Theodore's World: Colonel Bob Pappas, USMC, Retired Comments On De Spiegel’s “The World bids Farewell to Obama”

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January 22, 2010

Colonel Bob Pappas, USMC, Retired Comments On De Spiegel’s “The World bids Farewell to Obama”

Comments on De Spiegel’s “The World bids Farewell to Obama”

by Colonel Bob Pappas, USMC, Retired

In a January 21, 2010 article titled “The World Bids Farewell to Obama” in German, Der Spiegel, online, editor Charles Hawley writes:

“US President Barack Obama suffered a painful defeat in Massachusetts on Tuesday. With mid-term elections looming, it means that Obama will have to fundamentally re-think his political course. German commentators say it is the end of hope.”


• Your comment: “German commentators say it is the end of hope” assumes people know what Obama’s “hope” is. “Hope” for what? “Change?” “Change” to what? Obama’s orations openly signaled the direction he wanted to take the country which was to: “spread the wealth around,” “totally change America,” “totally change the economic system;” and at one point, “we will totally change the world.” Those who voted for him were swayed by his personal charm and oratorical ability. They did not listen to what he said but how he said it. Thus, the majority of voters in the U.S. and many people in Europe were convinced that Obama was the embodiment of the “second coming of Christ.” Not!

• It is the debate over the role and extent of the Federal Government that is the nexus of the raging debate between the left and the right. I do not know any serious person on the right who would do away with the role of Government as set forth in the U.S. Constitution; but there are an abundance of those on the left including Obama who would make the Federal Government pervasive. In point of fact Obama is the “anti-Constitution-in-Chief” since the Constitution inherently limits/restricts government.

• So, “hope?” If one seeks totalitarian government, Obama is their best “hope;” but if freedom is the political equation Obama fails. It is freedom more than any other factor that was decided in Massachusetts, and the people of Massachusetts voted for FREEDOM.

“US President Barack Obama has had a number of difficult weeks during his first year in the White House. Right after he took office, he had to wade through a week full of partisan bickering over his economic stimulus package combined with a tax scandal surrounding Tom Daschle, the man Obama had hoped would lead his health care reform team.”


• There were considerably more issues, opposition was not as you state, “political bickering” it was deep concern over the level of borrowing on top of what the Bush Administration had borrowed to keep social programs afloat and subsequently rush to rescue troubled financial institutions.

• One of many issues is that Obama is afflicted with the fundamentally erroneous notion that the President of the United States runs the country. Nothing could be further from the truth. The President of the U.S. runs the Administrative Branch of the Government which Democrats generally and Obama and Barney Frank specifically as well as others, who want to use expand the role of government.

“Then there was the last week of 2009, when a failed terror attack on a flight inbound for Detroit exposed major flaws in US efforts to identify and stop potential terrorists.”

Pappas: The failed underwear bomber terror attack was not all and many Americans have little confidence in his desire, much less ability to protect the country: to set the record straight, there the Jihadist attack on a military recruiting station and the Muslim Jihadist attack at Fort Hood.

“This week, though -- a week when Obama should have been celebrating the first anniversary of his inauguration -- may have been the president's worst yet. Scott Brown, an almost unknown Republican member of the Massachusetts Senate, defeated the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley for the US Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy. The defeat in a heavily Democratic state not only highlights Obama's massive loss of popular support during his first year in office, but it also could spell doom for his signature effort to reform the US health care system.”

Pappas: In point of fact the defeat of the Obama agenda in Massachusetts signaled a rebellion against out of control spending, overreaching government, and weakened national security.

“There were immediate calls for a suspension of health care votes in the Senate until Brown is sworn in. The loss of the Massachusetts seat means that the Democrats no longer control the 60 Senate seats necessary to avoid a filibuster. Obama's reform package, which aims to provide health insurance to most of the over 40 million Americans currently lacking coverage, may ultimately fail as a result.”

Pappas: The figure of those lacking coverage has grown from 15 to over 40 million, amazing! But what is most objectionable about your statement is that you use the word term, “40 million Americans” that’s like including Germany’s entire guest worker population as “Germans;” in the case of the U.S. at least 15 million of any number over 15 million are illegal immigrants who should not be in the U.S. in first place.

“More than that, though, the vote shows just how quickly the political pendulum has swung back to the right following Obama's election. The seat won by Brown had been in Democratic hands for all but six years since 1926. Now, its new occupant is a man who not only opposes the health care bill, but also favors waterboarding as a method of interrogation for terrorism suspects and rejects carbon cap-and-trade as a means of limiting carbon emissions.”


• Senator (Elect) Scott Brown does not oppose health care reform, he opposes the structure that Obama and his leftist allies in Congress are attempting to cram down the throats of an overwhelming majority of unwilling Americans.

• Waterboarding has been declared illegal by the Obama Administration. That’s Obama’s prerogative. But on the real “torture” scale waterboarding wouldn’t even register. Ask Retired Air Force Colonel “Bud” Day what torture is about; as one who knows torture first hand, he’ll tell you that waterboarding is child’s play. One supposes that decapitating one’s opponents with a saw would also qualify as torture, given Muslim jihadists’ predisposition to use that method.

• Carbon emissions are a farce in the context of what the left is trying to achieve through Cap and Trade. The real issue is to make Cap and Traders rich at the expense of American taxpayers by transferring a portion of the wealth usurped by the government to Obama’s native Kenya…and other third world countries as part of his pledge to “change the world.”

“The omen could be a dark one for the Obama administration heading into a mid-term election year. German commentators take a closer look.”

Pappas: It may be dark for Obama, but bright for the majority of Americans.

Center-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes on Thursday:

"Obama made a serious misjudgement. Right at the beginning of his first year in office, he saved the banks, rescued the automobile industry from collapse and passed a huge economic stimulus package. He had hoped that these enormous deeds would give him the space to address those issues which are dearest to him: health care reform, climate change and investment in education."

Pappas: Whoa! At least, please try to get it right. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and earlier bailouts were enacted during the Bush Administration not Obama; Bush rescued, if that’s what you care to call it, the automobile industry, not Obama, who later took it over, there is a big difference between the two; and the economic stimulus package was not “stimulus” but partisan political payback largely to Democrats with essentially no effect on stimulating the economy for most Americans. Job growth was a negative 5-6 percent after the “stimulus.”

"Those issues, however, are clearly not priorities for people in the US at the moment. Scott Brown campaigned on two promises, both of which apparently struck a nerve with the electorate. He wants to block health care reform and he wants to find ways to reduce the enormous budget deficit. It is here where the roots of dissatisfaction with Obama are to be found. His reform agenda, in its current form, is highly suspect to Americans. And they have the impression that, if he continues piling up debt, he will be gambling away the country's future."


• It is not true that Brown wants to “block health care reform,” on the contrary he favors a responsible version of reform, not the nonsense that Democrats have passed. He has promised to block the version being advanced by both houses of Congress, a version passed over the strenuous objections of the vast, repeat vast majority of U.S. citizens, which by the way does not include illegal immigrants.

• As for the “enormous budget deficit” Obama’s budget deficit projection is greater than all administrations combined from George Washington forward.

• And Americans don’t have the “impression that he is gambling away the country’s future,” they know he is intentionally destroying the US free market (such as that is) system in favor of a socialist/Marxist system. It’s not what he says, it what he does.

The Financial Times Deutschland writes:

"For Obama, the election in Massachusetts means that he will have to re-evaluate his political style. He could now focus his concentration on his political base and push through his policy agenda. After all, he still has a majority in Congress -- he could back away from his strategy of bipartisanship ... which would mean giving up much of what he spent his first year in office creating."

Pappas: It is laughable to suggest that Obama has or ever has had a strategy of bipartisanship. If bipartisanship means “do it my way because I won” then perhaps, otherwise it is an utterly meaningless farce, in fact it is mindless to suggest that he has made any serious effort at bipartisanship. He does have a majority of empty headed, self-serving Democrats in both houses, but thankfully, that has evaporated with the election of Scott Brown.

"More likely, however, is that Obama will interpret the Massachusetts loss as a signal that he should move further toward the middle and make more concessions to the conservatives -- even if this alienates his base even further, a base which had high expectations from the 'yes we can' candidate."

Pappas: The problem is that his “yes, we can” was to “totally change the US and its economic system.” Americans have begun at long last to catch on to what that means and are rejecting it out of hand.

"For everyone else in the world, this means that they will have to bid farewell to a candidate for whom the hopes were so high. They will have to say goodbye to the charisma they fell in love with. Obama will be staying home after all."

Pappas: Yes, “duped” is more like it. Obama was a great snake oil salesman. But Americans, and judging from the way he has succeeded on the world stage, are on to him and are beginning the cleansing process.

The left-leaning daily Die Tageszeitung writes:

"In addition to health care reform, Obama's reputation has primarily been harmed by the high unemployment rate and the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan. It will become even more difficult in the future for the president to push projects through successfully. Not just because Republicans now have a means of preventing it, but also because the Democratic camp is deeply divided. Some would like to see the party shift toward the center -- wherever that may be -- whereas others want the party to position itself to the left. Such a battle is hardly a good sign for the mid-term elections in November. Massachusetts could prove to be an omen."

Pappas: Not bad for a leftist organ. The only thing I would change is the last sentence to read,

“Massachusetts is a good omen.”

The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

"Of course the president rejects the interpretation that the Massachusetts election was a referendum on his first year in the White House. But he cannot ignore the fact that his health care reform package is not popular, the situation of the country's finances is seen as threatening and many voters blame the high unemployment rate on the party in power -- on the Democrats, led by Obama. The result is a second year in office full of very different challenges than the first. To save what there is to be saved, Obama will have to be prepared to fashion a bipartisan compromise on health care -- a compromise with a Republican Party which has tasted blood and can now dream once again about a return to power."


• “Obama rejects the interpretation” but that does not change the fact that Obama’s person and policy suffered a major, if not catastrophic defeat in Massachusetts.

• The Republican Party per se has little or nothing to do with the attitude of most Americans, Obama and his party brought the reaction entirely on themselves. Americans are overwhelmingly conservative and although many may have been mesmerized during his campaign, they are on to him for what he is increasingly evident: a socialist/Marxist.

• For those Germans who have memories long enough, they should remember that the socialist/Marxist political disease led to the death of about 150 million people in Europe and the Soviet Union.
-- Charles Hawley

Semper Fidelis


Wild Thing's comment.......

Excellent break down of the article and others.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at January 22, 2010 02:40 AM


Col Pappas's explanations of what is happening with obama and the American political scene are right on. obama is losing his charisma based political support and the Democraic majority Congress is being blamed for the recession. And all of this in spite of the MSM failing to honestly present the picture.

obama and the Democrats have slightly more than 10 months to turn things around. Their true agenda is going down in flames and they are going to have to present one hell of a facade to save obama's primary programs. They will have to make it appear that they are cutting spending and creating jobs. It may be that too many Americans are now on to the truth of obama's socialist/Marxist ambitions. He my already be a lame duck.

Posted by: TomR at January 22, 2010 10:40 AM

Mr. Pappas did a fine job on this piece. One year in office, Obama's starting to look like a lame-duck. Optimism is beginning to return.

Posted by: Jim at January 22, 2010 12:32 PM

And hopefully the rest of the Marx Brothers will get discouraged and leave too.

Posted by: Mark at January 22, 2010 06:58 PM

Thank you everyone sooo much. I always look forward to the things the Col. writes.

Posted by: Wild Thing at January 23, 2010 12:25 AM