I suppose I’m asking does the position of President engender respect amongst all or most American citizens or is it entirely down to the individual? Was Bush the President of Republican America etc?
You’ve been here for over a year, what do you think?
No, we don’t all love it, yes we all get on with it. I haven’t the slightest bit of respect for George Bush, nor does he require it of me, since he never intended or desired to be anything BUT the President of Republican America.
These days, the campaign against the new President starts the second he’s called as the winner. People will occasionally fall behind the leader in certain situations (9/11, GWI), but for the most part, he’s attacked and resented unceasingly by the opposition for the length of his term – sometimes deservedly, sometimes not.
I think that the right wing is especially vicious in this regard. I know I’m biased, but I think the religious component on the right elevates perceptions to a fantastic, almost hallucinatory level that doesn’t exists so much on the left. There are many people on the right who look at Barack Obama and literally see a Satanic anti-Christ figure who will enslave the white race and kill Christians and brand numbers on their hands.
I don’t see a parallel to that on the left. On the left wingnut frontiers, you get 9/11 conspiracists and maybe some enviromemtal or animal rights delusionalists, but they’re still on our fringe. On the right, the nutters are in the mainstream and in elected office.
If [when] Obama is elected this will be the first time in my voting career that I will be happy to watch the inaugural ceremony, state of the union etc…etc…I’ll be happy with our president. This is significant, because it will stir in me a sense of goodness in my country and not a sense of dread like the last 8 years. It will signify to me that our country has actually turned a corner…
It’s a fine American tradition to pick apart and argue about anything and everything the President does or does not do, no matter who it is.
I expect this tradition will continue.
But there is always a honeymoon period in Washington, in which a new president is cut some slack for the first weeks or months of his presidency. After that, the president is on his own as to whether he’s a polarizing figure or a popular one.
But everybody else will find reasons to complain. We’re all human and it is our nature to complain, even (especially?) about stupid things.
Bush had incredible approval ratings after 9/11. Whatever hate half of the country had for him after the 2000 election got put aside for awhile, goodwill that Bush promptly squandered.
Bitching and moaning is an important part of our culture and most Americans excel at it. If Obama wins, the honeymoon period might be a little longer, but soon enough the novelty will wear off and everyone will start complaining again. Criticizing the current administration is a sport for some people.
Obama fan here: Purely anecdotal, but my brother, the die-hard Republican, has grudgingly admitted he could live with the idea of a President Obama in the White House. He never said that about Kerry or Gore, and he loathed Clinton. Oh, and my brother lives in Arizona…that should give you an idea how radical this concept of him sortakinda liking Obama is for me!
No, absolutely not. Perhaps at one time it did, but not in my lifetime. Most Republicans totally abominated and despised Bill Clinton, holding him in utter contempt as a human being. You can read this board to see what Democrats think of Bush.
The position definitely does not engender *respect *automatically. But I think it does engender acceptance. I didn’t respect Bush or Clinton, but of course they were my presidents. They won the election. What good would stomping around saying “You’re not my president!” do?
I’m not sure, myself; it’s been so long since somebody I wanted to win got elected… Given how rabidly Democrat my wife is, I don’t think I’ll get a moment’s quiet in my home for the next four years if McCain wins, even if he proceeds to pull a golden egg out of his ass for every man, woman & child in America. Even if Obama wins, I’m beginning to get so disgusted with the entire primary/debate/mudsling process that I’m probably going to hope that the main effect of his getting elected is that he shuts up and goes back to work for a while so I can have some peace.
It seems like there is a period of quiet after each election, while everyone revels in the lack of attack ads, calling banks and clipboard poll takers. Then we get right back to lampooning the president and what he said at dinner last nght.
I do not think there will be a calm period for the next president. There is such a mess that a huge amount of work will be required immediately. The cabinet will have to be in place and working their asses off day two. I hope they have some good ideas.
I hated Bush from back when he was Gov. in Texas. He was a lying prick then . He has only gone down hill since. I hope they go after him legally when he escapes.
If McCain wins, I will, for the first time in my life, pray everyday to whatever gods there be, that he lives through his term.
No, we’re like citizens of every other democratic nation. We instantly revere whoever happened to get elected and never say a discouraging word. It’s sort of like the Brits and Tony Blair.*
Although even as we speak, someone is revving up the presses to print oodles of “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For McCain/Obama” bumper stickers.
*I would have referenced an Irish president, but I lost track of them after Eamon de Valera. Who is it ya got now? Whitey Bulger?