i can't wait for the next few months; to see how much a personality can change the perception of a people and culture.... we have a major problem in that stereotypes always tend to rule the roost and having obama in has broken the stereotypical president. almost encouraging a new way of thinking about politics....
Though stereotypes are obviously not well-founded to begin with, I think that it will be quite near impossible to really shake the tone in some nations of "stupid american", when such stereotypes decades or centuries old such as "cowardly Frenchman", "stuckup atheist", and "drunk Irishman" still seem more, or less prevelant from what I've seen. It will take much more than Obama to change that stereotype, should his decisions even merit it.
To change the way the world perceives us, probably. Not as much as I think people hoped, but I think it will move at least a little more positive.
To change the way politics are done in this country, no, not at all.
I think Obama is trying. His attempts at bipartisanship have been a big change, but he's been met with incredible resistance and obstruction by the no-nothing contingent of the Republicans.
He can't change the way things are done overnight. He probably can't change the Republican's disastrous abandonment of true conservatism (fiscal responsibility, valuing privacy and separation of church & state) and their embrace of the loony right (extreme fiscal irresponsibility, creating a surveillance state, embracing the Christian Right) though he can influence the Republican Party to join the moderate mainstream of society with his leadership.
It used to be Bush, now it has become Republican Party bashing time. The Republican Party is the Opposition Party. I think a strong opposition is good for any democracy, it's supposed to be that way. In the US, it is a majority opposition as there is no other opposition except the Republicans, and as such of course it puts a major responsibility on them to at least keep the Democratic Party accountable in matters as important as the ones that are being debated right now. When Obama goes through unpopular phases, it is common sense that the Republican Party will be cashing in. And the other way round. Chances are that given the out of the ordinary economic and military challenges of the world and the US, that Obama is going to be tested to the hilt, and if he does not come up with the goodies, the Republican Party will be sure to win the next election. Guaranteed for sure, following its disastrous performance during the last elections, the Republican Party will be completely revamped, revised, overhauled, lean, mean and ready the next time round. And depending on lots of luck regarding the outcome of Obama's "good works", there is a very good chance that the Republicans will have a very decisive win as well.
So "bipartisanship" in your opinion means changing the opposition instead of working with them as they are?
Bipartisanship means accepting the views of the other side. Not all, in fact I would wager only a small few of the republicans in congress, are on such a far right end of the spectrum. Bipartisanship is certainly not about calling the other side names either.
On another note....
Are you sure Obama is trying hard? Did you see how the stimulus bill went? Lets give them a 1000 page document the night before it gets voted on so everyone is forced to vote along party lines. Considering that Obama knows that Congress is dominated by his party I think this speaks for itself. Yay Bipartisanship!
What name calling? "loony right" is the kindest term possible for the things I listed -- extreme fiscal irresponsibility, creating a surveillance state & embracing the Christian Right.
Obama totally brought in the Repubs, met with them, worked with them. They resisted and obstructed, despite the international financial crisis. It's not Obama fault -- but to the US public's credit -- that the Repubs, due to their own catastrophic governance, have been cast out into the minority. Now Obama has launched www.recovery.gov, a historic attempt to give transparency straight to the US public. After one of the most secretive and lying administrations in modern history, yes, this is indeed a major change in the way we do politics.
I don't think he particularly cares what they think. He doesn't really need to at the moment.
And I disagree that he will change anything in terms of how Washington politics are done, regardless of leadership.
pls see my subsequent posts thx
My sentiments exactly liljp617. He is long past caring about the Christian Right and probably so busy right now, someone must be watching them and reporting to him, but there are many more important things for him to deal with right now. I get this feeling that he is good at delegating and allowing people to do the jobs that they have been given to do. His focus is on "can do", not on impediments to "can do". He is focussing straight ahead at his goals. He looks like a goal-oriented kind of person who instead of worrying about what people think go and work out in a gymnasium or spend some time with his family. He also looks as though he has a good sense of humour, so no doubt is making fun of those guys as well in private of course.