Monday, April 30, 2012

Obama Deals on Environment Enabled by Lack of Media Coverage

To the Editor:

          In response to “Obama’s Compromises on the Environment are as Destructive as Bush’s Ignorance,” I want to thank for reporting on the president’s environmental policies.  The obvious lack of such reporting in major publications is, I believe, the reason that environmental issues have been put on the back burner in current politics. 
          In the article, Brian Merchant gives Obama credit for his obvious understanding of climate change and other environmental issues, as well as his good intentions on the matter.  However, Merchant also explains that the green community is largely disappointed by the fact that Obama’s policies thus far have “weakened more environmental protections than Bush.”  I believe that it is precisely this lack of reporting of environmental issues and policies that removes the green discussion from the list of “important” issues that the presidential candidates have been focusing on (the economy, job creation, etc.). 
          However, let’s not forget: Obama’s term thus far provides a pattern of respectable, reasonable, moderate, and well-thought-out actions and decisions on his part; while the actions and decisions of Republican leaders can be accurately described as rash, extreme, and desperate (to damage Obama’s reputation, that is).  They have countered Obama’s willingness to compromise with staunch stubbornness.  The real question is: how much longer can Obama afford to compromise his beliefs and values? cites a clear example of how the President’s eagerness to compromise has backfired in his environmental policy.
          By now, the Republicans have made it clear that they aren’t willing to play along with Obama’s policy of reasonable compromise.  Many of Obama’s supporters have recently urged him to try tougher tactics and stick to his guns on issues like the environment.  Perhaps they are right, or perhaps Obama prefers getting something done, even if in small doses (through compromise), rather than nothing. 
          Furthermore, his current situation with a Republican-dominated Congress makes it difficult for our President to pass any legislation whatsoever without bipartisanship.  The next congressional election will occur parallel to the presidential one, and the Democrats will have a chance to gain Senate seats.  In order to pass policies that do not involve compromises, Obama needs a Senate majority.  So, Democrats, give Obama another chance…by getting out to vote in the presidential and Congressional elections.  I think he’s earned it by doing the best possible job running our country, as he took office at a time when our country was left in great distress by the previous administration.  Obama’s resolve to be more aggressive is already developing, but I believe that during his next term is when he will really get his hands dirty. 
          Environmental issues are often overlooked in news.  Again, more news coverage of environmental issues and policies would help to push politicians (especially presidential candidates) to address them during their campaigns and terms. 

Bliss Sando

For original article, see:

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