too.

btw-Pastor Epps it is a glass half full/half empty deal. I understand the sentiment but reality bites and President Obama is finding that out the hard way. You as a pastor should know what happens when you make promises that you know you can't keep nor did you ever have any intention in doing so. I think there is a Commandment that mentions it somewhere.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

I think they said that 47% didn't owe any taxes at filing!

Most people have taxes automatically taken out of a pay check.

However, most retired people pay little taxes at all; many servicemen and women pay none or little; and of course those who are unfortunate enough not to make enough money to pay taxes---and that is many.

Then there are prisoners, handicapped, kids not working; women as housekeepers and living off alimony; etc.

The facts are only 50% of all Americans have a job.

At 20% unemployment, they couldn't find one if they could work!

Observerofu's picture

So we have 150 million out of work? Those are your facts?

If you don't owe taxes, get all of your money back or get paid Earned?????Tax credit YOU DON"T PAY FEDERAL TAXES.

You are a recipitant of re-distributed wealth.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

PTC Observer's picture

Good, I wouldn't have expected any other response from you. No doubt you are one of the millions that get their income from the state.

in the money field, I calculate that my return on my tax payments (no government income for me) is great--definitely positive NPV! What a great country we live in! Get out and breath the spring air--that'll turn that frown upside down!

Go Braves--Yep Heyward moved to the 2 hole last game! Hope he stays there even though they lost!

Observerofu's picture

because there are many who say they are not getting enough.

So please write to Washington and let them know what Government service you will not be needing so that the funds can be re-distributed to others. Oh you get to still pay for them just not use them.

btw- As someone with a "Couple" of degrees in economics please erudite us poor poor wretches just how you can get a return on Government services that you pay for but never use.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

do that for me just like the Constitution says! That's the beauty of a representative form or government. We don't have to worry about the everyday stuff! That way we can get on with our work and blogging! It's called the division of labor!

I wasn't counting the services I don't use in my calculation, just the ones I do, and my return is still off the charts!

Go Thrashers--To Another State!

Observerofu's picture

well thanks anyway.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

PTC Observer's picture

Let's see what are the possiblities career wise:

1. Accountant - Tax no doubt? but most certainly not for a firm that doesn't have government connections.
2. Banker - A regulated and politically connected field. Regulated to get bailouts, etc. Ref: crash of 08.
3. Teacher - Government teacher, private school, nah.

Whatever you do for a living Ninja, I speculate that there is some sort of government connection to your living....now get out there and work you little heart out for someone else, your government needs people like you.

Breath that Spring air...because on April 12th the average American started working for themselves and not the government. The rest of the year is our money, unless of course they raise taxes on the middle class.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/27166.html

Wrong! As a Ninja, I am strictly a hired gun. How could I be blogging at all hours of the day (and night) if I were a full-time wage slave? And, no, no clients in the public sector!

Boo Braves--start playing real baseball! Troy Glaus is not around to save you this year!

PTC Observer's picture

Well I would advise you not to talk politics with your rotational bosses, you could find that you have less work.

Of course those "public sector" clients likely have ties to the government, contracts, etc., I understand grants and such are not very predictable. Either way, I am certain we can trace your fiscal roots to the government. Self-interest aways sways the way people think about things, even you Ninja.

Again the Braves neglected getting a couple of "bats" for their roster.

Even the ones they have (3re base, catcher, RF, LF) aren't hitting for runs---just BA.

Then there are those who are hitting below the Mendozza line who are supposed to be all powerful.

They simply can not hit a "good" pitcher.
Some of the problem may be the coaches lack of expertise. Also bunting with two strikes to get in a run to tie! Stealing with a catcher running while behind.
Those are things to do early in the game.

Cyclist's picture

has decreased the nation's credit worthiness rating to AAA "negative". The ratings agency stated; “We believe there is a material risk that U.S. policymakers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium- and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013.”

The S&P further stated that the U.S. deficit “ballooned” to more than 11% of GDP in 2009 from a range of 2% to 5% from 2003 to 2008.

We better pray that they do reach an agreement that stops the run towards the edge of the cliff.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Observerofu's picture

as fast as we can peddle.

This is only the first in a series of events that will play out this year as we thrash uselessly about spending our way to (sic) prosperity.

Economic collapse is almost a certainty at this point.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt"
-Samuel Adams
Illegitimi non carborundum

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