Gary is an author, trial lawyer, Mequon-area resident and town of Cedarburg supervisor. He is a columnist for the News Graphic and writes for several Wisconsin area magazines and is a national columnist with The American Thinker and PJ Media. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and has three sons ages 18 to 28. Gary won Ozaukee County in his bid for the Wisconsin Assembly's 60th District in 2011, but came up just 58 votes short.
On November 4, 2008, a majority of American people put Barack H. Obama and the Democrats in power - in the House, Senate, and Oval Office. They voted for hope. They voted for change they could believe in. They were promised the most ethical and transparent administration in history. They were promised a bipartisan Congress. The world would be safer, the economy better, the environment cleaner. Lobbyists would be a thing of the past. Our troops would come home and Guantanamo Bay would close. Our families would be stronger and our future would be brighter. How is that ‘hope and change’ working out for everyone? A look back at Obama’s frustrating first year in office reveals that it was a real clunker.
JANUARY: In the first hours of his presidency, Obama halts military trials against the five terrorists who coordinated the attacks of 9/11. He orders Guantanamo Bay closed by January 22, 2010. Camp Justice is still open and no new deadlines have been proposed. On January 24 he demands an “emergency” stimulus bill – a monster slush fund which doles out $800 billion we don’t have on ACORN, union activities and pork.
FEBRUARY: Despite campaign promises of a “net spending cut”, his budget increases spending by $1 trillion over the next decade, runs a $1.75 trillion deficit, implements a 12% increase in discretionary spending and greatly expands the federal government. He nominates 4 tax cheats to his cabinet and breaks a tax pledge by implementing a huge new tax on the millions of cigarette smokers whose purchases fund the SCHIP program.
APRIL: Obama bows to the Saudi King at the G20. He embarks on a whirlwind U.S. Apology tour and calls America “arrogant” while referring to a non-existent Austrian language. He risks national security by releasing top-secret CIA “torture memos”, burns 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to plant a tree for Earth Day, and gives the Queen of England another iPod.
MAY: Obama declares we are “out of money” and then spends $1 million to take his wife to New York for dinner, drinks and a play. He mocks the Special Olympics on the Tonight Show, gives PM Gordon Brown incorrectly-formatted DVD’s, and refers to Cinco de Mayo as “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of Mexico's Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan.
JUNE: Obama forces GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and gives 55% of Chrysler to the UAW, 20% to Fiat, 8% to the federal government, and even 2% to Canada. He takes over 60% of GM, gives 18% to the UAW, fires its CEO, and gives GM bondholders pennies on the dollar. In Cairo, he quotes from the Koran and apologizes to the Arab world on behalf of America. During his ABC infomercial about ObamaCare he tells old people they’d be better off if they just “take a pain pill” rather than getting well. Cap and trade – driven by the now-debunked hoax of global warming - passes the House, where it will likely die.
JULY: TARP watchdog and life-long Democrat Neil Barofsky blasts the “most transparent administration in history” for corruption and a lack of transparency in the handling of the TARP monies. Obama responds by pressuring the Justice Department to rule that Barofsky works for his hand-picked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who forgot to pay $34,000 of his own taxes. Cash for Clunkers runs out of money 6 days after it is announced. Obama incorrectly presumes white Cambridge police “acted stupidly” in the arrest of a black Harvard professor, without knowing the facts, so they all drink beer.
AUGUST: General Stanley McChrystal urgently needs 60,000 more troops to achieve victory in Afghanistan. Obama ignores him and later admits that “victory” is not a word he is comfortable with. 51 troops die in Afghanistan, the highest total since 9/11.
SEPTEMBER: No decision from Obama on troop reinforcements. McChrystal has talked to the president only once since taking command of NATO troops in early June. Obama pitches Chicago for the 2016 Olympics, but is rejected in the first round of balloting. Forty-three more troops die in Afghanistan.
OCTOBER: Still no decision. McChrystal has to travel to Copenhagen to meet with Obama on AirForce One and calls situation in Afghanistan “serious.” Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize for creating a “new climate in international politics.” Fifty-five more troops die in Afghanistan – the most since 9/11.
NOVEMBER: Still no decision. Thirteen killed and 30 wounded in terrorist attack at Fort Hood. Obama speaks for nearly 3 minutes at “tribal leader’s conference” and gives a “shout out” to Dr. Joe Medicine Crow before acknowledging the massacre. Unemployment hits 10.2%. Obama announces amnesty plan to give 14 million illegal aliens citizenship. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be given lawyers, American rights, and a $200 million a year trial in the heart of New York City.
DECEMBER: Obama finally decides on half the number of troops requested, but 116 U.S. soldiers have died since the request. Our budget deficit for December alone is $176 billion and Obama says we must “spend our way out of the recession.” He claims America will go “bankrupt” if health care isn’t passed. He holds a “jobs summit” – which Press Secretary Gibbs admits “is not about creating jobs” - but instead of inviting job producers, stacks it with people who believe we need more government reallocation of taxpayer money. Obama and Democrats Congress secretly try to force health care reform past Republicans and 61% of the American people who do not want it.
Obama’s first year in office witnessed 139 bank failures, a quarter million foreclosures, 17% actual unemployment, 29 rounds of golf (compared to 7 for Bush), nearly 400 speeches, including one to a grade school in which he used a teleprompter, 10 visits to Camp David, 2 vacations, visits to 21 foreign countries, 2 teleprompter failures, 152 casualties in Iraq and 319 in Afghanistan. The hope appears to have been hype.
Broken promises? The complete list is too long for this article. Candidate Obama promised to reduce earmarks, make government open and transparent, allow the public 5 days to read a bill, put every pork barrel project online, make meetings where laws are written public, and cut spending. He did none of them. He said he wouldn’t force people to buy insurance – a key provision of his not-dead-enough health care bill. “Lobbyists won't find a job in my White House," he said, but dozens have. He promised a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) law and then proposed a budget that violated it by $3.4 trillion.
There can be no doubt now about the type of “fundamental change” our president visualized during his first year in office. It appears 2010 will be more of the same – a fight between the American people and a far-left socialist who believes that wealth redistribution should have been an integral element of the 1960’s civil rights movement.
But the American people have finally had enough. From tea parties to town hall meetings to the voting booths, mainstream America is fighting back. Recent political victories by Republicans such as Bob McConnell and Chris Christie raised eyebrows, but Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts – a seat held by liberal Democrats for 48 years - is the canary in the coal mine for Democrats. Some liberal Democrats have noticed the dead canary. Our president has not.
November 2, 2010 is right around the corner. We're broke and it's time for heads to roll – on both sides of the aisle. No more outrageous taxes. No more deficit spending. No more job-killing legislation. No more national apologies. No more special laws and exemptions for Washington politicians. No more government takeovers. No more redistribution. No more career politicans. No more tax dollars to ACORN and unions. No more socialism. We've had enough. We’re taking our country back.