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Richard Davis: Critics not best judge of presidential performance

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  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 5:49 a.m.

    Bush looks better every day

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 19, 2014 6:18 a.m.

    Agreed!
    Yet another great, well-balanced article by Richard Davis.

    I for one will admit -- I go off on Gerge W Bush far to often,
    but I could never hold a candle to the critics of Pres. Obama.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Feb. 19, 2014 6:44 a.m.

    By following the Bush/Cheney administration President Obama has had a tough row to hoe, but he has performed admirably. He has steadily improved the extremely weak economy he inherited, he has slowly extricated us from the Bush wars, and he has fought conservatives every step of the way to improve our countries healthcare.

    If he had had ANY help from the virulently anti Obama conservative right, he could have been one of the very best presidents ever.

    Despite the hysterical opposition, history will rate Obama as a very good leader!

  • LiberalEastCoastMember Parkesburg, PA
    Feb. 19, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    Excellent point. Some say we shouldn't look to past administrations as a yardstick to measure this one. That this president should be judged wholly on the merits of what he has or has not done.

    This of course is wrong headed! Barack Obama is president precisely because of the shortcomings, mistakes and failures of previous administrations. His success (or failure) in office will be determined largely by his ability to 1) clean up the messes left by previous administrations and reestablish the economic cultural and economic underpinnings of the country.

    While he is in office my hopes and prayers are with him as they've been with every president before him.

  • Mark l SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    OK, there are many critics of President Obama. But you wound't know there was anything to criticize about this President from the dominant, liberal, establishment, mass media.

  • Invisible Hand Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Davis cherry picks a few instances in which the critics were wrong. What about all the times when the critics were right? It's tough to be objective when we are in the heat of the moment but even the left-wingers who post on this board should admit that Obama hasn't lived up to his pre-presidential rhetoric. He promised to work with the other side and then promptly froze Republicans out of any discussion, dismissing them with the phrase "elections have consequences". He promised to unite, and have transparency but his actions have been the opposite.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    Yawn, another Davis BO apology column

    BO does not belong in the conversation with ANY of the men mentioned; Carter, Harding, and Buchanan, maybe.

    Davis said he was not trying to draw comparisons, but then the whole point of the article is to draw comparisons, so Davis contradicts himself.

    Let's talk about those presidents he mentions.

    Jefferson WAS a coward. The British invaded the VA capital while Jefferson was governor. Did he help organize the defenses? Help with an evacuation? Remove government documents? No, he ran away. Sounds like cowardice to me.

    AND an adulterer. Ever hear of Maria Cosway?

    Jackson ranked among the top 10? Not to the Seminole. And he either caused or exacerbated the banking crisis of the 1830s.

    Truman ending strikes. He sent the navy into Coalwood, WV to occupy the town in support of the UMW, cutting the population off from the town (company) doctor and the navy doctor had orders to treat only military personnel. Yup, Truman did a great job there.

    Just because there have been attacks and criticisms of past presidents does not mean they were not warranted. And BO is certainly worthy of criticism, more so than any prior president.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    The haters will hate, and nothing will dissuade them. I will say, I've never known a President since FDR who has had to deal with such a deep hole to lead us out of, at the same time having the opposition swear to ensure his failure before he even took the oath of office. Under the circumstances, this President has performed admirably.

    Here is some reality. The rapid rise and success of President Obama, who was a junior Senator and quickly became President, has led to enormous jealousy by Washington politicians - in both parties (but mostly in the GOP). There are other Washington insiders who are angry because they were denied positions when Obama tightened up the revolving door. There is, in fact, racism involved with some, overt and not (mostly not overt, but it's there). In the end, the people elected President Obama by goodly margins, not once but twice. The venom should cease, for the good of the country. A few bumps, yes, every adminstration has them. But considering where things were in 2008, we are doing pretty darn good.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    Very good, objective article. BO will be a very historical President. First Black, followed one of the worst administrations in our history, oversaw a dramatic shift in healthcare, restored touhger financial regulations and was a very partisan, polarizing leader.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    If the measure of a president's worth is his ability to dig us out of the hole the previous administration left us in, then our next president has the best chance of being the best president ever.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    The greatest enemy of our nation is from within, not from without.

    The sooner Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and FoxNews are gone - the better.

    The Taliban and AlQueda knocked over some buildings,
    and we need medai watch-dogs,
    but
    these guys are snake oil salesmen, charlitans,
    and are responsible for tearing this nation apart...and they are being paid very well for it too, I might add...

    Batman - Bane, and Bain capital?
    The Lego's Movie is anti-business and political -- Ha-Ha, anything for a buck.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    Actions speak louder than words. What has Obama done?

    If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor.
    Families will save on their premiums.
    Shovel ready jobs.
    We reject the use of national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.
    We will revisit the Patriot Act and overturn unconstitutional executive decisions issued during the past eight years.
    I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.
    We’ve got to spend some money now to pull us out of this recession. But as soon as we’re out of this recession, we’ve got to get serious about starting to live within our means, instead of leaving debt for our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren.
    We reject sweeping claims of ‘inherent’ presidential power.

    Has he kept his promises? NO!

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    To those defending the critics.
    Do you ask those critical of the mormon church, their opinion when the LDS church makes a policy change or public statement?
    Do you think that opinion would be biased or valid and an important part of the discussion?

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    In the first place, the economic damage that Obama inherited was caused by the federal government meddling in the housing and banking market causing over inflated housing prices, which busted, as these things always do. America's social and economic problems are mostly the consequences of the federal government spending money we don't have and over reaching and over regulating the very elements that create prosperity; the private sector. If you think the government is capable of fixing our problems you will always be disappointed in any President, regardless of party. The more the government taxes the private sector the higher unemployment will become. The more welfare the government issues that rewards personal failure and poor individual choices the more poor people there will be. The more the government punishes success and achievement, the less we will have of it in every level of our nation. The government is the problem, not the solution.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    Since they started doing presidential approval polls there has only been one president who never had a negative rating throughout his term. That was JFK.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    re:Esquire

    So the criticism should cease for the good of the country huh? It would take alot more than 200 words to detail the scandals (Fast n Furious, Benghazi cover up, IRS Intimidation) as well as the compounded and repeated lies about "if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance and your doctor...period". All of these disgusting scandals and lies have hurt families all across America and continue to do so. Your beloved Socialist leader would have never been re-elected had he been truthful about Obamacare and had he not ordered his attack dog IRS to intimidate conservative groups prior to the 2012 election. Barack is THE most corrupt man to ever hold the office of president and perhaps the saddest thing of all are his clueless disciples who would NEVER ignore similar corruption from a Republican president.... nor should they. America is in sharp decline BECAUSE of Barack Obama. I think of the tens of thousands of high paying jobs that would be produced if we simply took advantage of the energy on our own public lands ....as is happening on private lands in the Dakotas ...but I guess welfare checks are better than jobs ...right?

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    A nicely researched, well reasoned article. Greeted by some with the usual conservative vitriol. But history will render its own verdict.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    "patriot", you prove my point. The hate overrides rational and objective assessment of the President. The facts, not right wing hate rhetoric, will be the measure of this or any other President. I accept that you are among those who will never accept a rational and objective assessment of where we were and where we are 5 years later, who will never acknowledge the mess we were in BEFORE he took office, when McCain suspended his campaign. People forget the dire circumstances we faced in 2008. And even in those times, the GOP leadership swore to make the new President a failure. They put power and privilege above the interests of the people. I have no interest in gong back to those times. If the GOP had a vision, showed even a hint of putting us first, I would consider them. But they have nothing to offer. Lest you think I am a left winger, that's not so. The GOP has convinced me that they are morally bankrupt and should not lead the country with their current dearth of ideas and policies. They are purely tools of wealthy interests, not servants of the people.

  • LiberalEastCoastMember Parkesburg, PA
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    You're right Invisible Hand, BO hasn't lived up to his promises but neither has any other president or politician before him. Thus, the view of history.

    That said, please, please before you go making statements like "He promised to work with the other side and then promptly froze Republicans out of any discussion, dismissing them with the phrase "elections have consequences". He promised to unite, and have transparency but his actions have been the opposite., you would be well served and your arguments would be sounder if you would research what really happened.

  • Older Than I Once Was South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    I find it interesting that Richard Davis, in his endless worship of all things liberal, suggests that Obama's low approval ratings are irrelvant. Just recently, he was using approval ratings as a measure for Congress (Jan. 8 - "Are the Two Major Parties in Trouble?"). It is unclear why he has now changed his mind, other than the fact that Obama can do nothing wrong according to Davis.

    Davis also argued (see DNews article "Obama is Right to Move Deliberately Against Syria") that Bush rushed into war in a "go it alone" approach (conveniently forgetting the 39 countries that joined us--including such little known countries as Great Britain, Australia, Italy...etc.) In fact, he has been so deliberate that hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions displaced and we have done...nothing.

    Of course, Obama would never use a "go it alone" approach with...say, executive orders. Critics will point out that he is not the first to use such tactics. True, but please don't insist that he isn't a "go it alone" guy. Perhaps that has something to do with his approval ratings. Oh, wait, I forgot--those measurements are irrelevant.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    re:Esquire

    Ha! Nice dodge. I listed several specific things and you ignored all of them. All of these scandals are well documented and so are the Obamacare lies. You ask for specifics and I give them and you turn around and ignore all of them. There is a reason why Barack's approval has dipped into the 30% range and it is from a variety of polls (ABC, CNN, Gallop, Wall Street Journal, etc...). You live in a "hear no evil see no evil" world along with your other conformist liberal friends and the saddest part ...as I mentioned before... is you would never allow a Republican president to get away with any of these things...would you.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    @ Older Than I Once Was, are you suggesting we should have invaded Syria? Or what? The shot you make warrants an answer to this question. If you or anyone argue for another course of action, it is incumbent on you to say what it is or should have been. As for Syria, the President was close to military intervention, in the face of Russian opposition. Republicans screamed no. The American people made their will known - no more wars. So the President tried the diplomatic approach. Now you complain? This goes to the point that no matter what the President does, his opponents will complain, whine and moan. Put it on the table for us to discuss.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    @ patriot, no dodge. You complained about the 200 word limit and then throw some mud. To address them one by one is not possible in this space. I will say this, your assertions abou9t the President are nonsense. They are merely right wing/Fox talking points. I'll tell you what. If the President is the most corrupt in history, as you claim, bring articles of impeachment against him. It isn't done despite the rhetoric, because, read carefully now, there is nothing there to support your attacks. Perhaps you should spend your time on preparing for 2016. Support a candidate who can articulate a vision and convey it to the rest of us. Your party failed to do this in 2008 and in 2012. Maybe a more constructive effort would be more useful than your party's persistent efforts of personal attacks and trying to destroy the duly elected leader of our nation.

  • Older Than I Once Was South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    Esquire, you miss the point entirely. I was neither defending Bush's actions nor criticizing them. I'm also not suggesting we invade Iraq--and neither was Obama, by the way. The President was talking about the kind of airpower we used in Kosovo. He wants to avoid boots on the ground to keep things antiseptic--if that's possible in war. The only problem--he never used airpower. He didn't do anything. So back at you--are you suggesting we do nothing to help the people in Syria, even though we have done so for other similarly oppressed people and Obama has made his case that we should, though so far his "diplomatic approach" as you call it consists of stern words?

    What I was criticizing is the two-faced arguments of this Op-ed writer and those that drink the same Kool Aid. The argument goes like this: Bush was bad for "go it alone". However, Obama is completely justified in the same activity via the "pen and phone" approach, despite what the legislative branch thinks. If Richard Davis and his followers are going to take a stand, they should pick one.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 2:10 p.m.

    Up to this point in BO's tenure there has not been enough evidence to bring him up on any of the conservative charges for impeachment. Benghazi, Fast n Furious, the IRS, etc is noise and nothing more. All have been thourghly explored and examined by Congress and none of the evidence has indicated grounds for impeachment. Right wing conservatives have a strong dislike for this President because he's been sucessful (financial reform, health care reform, progressive social policies) at implementing a lot of his policies. Jimmy Carter looks so much better to conservatives because he was a "one, and not so much done" President.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    What is the "litmus test" for being a good person or a good President? Doesn't it have something to do with doing the "right" thing, for the "right reason"?

    As time goes on, we view the world through different sets of glasses. Some would pine for the "carefree" days of our great-grandparents, but few of us would like to have the diseases so common to those times. Most of us over the age of fifty probably wouldn't even be alive if we had lived during those times.

    The only question that we need to ask when evaluating President Obama, is whether he acted for the good of the Country each and every time he made a decision, or whether he was too busy playing golf or playing poker to attend to his duties. He refuses to tell us where he was during the hours, as Commander in Chief of the military, when four Americans were killed in Benghazi. He claims that the NSA acted lawfully when it violated the 4th Amendment and spied on our email and cell phone conversations.

    Judge him, not by Andrew Jackson, but by his own actions.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 6:03 p.m.

    Are Americans better off than they were 4 years ago?

    6 years ago?

    8 years ago?

    I'm not. For me, Obama has not been a good president. My healthcare costs have gone up faster than ever before. This has been the slowest recovery of any recession and I believe that Obama has mishandled our economy & the recovery.

    I believe Obama has put politics ahead of country, which for me, makes him a less than good president.

    I appreciate his effort to get us out of wars and foreign soil.

    But his is a presidency of words, but short on action. Don't believe me? Read what foreign leaders have said about his administration. You can't trust what he says.

    He has divided our country because of his ideology. He has not worked to unite America. From immigration, to contraception, to birth control, to marijuana, federal spending, taxation, health care, support of our allies, redistribution of wealth,...on nearly every issue he looks to divide the country and push his agenda. He opens his mouth and I have to brace myself.

    He lied, undeniably, about health care.

    He lied about NSA.

    He lied about IRS targeting groups.

    He's a poor president.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 7:15 p.m.

    @David
    Centerville, UT

    Yes David,
    I admit.
    Obama has fallen short, and has not been able to snap his magic fingers and spit-spot clean-up the wrecking ball mess of the Bush years all by himself.

    I mean, look at the Congress who has be oh so pitifully helpful to him and America.

    Let's look at history,
    Let's focus on who caused the mess you are complaining about,
    the obstructionists in Congress using you by doing nothing but trying make him a 1 term president,
    And then blame HIM when he doesn't have anything to sign.

    Hook-Line-and sinker.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 8:10 p.m.

    "LDS liberal" No one expects anyone to "snap his magic fingers" and clean up anything.

    We ONLY hope he would/can? tell the truth. As far as "doesn't have anything to sign" you would need to check with Mr. Harry Reid about that. The Republican congress sends him all kinds of things, but he WON'T let the senate vote on them.

    Whenever anyone says anything disparaging about Mr. Obama; his defenders inevitably start talking about Bush, (or racism, or Fox news, or Sean Hannity, etc).

    Why did Mr. Obama take the job if it was too difficult for him?

    Why can't liberals ever take responsibility for THEIR decisions? Why is someone else always to blame?
    Obama has done absolutely nothing to reduce costs for healthcare (just the opposite)all he's really done is taken from one group to give to another.
    I can understand that some people may be happy with Obamacare, however, in the future, if healthcare costs keep spiraling; they WILL blame Obama.

    The leader who REALLY reduces healthcare costs for most of the public (yes it is doable)will be the one that receives the praise from the public in the future.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:16 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    Some of those policies you blame Bush for (I am thinking specifically of those that led to the housing bubble and crash) were seeded, planted and grown by Democrats during the 1990s.

    It is unfortunate that Bush did not end those policies. Many Republicans are unhappy with Bush, including me.

    You can't keep blaming Bush for Obama's mess. Obama has been president for 6+ years. At what point does he actually take ownership of policy, the economy, the direction our country is going?

    You correctly stated Obama has fallen short. No magic fingers. Additionally, everyone, including liberals, must acknowledge that he has lied. And because of those lies, it is difficult to trust him.

    Do you think that we are only now discovering Obama's lies? Republicans in Congress have recognized for a long time that they could not get things done with Obama. If you look back through recent history, you'll see that in each political crisis involving Congress, Obama has gotten in the way as a compromise or solution was sought for. Why is that?

    He has been, and will be judged to have been, a disappointment and a less than average president.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 10:49 p.m.

    1) History paints some presidents kinder than their contemporary critics do, but not all: i.e. Jimmy Carter

    2) Bush inherited a 37% stock market drop that happened while Clinton was still in office and 9/11 was a direct result of Clinton foreign policy that happened only a few months into the Bush presidency; but Bush did not blame Clinton the way Obama is still blaming Bush. Katrina was a natural disaster, Obamacare is man made. Obamas approval ratings are similar to Bush at this point in his presidency. Obama has three years left to redeem or condemn himself, independent of critics

    3) Those that think that Obama critics are harsher than Bush critics are deluding themselves

    4) Any poster who complains about Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and FoxNews but ignores Bill Maher, Joy Behar, Alec Baldwin, Melissa Harris-Perry, Rachael Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Ed Schultz, Chris Mathews, NBC, MSNBC, NYTimes, etc., who are quantifiably worse, has absolutely no credibility.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    The people that supported Bush and the failed Iraq war and crippled economy still support Bush 110 percent?

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    one vote
    As opposed to your unwavering deification of Obama's failed foreign and economics policies?