I Hope Obama Fails

There have been a bunch of Republicans that have been saying that they hope Obama fails with the policy decisions he is making. It started with that nut job limbaugh, and most recently (that i have seen) now thompson.

We all agree that the country is facing some serious problems. the disagreement is on how to fix those problems. By saying that you hope that Obama fails, you are not saying that his policy decisions are wrong (though I am sure they think that too) you are saying that you hope those policy decisions are not effective. I can only think of a few reasons that a person would hope that policy decisions fail: 1) you predicted that they would fail and you want to be proven right; 2) you dislike the person making the policy decisions and hope poorly for them as a person; 3) you want them to fail so that you can again claim power. Another way of classifying these reasons are: 1) petty; 2) petty; 3) petty. What in effect these republicans are saying is that for their petty reasons they want all of us to suffer. I can respect someone who disagrees with obama on how to handle the current crises we face, but someone that hopes he fails for a petty reason (causing all of us to suffer) is not someone i can respect.

fear that he will fail, predict that he will fail, believe that he will fail, but hope that he will fail? That is the epitome of partisan bickering that is everything bad with our political system.


Matt said...

I generally agree with you that it's petty, but I have some reservations.

I'm a partisan and I want things to go one way for the country because I think that's what's best. I look at my opponent, and I see his policies are different from mine and I think they're no good. Is it bad to want my opponent to fail? I think it depends.

If I'm hoping for a failure to implement those policies, then I don't think it's terrible. I wanted Bush's efforts to privatize Social Security to fail because I thought it was bad for the country.

In the current context, though, I feel like there's a sense of crisis and that wishing failure is less about principled objection to a set of policies and more about a general failure to adequately address the crisis. It's not about policy, it's about suffering for the country.

And that's tacky and partisan.

permathreeseat said...

I think there's a difference between wanting a policy to fail and wanting a person (or party) to fail. It's one thing to say that you want Obama's economic policy to fail - or that you think it's destined to fail because of the perceived flaws - or that you wanted Bush's Social Security policies to fail. Because both of those imply that you have an alternative theory that you think will be better and you want your chance to try.

But what the Limbaughs and that ilk are saying is that they want Obama, and not any specific policy of his, to fail. It's the ad hominem attack that is really petty. And that's what really hurts the American people. A legitimate difference of opinion is good for democracy, wishing ill of others stalls any recovery effort and dooms America to further problems.