Andrew Clark: Are we hung over from Obama-mania yet?

Alcohol isn’t the only thing that can give you a hangover. This year, Obama-mania will give it to you as well.

President Obama has been in office for nine months. Regardless of your political persuasion, as we return to campus, we can all agree that the Obama-mania was extremely overrated.

We all remember the Obama-mania that took our campus by storm last year. Obama pins, Obama shirts, Obama fliers and Obama stickers. Election night was eerily reminiscent of something like VJ-Day – people climbed on top of their cars on Pennsylvania Avenue to dance, car horns blasted through the air, and a drunken mob of excited college students rushed to the White House. Change had happened! More change was coming! Change! Yes we can!

Now, as independents are swinging away from the president, it seems that many of his supporters are realizing just how liberal Obama really is, and many moderates at this school who voted for Barack Obama may very well be waking up to a big Obama hangover.

Let’s review the past nine months. A thousand-page, wildly expensive stimulus bill was rammed through Congress at high speed before lawmakers could even thoroughly read it. The economy is showing some signs of recovery, but consider that only a fraction of the stimulus has been spent, indicating its negligible impact, and that voters are already clamoring for Congress to not spend the rest.

Perhaps if President Obama had not insisted on a stimulus bill, the wildfire that is the current health care debate would not be so hot. But when he spends nearly one trillion dollars on one program and now wants to spend another trillion on insurance subsidies and an unnecessary public option, the public may grow skeptical about how much debt our country can really have. Not to mention that it is hardly the republicans who are derailing health care reform, but conservative democrats in Obama’s own party.

Maybe those conservative democrats would be more willing to take a risky vote on health care if the President hadn’t already spent an insane amount of political capital pushing them to vote for an unpopular and business-hurting, cap-and-trade environmental bill. The bill has no chance in the Senate, so it seems that capital was put to waste.

For all those anti-war activists who supported the president, consider that “anti-war” Obama has kept the Bush policies in Iraq and has escalated the war in Afghanistan by sending in more American troops.

Remember that the president made an off-the-cuff and offensive comment about a police incident in Boston this summer that was hardly deserving of White House attention, leaving one wondering why he would use the bully pulpit on such a minute issue.

And, since he campaigned as a post-partisan, unifying moderate, what bipartisan concessions or compromises has Obama offered to the republicans in Congress to instill a new era of cooperation in Washington?

Let’s put aside the fact that his 46 percent (as of a Wednesday Rasmussen poll) approval rating puts him among the least popular modern presidents at this point in his presidency, and that the experts are predicting moderate-to-major democratic losses in Congress. Ask yourself: was all the hype really worth it?

Though I am a republican, I by no means am ready to label him the worst president in modern history, and am a far cry from prematurely calling the Obama Presidency a failure. But after the campaign and election hysteria last year, and as we return to our D.C.-based campus, many students will probably start to feel that Obama hangover. After all, the American Heritage dictionary defines the word “hangover” as “a letdown, as after a period of excitement.” It certainly is.

The writer, a junior majoring in political communication, is a Hatchet columnist and a member of the College Republicans executive board.

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