Obama’s top five broken promises (so far)

Image from White House photostream
From healthcare to closing Guantanamo to defending labor rights, US President Barack Obama promised many things, but has failed to deliver.

Brought into office on a cloud of hope, change and positive thinking, voters lifted Obama into the White House with high expectations.

Two years into his presidency and as he enters his reelection campaign many supporters have being forced to grapple with the reality that is the Obama presidency – broken promises.

Recent public opinion polls show less than half of Americas believe Obama deserves reelection, conservatives continue to despise him, liberals and moderates are increasingly becoming disillusioned.

Obama continues to lead among likely Republican contenders, but those match-ups are highly flawed given no leading Republicans have officially entered the race. Obama’s presidential office is quite vulnerable in 2012.

Looking back to 2008 candidate Obama and flash forwarding to today, there are some very clear broken promises, some of which were cornerstones to his campaign.

Hope, change and healthcare for all – the promise spread across America like a virus has not come to be a reality. Despite the passage of Obama's health care reform plan many Americans still find it challenging to see a doctor or pay for necessary medical needs.

Obama wanted to ensure no American was without access to medical care. It was the goal behind his push for healthcare reform. His health bill however did not grant such coverage. Although Obama’s party once controlled the Congress, he was unable to push through healthcare for all. While the new law addresses some much needed issues with the US health system, such as eliminating pre-existing condition clauses, much of the measure will not take effect until 2014. At that point in time, the Congressional Budget Office estimates over 22 million Americans will still be without proper access to basic medical care.

After initiating a two year freeze on military trials of detained terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Obama has lifted the ban just in time to try self-professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. On the 2008 campaign trail Obama promised not only to cease the trials permanently, he said he would close the base too. He has gone in a completely different direction. While his Democratic Party controlled Congress Obama could have tackled the trials and military base, but dialed to do so. He caved to pressures from Republicans and military leaders.

"Understand this," Obama said at a campaign rally in 2007. "If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I’ll will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America.”

States across the Union however recently passed laws cracking down on labor rights and union workers, eliminating benefits, abolishing collective bargaining rights and more. Obama was nearly silent. After pressure mounted he issued a statement, expressing his opposition to Republican bills across the county, but did little more to support organized labor.

Obama failed to show up at the picket line and march as promised.

Also along the campaign trail Obama praised his belief in civil liberties, transparency and judicial prudence. However, he has continued to stand by the Bush-era PATRIOT Act with restricts the above.

The US President called for changes to warrantless searches and wiretaps. He called for a greater respect for the people. But, at every chance to kill these rules instituted by former President George W. Bush, Obama opted to extend them instead of letting them expire.

In addition to his call for a restoration of American civil liberties, Obama called for an end to America’s wars abroad. Afghanistan and Iraq however remain conflict zones, and now Pakistan and Libya have been added to the list. The anti-war pro-peace American President extended US military operations overseas. 60 percent of American deaths in Afghanistan have occurred under the Obama presidency. Conflicts have expanded, locations increased and violence escalated.

Thus far, Obama has failed to deliver on his top promises and yet to even address other he committed too in the 2008 campaign season.