Fast Focus: 'Does Obama overuse the executive order?' Hopes haven't materialized

February 9, 2014 

With apologies to your readers who felt the combination of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney amounted to pinnacles of American statesmanship, I eagerly awaited, I clung to, I embraced the change that would come in 2008. Did I say "eagerly?" Too soft -- take it to the 100th power.

When change finally arrived with Barack Obama's ascent to the West Wing, I felt, through his campaign speeches and his enthusiasm, a wonderful wave of change had arrived. Relief seized me, something I hadn't felt since JFK trounced Richard Nixon. Here at last would be a president who would not be a mere dupe in office for the real behind-the-curtains source(s) of power. Anything (again) seemed possible.

I was wrong. Even the attempt to provide health coverage for all Americans -- much like Europeans enjoy -- now feels more like an attempt to play into the hands of insurance companies. Not a humanitarian act. Reality set in.

My interest in this president has waned since 2008.

Upon his 2012 re-election, another bold speech with a "can- do" philosophy. It felt like deja vu, '08 revisited. I couldn't listen to more of the same, turned off the TV, went looking for my latest Lee Child's novel.

I am not an astute watcher of the Washington, D.C., scene. Too much corruption, too many broken promises, too many sorely unimpressive delegates.

As to your question, I simply wish I could proudly itemize each and every order and either defend or lambast it. I can't. Not to sound woe-is-me, but when the spirit and interest sags due to what I perceive has been lost the past 14 years, I have found more fulfillment in washing and waxing the car, needlepoint, and collecting string.

In the meantime, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do console. A little.

I wonder what Jonathan Swift, if he were alive today, would say. Or write.

-- BINK OWEN, Walla Walla

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