‘obama’s momentous april’

President Barack Obama points to Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew during a meeting with senior advisors in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 31, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Robert Shrum (The Week): April is the unforgiving month that will make or break the Obama presidency. It will be a fitting climacteric for a half-term in power that has been an unremitting succession of crises….

In Libya, the president brilliantly passed the first test, securing a multilateral, Arab-sanctioned coalition that took control of the skies above the battleground just in time … He then endured domestic, often nakedly opportunistic criticism…

Now comes the really hard part. Having intervened, the only acceptable outcome is victory – not the partition of Libya, and surely not the resurgence of a mad dictator …

…Mike Rogers, the Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who doesn’t seem very smart about the issue, opposes arming the rebels because we don’t know enough about them. But we know all we need to about Gadhafi … maybe Rogers is smart in a cynical and unworthy way, willing to see Gadhafi win if that means Obama loses.

But the politics doesn’t stop there. Most presidents facing a foreign crisis don’t have to contend with a simultaneous domestic threat. Obama does – in the form of a government shutdown or a refusal to raise the debt limit…

On the budget and the debt limit, the Republicans who control only one house of Congress are compelled more to demanding than actually negotiating, pressured internally to hold America hostage to a know-nothing Tea Party fringe….

….Obama, on the campaign trail and in office, has displayed a remarkable combination of patience and then decisiveness. He’s won the big ones. But they don’t come much bigger than they have this month.

The Republicans have a sad sack of 2012 candidates. Their best hope may be a mayday for this presidency. But if I were them, I wouldn’t count on Obama buckling in Libya or bending to Boehner. Instead, for this president, for the country, and for progressive principles here and in the world, April could be both the most trying and, in the end, the best of months.

Full article

42 Responses to “‘obama’s momentous april’”

  1. March 31, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Wow. I thought it has already been tough. April is going to be worse? I may take up drinking!

    • March 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      I think I’ll join you! 😆

    • 5 majii
      March 31, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      It’s been tough for PBO every step of the way, but I have confidence that he’s up to the job, and I believe that the MSM, the republicans, PL, frustrati, and firebaggers underestimate him at their own peril. The man never stops working.

      • 6 meta
        March 31, 2011 at 8:06 pm

        Yes, when I think about the endless and rapid succession of crises both foreign and domestic and the non-stop obstruction from the left and right, how could April be any worse? I am grateful for our President’s wisdom and calm in these trying times.

  2. 7 barb
    March 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Let’s make it an April Fools month with President Obama comming out on top of the real fool’s…….the Repugs..

  3. 8 Audrey
    March 31, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    And the goal posts keep moving! For President Obama, success and accomplishment have taken on a new and impossible meaning as far as the media ankle biters are concerned! They are hell bent on depriving PBO the full enjoyment of his many and extraordinary successes and accomplishments and hope that we can forget them as they the self-appointed deciders quickly move on to the next trumped up challenge to the President which of course they still won’t give him any credit for successfully tackling and delivering on!

  4. 9 V C prezOfan2
    March 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I thought of Hachiko today – anyone heard from her re the summer position?

  5. 10 africa
    March 31, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    For those hoping for a terrible endng in Libya, they can count on those hopes being dashed. We’ve begun to see the trickle of defections. Those people see the writing on the wall. That crazy man is on a sinking ship and they sure don’t want to drown with him. Gadaffi and his clan will be begging for an exit, if they are not already.

    The nutcase in Ivory Coast, too.

    POTUS will prevail because he is doing the right and humane thing. April will prove once again his astuteness. Sadly the Republican leadership brings nothing to the table for the country, but a burning desire to see him fail.

    Go figure.

    • 11 ari
      March 31, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      hope you are right africa, and audrey i totally agree.

    • 12 majii
      March 31, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      The Reid Report has an update on the defections of Libyan officials:

      “The British Government said it was in urgent talks with up to another 10 senior figures in Colonel Gaddafi’s creaking regime about possible defection following the dramatic arrival in Britain of the Libyan dictator’s chief henchman for much of his 40 years in power.
      As former foreign minister Moussa Koussa was reported to be “talking voluntarily” to British officials yesterday, the Libyan regime was desperately struggling to limit the damage of the stunning desertion, suggesting he was exhausted and suffering from mental problems.”


  6. 13 V C prezOfan2
    March 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    ‘April is the unforgiving month that will make or break the Obama presidency. It will be a fitting climacteric for a half-term in power that has been an unremitting succession of crises….’

    Why is he talking about something that will ‘make or break the Obama presidency’ after the President has ALREADY successfully dealt with ‘an unremitting succession of crises’ in his ‘half-term in power’? When will they concede that the Obama presidency has already been made! God, I am SOOOOO angry, I’m sitting here looking at the screen trying to compose my thoughts before I write them. Does he need to govern by standing on his head? Isn’t it obvious that he has already accomplished far more that many other presidents? CAN’T WE STOP RATING HIM AND JUST LET HIM GOVERN? NOBODY could do any better than he has done under the circumstances in which he found himself! N-O-B-O-D-Y! For the love of Pete, the country should just acclaim him into a second term!!!! IT REALLY BUGS ME THAT THERE ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE ANOTHER AND ANOTHER TEST, ON EVERY SINGLE ISSUE!!! WHEN IS THE EXAM OVER??? Crickey, it’s too much!!!!!!

    • 14 dotster
      March 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      I’m right there with you on every word. Jump over a bigger lake and THEN maybe we’ll decide if you’re any good or not. Ridiculous.

      • 15 V C prezOfan2
        March 31, 2011 at 9:13 pm

        Dotster, I’m so mad because they are so unfair! Even when they are complimenting him it is couched in a language of criticism. Isn’t it said somewhere that one should ‘give the devil his due’, and here we have an ‘angel’ of a president and even ‘supporters’ have to hedge their bets when about to pat him on the shoulder! In my anger I went over to the original aricle and shared my feelings – politely. Hopefully he’ll post it.

  7. 17 CTGirl
    March 31, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Has this man gotten a break since placing his hand on Lincoln’s Bible?

    • 18 africa
      March 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm

      No. Even when he tried to take a vacation, he’s had to work. It began well before he even placed his hands on the Bible. Recall that just before the elections we found out about the banking debacle. Then we he got elected, instead of taking a break, he was holed up in a hotel in Chicago working on the banking mess and trying to put his cabinet together.

      He has been working non-stop.

      • 19 Eleroy
        March 31, 2011 at 9:36 pm

        Even the so-called vacations he has had have been anything but!!!

        • 20 EDP4BHO
          March 31, 2011 at 9:43 pm

          And never forget during the last leg of his campaign, and the night or two before the election, his Tutu passed away (his grandmother). It all boils down to there being a double-standard of proof for an African American. We are never just good enough, we always have to be twice as good.

          • 21 Theo67
            March 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm

            This is sadly true. Double standard (maybe triple).

          • 22 V C prezOfan2
            March 31, 2011 at 11:39 pm

            In the case, IMO, THE MAN has been better that ‘twice as good’! I posted a letter to the author (4 different times)which has not yet been printed. I wonder if he will print it?

      • 23 majii
        March 31, 2011 at 11:07 pm

        You’re right about him working before he was sworn in. I read in early 2009, that it was because of Candidate Obama’s efforts that the Israelis and Hamas ceased fire before his inauguration. GWB had already given up, was in TX, and Condi Rice was running the show on his behalf. She had been scheduled to receive an award in China but had to cancel her trip. This makes me angry every time I think about it because while a major event was occurring in the ME, GWB couldn’t be bothered to leave Crawford, TX to attend to it, and when PBO went to Latin America, all I heard were questions about why he wasn’t in D.C. when so much was happening in Libya. PBO was working on trade deals in LA and handling the situation in Libya at the same time, but the frustrati, PL, members of his own party, the republicans, and the MSM acted as if he was lying around on the beach in HI somewhere.

  8. 24 Fred
    March 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Yawn, these talking heads are really starting to bore me. They wore out “Obama’s Katrina”, “Obama’s Iraq” and all the other Bush failings to try pin on him. All the time completely ignorant of the fact there always seems to be yet another Bush failure to try compare him to! LOL!

    So now April is the make or break month?? Libya is the make or break crisis? These so called Journalists are not happy unless they can make it seem like EVERY crisis is THE make or break crisis just like every other crisis.


  9. 25 Carolyn
    March 31, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    How many artificial “make or break” desdlines have we heard proclaimed by the talking heads? Fred named two, but I’m sure there have been more. They are silly, and show their silliness and shallowness, and he just keeps working! They keep proving with every word they say, and everything they do that he is the smartest man in the room. They just can’t admit it. He leaves them in the dust. I love my husband’s attitude. Sometimes I get upset, and grouse about this or that and the treatment of the President, and my husband just says…”he has it under control, Carolyn. He knows what’s going on.” My husband’s calm confidence is a balm to me.

    • 26 Theo67
      March 31, 2011 at 11:03 pm

      Your husband’s a smart man.

      • 27 HZ
        April 1, 2011 at 12:28 am

        Yes, he is Carolyn. I have to say that to myself all the time. He has this. And he does. That is one reason that they can’t stand our President. I say our because, I feel that those who try to bring him down constantly with their ugly ways do really accept him as their President. Respect is a very precious gift that few can contribute or refuse to contribute to the Office of The President of The United States of America while Barack Obama is sitting in that chair in the Oval Office. I did not like everything about the previous President, BUT I always respected the office while he was our President. So we know what is going on, but this President realizes also, that is why he keeps moving and stays focused. He will make it !!!

      • 28 Sue in Minnesota
        April 1, 2011 at 3:21 am

        Your husband is smart, and actually responding as our President would.

        This article did not irritate me, I think Shrum is placing his bets on the President. The threat of government shutdown is serious and with an unreliable MSM, influencing a gullible public, President Obama easily could become the target for the blame that will surely ensue. If you haven’t seen the video clip from The Last Word, wherein O’Donnell excoriated Eric Cantor for his blatant stupidity, and unconstitutional proclamations, and the political medias non response…BWD has posted it, check it out. The Republicans are bent on destruction…the MSM is reality challenged, President Obama absolutely has his hands full. But like Shrum, my money is on the President. I also would like to say I appreciate Shrum not feeling the need to qualify his support for our President by reminding us “he doesn’t always agree with him”. THAT would have pissed me off.

        I think the MSM is circling the drain……I think if they don’t recalibrate and improve their product…Al Jazeera or BBC will be scooping up their market share.

        • 29 Sue in Minnesota
          April 1, 2011 at 3:30 am

          I just wanted to add, I have never known Bob Shrum to ever be disrespectful to our President. I think he holds him in very high regard, as President he deserves that respect, as President Obama he has EARNED his esteem.

          • 30 Sue in Minnesota
            April 1, 2011 at 6:59 am

            But I do agree that for the majority of the rat bastards in our MSM, they insist on holding President Obama to articial and unrealistic standards. When President Obama gets done with his second term…no one…will be able to fill his shoes. Think about it, despite the ever ascending standard, he not only meets, but beats them. PBO is at this time the Jackie Robinson of politics, I truly believe, that in time, he will be viewed in a far greater context, Barack Hussein Obama, leader and inspiration to the world. May God be his strength and shield.

            It’s really remarkable to think we are witnessing,represented and guided by such excellence.

            It’s almost 6Am, I haven’t gone to bed yet….Yikes! Good Morning to all!

            • 31 Sue in Minnesota
              April 1, 2011 at 7:03 am

              should be artificial…now off to, hopefully, a Brian Williams-less dreamscape.

            • April 1, 2011 at 9:09 am

              Sue, I thought I was the only one who kept mad hours like that!

              • 33 Sue in Minnesota
                April 2, 2011 at 4:11 am

                Chipsticks, I am a night owl….I do not like going to bed. I sleep like a log, through phone calls, alarm clocks, fire alarms, people yelling in my ear….waking up is such a struggle for me I think in a way it compels me to stay awake. Inertia is a natural state for me…if I am going I’m really hard to stop…but once stopped, it’s really hard for me to get going. I’m not normal….LOL!

                • April 2, 2011 at 8:54 am

                  You have to be my twin sister, Sue, we’re identical! 😆 I’m a complete night owl too, hate going to be bed, but once I’m there NOTHING will wake me up!! And there’s nothing I love more than doing nothing!! I think we’re perfectly normal, it’s just the rest of the planet that’s crazy. 🙂

        • 35 Gloria Powell
          April 1, 2011 at 9:23 am

          AlJazeera and BBC have months ago scooped up my bit of the market share!

        • 36 V C prezOfan2
          April 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm

          Hi Sue,

          I’ve finally come back to this post and respect your take on Shrum. Though I haven’t read too much by him, I haven’t had a problem with his overall content. However, I have to confess that in the same way the ‘doesn’t always agree with him, but…’ theme touches the wrong button for you, I’m immensely bothered by the constant movement of the goalpost, even among the president’s supporters. It’s annoying to me when even the President’s supporters express doubts by saying they’re waiting to see if this or that will succeed, or specualte whether he will be considered successful dependent on some future act – He is already a successful president IMO, regardless of what happens next! In fact, I could almost equate the two ‘trigger’ statements (yours and mine)as evidence of their allowing space between them and the President, just in case….. (I’ll support you till you stumble?) That, to me, is not real support.

  10. 37 anniebella
    March 31, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    We have to continue to pray for our President.

    • 38 majii
      March 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      I NEVER fail to pray for him everyday, anniebella. There’s power in prayer, and I know it. Prayer has brought me a long way through some really bad times in my life, times when I thought I couldn’t move forward, and I thought that my life would never get better. I moved forward AND things got better.

  11. 40 cat48
    April 1, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I think my head’s going to explode! The Cable Hosts keep saying “we” must take out Gaddafi for “American Prestige”! WTF?? Do they honestly feel we have any “prestige” after all we’ve done in Muslim countries?? Abu Graib; Kill Teams; Gitmo; Torture?? Mr. President, you don’t have to risk any GI’s lives for my “prestige.” I’m just fine with saving Muslims this time, instead of killing them. Okay, Sir? Thank you.

    I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with me because I just cannot identify with this “prestige” they speak of…..

    • 41 Eleroy
      April 1, 2011 at 2:39 am

      You’re not alone Cat!!! These people are just looking to trap President Obama. One minute they are screaming that we should not be in Libya and next thing, they want the President to have Ghadaffi killed!!! Pay no attention to them Cat, these talking heads are nuts and obssessed with destrying President Obama!!!

  12. 42 Jessica
    April 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

    The only that is make or break is the economy (maybe). It’s clear most Americans know they messed in 2010 by not voting or voting R. And if a shutdown causes the economy to waiver he prob. won’t be blamed for it.

    Libya as make or break is a no.

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