Boston Irish Reporter Endorsement: Forward with Obama

Ed Forry

If only every decision in life were this easy.

President Barack Obama has earned re-election with an impressive first term that will come to be viewed as one of the most productive, progressive, and — ultimately— successful periods in the history of the modern US presidency. Obama has done so in spite of an inherited economic crisis that would have upended lesser leaders and in the face of a Republican Congress whose sole reason for existence over the last two years has been to undermine the president and his initiatives at every turn. The GOP has failed, the president has prevailed, and we enthusiastically endorse his re-election next Tuesday.

The president’s health care reform initiative is a milestone achievement. (In a great irony, his detractors quickly labeled the Affordable Care Act measure “Obamacare”, a term that the president came to embrace and one that will no doubt come to carry his name, to positive effect, through the ages.) Rarely has a president so effectively used his election mandate to such far-reaching and substantive effect. Tens of millions of our fellow Americans— and untold generations to come— will benefit from the reforms. That includes young Americans struggling to find a foothold in the workforce and seniors who will benefit immediately from enhanced prescription drug benefits.

The president injected life-saving government dollars into the economy at a moment of great gravity at the dawn of his tenure. He saved the American automotive industry— against the advice of Romney— and has begun to rebuild the economy, add jobs, and rebuild confidence and sales activity the housing market— a gradual turnaround that is now in clear evidence in the Boston area.

The president has struck important blows for civil rights, especially for gay Americans. He has ended the military’s ridiculous half-measure— ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’— and has affirmed his own support for gay marriage, a civil right that will one day be as commonplace as interracial marriage, which was also banned (even criminalized) in this president’s lifetime. Critically, the president is, and always has been, a stalwart supporter of a woman’s right to make her own reproductive decisions and as such he has, and will, appoint Supreme Court justices who will reject efforts from the right to turn back the clock on this essential civil liberty.

The president has been decisive and impressive on foreign policy. He followed through on his campaign pledge to kill Osama bin Laden if we had the opportunity, pulled US forces from Iraq, and set a reasonable timetable for a withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. He has kept ground troops out of further entanglements in the quicksand of the Middle East while assisting Libya in the overthrow of Khadafy. His even-tempered approach to staring down nuclear proliferation in Iran with unprecedented sanctions is the rational, most viable way forward without a costly war involving Israel.

Obama’s second term offers great promise. The president has laid the groundwork for a robust economic comeback fueled by the nation’s energy sector. By extricating us from two meandering foreign wars, he will have new resources to allocate into state and local spending and pay down the national debt.

A note about his competitor: Bain and Company’s Mitt Romney (who moonlighted as a “moderate” Massachusetts governor for four years) is a fraud. Like the aging utility infielder who’s willing to take any position — no matter how far afield from the last one he held— Romney has proven in this campaign that he’ll say and do anything it takes in order to stay in the game. There is no lie that he won’t tell in a desperate attempt to win the White House, even if comes at the expense of our own economy. Witness his latest assault on the facts this past weekend: an out-and-out whopper intended to scare Ohio voters into thinking that their car jobs with Chrysler were about to be outsourced to China. The false claim resulted in a sharply worded rebuttal from Chrysler, the corporation that makes the Jeeps that Romney lied about. All this from a man who two years ago announced that it was his policy— in ruthless slash and burn fashion— to force the American car industry into bankruptcy.

Take it from Massachusetts voters who’ve seen in action the sneering, jaded shape-shifter exposed in the now infamous “47 percent” video that everyone watched gape-mouthed this fall: Yes, that is the Mitt Romney you can expect to govern the country if he is elected. That said, we wish him well in his political retirement, which will begin around 9:30 p.m. EST next Tuesday night.
Our president stands his ground, takes principled and decisive action, and is a steady hand at the helm of a complicated, diverse but still-optimistic country that finds in their president an equal. He is a leader, and our children and grandchildren will be proud of us for supporting him as we go to the polls enthusiastically to return him to office.

– Bill Forry and Ed Forry