Inauguration Day was truly historical – the first black president, and the first time the "Muslim world" was referenced in an inaugural speech. When Obama said "to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," one must wonder if this means Saudi Arabia or Indonesia (where Obama spent his childhood) or if he is referring to terrorists.
Singling out one ethnic group does not show unity, especially to the many Muslims who are living in the United States, describe themselves as Americans and call Obama their president. Can this unity be created when our president is attending prayer services led by Ingrid Mattson, a woman who has staunchly refused to condemn the actions of Hezbollah and Hamas? Moreover, can the Israeli-Palestinian conflict be resolved when the president makes his first international phone call to Mahoud Abbas, president of Palestine and ignores Israel completely?
Our position in the international landscape in the days since Obama has taken office has declined. Obama backtracked many years in his inaugural speech as he described communism and fascism in China. The people of China did not appreciate the remark and were further frustrated at Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner's remark that China has "manipulated" its currency and is selling American products for more than they are worth.
It seems Geithner lost track that our nation's economy is interdependent on China and that we are behind them on the economic stage. He was oblivious to the fact that Bush enhanced relations with China, but he also to the fact that is it required for all Americans to pay taxes, as he has not paid his own. It must be hard for our president to look out for our homeland security as he would not even be accepting to the secure settings on the White House computers, reportedly complaining of the inability to send instant messages, have a Facebook page and use his Blackberry – which an exception has now been made for him to keep.
The notion of bipartisanship quickly dissolved as neither Republicans nor Democrats were pleased with Obama's tax plan. Instead, the word one repeated on the campaign trail (one country, one nation) meant just him – one president, one voice, nobody else matters. This was evidenced when he was asked why his tax plan overrode all other ideas and he bragged "because I won." Why does he need staff when he will close off his ears to all agendas aside from his own? It is a solemn week that Americans recognize the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, a legal decision that is responsible for taking many innocent lives.
As Obama tunes out the millions of committed people who spent years putting regulations and protections into place, like informed consent, waiting periods, parental involvement and requiring physicians to be licensed, and even the progress that was made in the Gonzales vs. Carhart decision to federally ban partial birth abortions, he has pledged to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. This plan of action is almost as symbolic as his presidency. If you don't believe the power is just about one person, Obama, remember that FOCA invalidates any action made at the state or local level. It seems like the Constitution has just added a new right, and a radical one too.
The campaign promise of leaving the abortion issue up to the states proved to be a false one. Obama has overturned the ban on U.S. support to foreign aid groups that perform abortions overseas. Additionally, he will be providing federal funding to the U.N. Family Planning Agency. Is this the payback for eight years of a Republican with morals in the White House?
Perhaps so much time has been spent preparing to fund these abortions that the basic preparations for the incoming administration were overlooked, like the reported name cards with misspellings and phones that were not yet programmed and could not make outgoing calls.
If we think back to the question of who would be able to answer the phone at 3 in the morning that frequently arose during the campaign season, it is now obvious that all members of the Obama administration would not have been able to. Obama would not even be able to answer the phone at 7am as he starts his work day after 8:35 in the morning, a stark contrast to Bush who was always working around 6, 7 on a late day. During trying times in which our president has complained of rooms being too small and media being too intrusive after his insistence on operating completely open and transparent government with the public, we must pray for our president and hope that he will moderate his extremist views. We must hope that attorney general nominee, Eric Holder is not confirmed, as he has represented Chiquita, a company who has admittedly made financial transactions with terrorist groups.
We must hope for continued safety in the homeland and peace to be slowly made abroad. We should stand up in historic numbers, for our values and for what we believe to be the best decisions for our country. Our nation is not governed based on the power of one person. This is "one nation, indivisible, under G-d, with liberty and justice for all." Let's make it happen.
© 2009 Jamie Lober.. Jamie Lober, author of Pink Power, is a leading conservative voice whose interests include health and politics. She can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org