While it is true that Obama is in a no-lose situation now, having gained re-election by the strongest margin for a Democrat since FDR, I think it is incumbent on him to be more aggressive than you even describe in your column. (“THE EMPEROR’S NEW SHOW”—Issue: 11/28/12”) Having voted for his “change” mantra the first time around (I abstained this time), I was disappointed in his less than enthusiastic fervor for getting into the muck with Congress or being more assertive during the entire healthcare debate and vote and later failing miserably to explain it to the people.

I believe, as you do, that these second terms are rife with trouble; hubris, laziness, or an out-of-touch disease that hits all presidents in their final political run of their lives, but mostly I think it is that animal you describe as “a man who no longer has to run for anything.”

While I’m inclined to think that with a recalcitrant Republican opposition in Congress and so many big hurdles to climb—the fiscal cliff negotiations, the new debt ceiling back-and-forth, immigration reform, Iran, the deficit—this will likely be another underwhelming second term.

 

—Judith O’Keefe

 

It will be interesting to see the amount of passion exerted on the right now that the TEA Party has been neutered. This past election was a joke for them. I have to ask, do these people, who worked so hard, and they really did, whether you agree with all of their protests or candidates or not, they did really take things to another level of grass roots politics—do they feel cheated? Did they feel cheated by the party that claimed to embrace them? Did they feel cheated for the lack of voice they received in the primaries, as each and every candidate they tried to latch onto was ultimately defeated by a moderate? Did they feel cheated that their arguments about the laziness of an electorate raised and brainwashed into a take-take-take culture were overwhelmed merely three years after they were offered?

I know you always say to be careful to think that once you make a mark in Washington that it will hold much past one or two election cycles, but even you have to be amazed at how little the TEA Party has mattered. The question then that I have for President Obama is will he be emboldened by this new voice he has been provided by the people and go hard left this time; arguments to the contrary that his first term was littered by leftist governing—I argue it was a mish-mosh of centrist nothingness. Even Obamacare reeks of middle-of-the-road junk legislation, something I fear we will pay for forever.

Hell, I know Romney was a crappy candidate. I am glad he was sent packing. But I wonder what we are getting in Obama II.

 

—Jer009badass

The president should be strengthened by his re-election. For nearly three years, the cry from his opposition was that not only would he be a one-term president, but leave in disgrace, à la Truman or G.W. Bush. But the very opposite has occurred. He gained momentum, because the opposition had no viable answers. They made shit up and for a while, people were angered by the slow return of the economy or maybe Obamacare or maybe by the nods to cap-and-trade and broken promises to end wars quicker and close Gitmo, so they were inclined to buy it. But in the end, when these same people began to pay attention to the record, it was not a disaster. Fair to middling perhaps, but no disaster.

Now this president that set history on its ear, that did in fact change the political winds in Washington and took as many slings and arrows as any president in recent memory for his personal past; whether being a citizen or whatever nonsense the radicals made up, can lead for real.

No more excuses about how awful the last lousy president left this country’s fiscal solvency in, and how Bush destroyed our foreign relations and sunk us into unwinnable, ill-conceived wars. Time to lead or be judged solely on that.

This is where history is made, not in elections.

I pray he answers the call.

 

—Lizzy-TalkBack543

 

Mr. President, I didn’t vote for you because I didn’t feel that you earned my vote the first time. That being said, I don’t want you to fail. You were chosen represent my country, so I want you to make it a better place. Mr. President, please prove me wrong.

 

—donp700

 

Your nod to the politics of this Benghazi tragedy is right on the money. It is an obvious attempt by the defeated Republicans to take the sheen off the apple of this decisive victory for Obama. The only scandal here is that a disgraced John McCain, once a beaming American hero, so clear-headed and independent in his thinking, yes, even a maverick, as he claimed in his ill-fated 2008 election, the same man who unleashed the horrible Sarah Dumb-Ass upon an unsuspecting world, would engage in such chicanery.

The only fly in this ointment is that while the Democrats failed to make a case of Watergate, which was breaking during the final months of the 1972 election, and most of the national media ignored its obvious impact on an election Nixon would win in a monumental landslide, soon the truth emerged. It would fell his second term in ways the country had not seen in over a century.

I fail to see how this is anything close to Watergate, a constitutional crisis like no other, but there is fire where there is smoke and one has to wonder how much of this dirt is tossed on a White House that while feeling its oats in a rounding re-election, would be wise to take all allegations seriously. The Republicans will not stop with a mere election to oust this president. Hope they know this.

 

—Fielding II

 

Benghazi is not a scandal? Four dead Americans, one of whom was the ambassador, on the anniversary of 9/11 all blamed on a video and a non-existent demonstration and that’s not a scandal? When the compound had been repeatedly attacked in the months before 9/11. When the ambassador had asked for more protection and had been denied. When the ambassador knew that he had been targeted. When the attack went on for seven hours and was being viewed in real time by our intelligence people and no attempt was made to rescue our people. When the head of the CIA said he knew almost immediately that it was a terrorist attack and the president and his administration kept telling the American people and the United Nations that it was not a planned terrorist attack. That doesn’t constitute a scandal? Are you serious? Baghdad Bob lives in America in the form of the American media.

 

—urbanjoe

 

If George Bush was not taken to task for the horrors of 9/11, I should think this tragedy in Benghazi would not merit a peep.

 

—Ellie Tellie

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