In five key areas, Barack Obama has shown himself to be an extraordinary leader:
1. Sending Thirty Thousand Additional Troops to Afghanistan
Despite strong opposition from his own party, Vice President Biden and his chief of staff, President Obama ordered thirty thousand more troops to be sent to Afghanistan in December 2009, raising the total number of troops there to more than one hundred thousand, an increase of more than sixty thousand since he took office earlier that year. He accelerated the timetable of the deployment, sending the troops there more quickly than initially anticipated. But the president also set a clear timetable for the beginning of troop withdrawals, a commitment he kept by starting to bring them home from Afghanistan in July 2011. In May 2012, he signed a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, ensuring that all combat troops would be withdrawn by 2014 and establishing a solid foundation to guide our commitment to Afghanistan for the next decade.
2. Saving GM and Chrysler
Though most Americans and nearly all Republicans were against the auto bailout, President Obama recognized that letting Detroit go bankrupt, as Mitt Romney had suggested, would destroy the American automotive industry and wreak tremendous havoc on the entire U.S. economy. Over a million jobs would have been lost, and the federal government would have been stuck with paying a $14.5 billion tab for the two companies' pension plans. Today GM is back as the world's number one auto manufacturer and more profitable than ever, and the auto industry has created 230,000 jobs in three years (the most in a decade). All loans have been repaid to the government.
3. Pushing Health Care Reform
During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly pledged to sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of his first term as president. In the face of staunch opposition from Republicans, President Obama realized that if he wanted to deliver on his promise, he would have to push through health care reform immediately, while he had Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, or risk losing the opportunity, as had so many presidents before him. Fighting against near unanimous opposition from Republicans, unprecedented lobbying by the insurance industry, and pushback from the more liberal wing of his own party, Obama signed the Affordable Care Act just a little over a year after taking office. In summer 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the law.
4. Osama bin Laden Raid
Many of his top advisors, including Vice President Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright, were against the attack. Bush's secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, had called off a similar raid six years earlier. Success was far from guaranteed, and the costs of failure would have been enormous. But President Obama was convinced that the raid was the only option to ensure that the United States could finally remove the threat posed by Osama bin Laden, and he alone made the call to send in SEAL Team Six.
5. The Stimulus Plan
Facing the greatest economic crisis in eighty years, Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act less than a month after being sworn into office. The package of tax cuts, aid to the states and investment in infrastructure cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans saved as many as 3.5 million jobs (according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office), and is credited with preventing another Great Depression. The bill passed the House without a single Republican vote. Since then, the U.S. economy has experienced eleven consecutive quarters of expansion and registered twenty-eight straight months of private-sector job growth, adding 4.4 million new jobs.
Character. Strength. Determination. Perseverance... These are the qualities of a true leader.
NEW ANT and the Grasshopper, Two Versions:
This one is a little different....
Two Different Versions ...
Two Different Morals
OLD D VERSION
The ant works
hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the ant is warm
and well fed.
The grasshopper has
no food or shelter, so he
dies out in the cold.
MORAL OF THE OLD STORY:
Be responsible for yourself!
The ant works hard
in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house
and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant
is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the shivering grasshopper
calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be
allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.
CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN,
and ABC show up to
provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper
next to a video of the ant
in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
America is stunned by the sharp contrast.
How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper
is allowed to suffer so?
Kermit the Frog appears
with the grasshopper
and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green...'
Occupy the Anthill stages
a demonstration in front of the ant's
house where the news stations film the SEIU group singing, We shall overcome.
Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright
has the group kneel down to pray for the grasshopper's sake,
while he damns the ants.
President Obama condemns the ant
President Bush 43, President Bush 41, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus, and the
for the grasshopper's
Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid
exclaim in an interview with Larry
King that the ant has
gotten rich off the back of the
and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.
Finally, the EEOC drafts
the Economic Equity &
retroactive to the beginning of
The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number
of green bugs and,
having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar
and given to the grasshopper.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper
and his free-loading friends finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which, as you recall, just happens to be the ant's old house,
crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.
The ant has disappeared in the snow, never to be seen again.
The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident, and the house, now abandoned, is taken
over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the ramshackle, once prosperous and peaceful, neighborhood.
The entire Nation collapses
bringing the rest
of the free world with it.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Be careful how you vote in 2012.