In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 28, 2009 / 4 Iyar 5769

100 Days

By Roger Simon

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It has been a whirlwind. Even though Barack Obama has been accused of everything from socialism to fascism in his first 100 days in office, the best "ism" to describe his governing philosophy has been activism.

We still may be in a mess, but at least we aren't in a malaise.

It has been a headlong rush from bailouts to budgets, from GM to the G-20, from Iran to Afghanistan, from stimulus to stem cells, from closing Guantanamo to opening a White House garden and from puppies to pirates.

The mind boggles. The head swirls. The stomach butterflies. This is clearly a White House that believes velocity is a virtue.

There is a not deeply hidden message behind all this: Unlike our last president, Barack Obama is not the hapless victim of events; he is not a prisoner either of history or his advisers. He does stuff. Some stuff might succeed and some stuff might fail, but he does stuff. His wife, Michelle, used to tell cheering crowds during the campaign, "Let's show them that America is ready for Barack Obama!"

Ready or not, he is here. And, considering the old rule of Washington was that the more you do, the more you can be attacked (and so doing as little as possible made the most sense), his popularity remains high.

As I write this, Obama's approval rating is around 60 percent, but that does not convey the true political landscape. The true political landscape is that Barack Obama stands alone on the political landscape. There is simply no other major figure in American politics at the moment.

The Republicans have helped him enormously. Their party is still reeling in shock from the elections of 2006 and 2008. With moderate or "soft" Republicans deserting the party (at least in polls) for the independent label, the Republican Party has grown more conservative, like a collapsing star solidifying around its base.

Which would be fine. There is nothing wrong with offering a choice and not an echo. But the Republicans have not yet figured out that to be a party of opposition, you have to offer actual alternatives. You can't counter Obama's activism with just a Theory of Negativity.

Obama was careful to begin his presidency by first lowering expectations. In the period between his election and inauguration, Obama conducted a gloom campaign. On "Meet the Press With David Gregory" on Dec. 7, Obama said, "Things are going to get worse before they get better." On his train trip to Washington for his inaugural, Obama said in Philadelphia, "Only a handful of times in our history has a generation been confronted with challenges so vast." And then in Wilmington, Del., he followed with, "Together, we know that America faces its own crossroads — a nation at war, an economy in turmoil, an American Dream that feels like it's slipping way."

But as Yogi Berra used to say, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Now, as we approach Barack Obama's 100th day in office, it feels like America has at least chosen a path. And as Obama cautiously said in mid-April, he sees "glimmers of hope" when it comes to the economy. "We're starting to see progress," he said. "And if we stick with it, if we don't flinch in the face of some difficulties, then I feel absolutely convinced that we are going to get this economy back on track."

Just as Franklin Roosevelt's greatest achievement in his first 100 days was not specific legislation but a restoration of confidence, Obama's greatest success has been restoring confidence at home and burnishing America's image abroad.

Abroad, our image could hardly have been more tarnished. But Obama chose an interesting word to begin the polishing process, a word he used in his inaugural address: humility. "Our power grows through its prudent use," Obama said, "our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint."

In London, in early April at a news conference during the G-20 summit, Obama was asked how his foreign policy differs from that of George W. Bush. Obama replied that "we exercise our leadership best when we are listening" and when "we lead by example, when we show some element of humility."

"Humility" is not a word often heard from American presidents. Has it led to immediate results? No. Talking to reporters in Istanbul, Obama's chief adviser, David Axelrod, said: "Why didn't the waters part, the sun shine and all ills of the world disappear because President Obama came to Europe this week? That wasn't our expectation. That will take at least a few weeks."

But seeds have been planted. That's what the first 100 days are for.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Roger Simon's column by clicking here.

Roger Simon Archives

© 2009, Creators Syndicate