October 6, 2012

Regarding George F. Will’s Oct. 2 op-ed column, “Reluctant to change”:

No, the slim majority standing with President Obama is not just sympathetic to the president and the mess he’s been shackled with by both the previous administration and a recalcitrant, obstructionist GOP in Congress. Nor is it practicing some kind of reverse racism, giving Mr. Obama a pass as our first black president.

Americans are using their heads. They see that the crunch was even worse than anyone anticipated; that the stimulus worked; that more jobs have been created during Mr. Obama’s tenure than under George W. Bush’s; that Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are actually working, though they do require major adjustments to be solvent over the long term; that Wall Street needs more regulation, not less; that the Affordable Care Act is working even as it has hardly started to take effect; that the disparity between rich and poor in the United States is greater than in any other industrialized nation; and — yes — that General Motors is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.

The president should not get a pass as our first black president, but rather credit for extremely effective leadership under extremely difficult circumstances.

Malcolm Odell, Washington

George F. Will seems befuddled by the resiliency of President Obama’s poll numbers. His preferred explanation, which might be summarized as “white guilt on a national scale,” overlooks the following obvious question: Could it be that many voters simply believe that the challenger would do worse?

Contrary to Mr. Will’s concluding assertion, the nation’s seeming rejection of Mitt Romney’s incoherently prescribed snake oil speaks very well of its head.

Andrew Maslar, Elkridge

George F. Will pointed out that the first African American baseball manager hired, Frank Robinson, was also the first fired. He suggested that President Obama deserved a similar fate.

Mr. Will, however, did not examine whether the Cleveland Indians’ fortunes improved after Mr. Robinson’s sacking. He was replaced by Jeff Torborg, who guided the Tribe to a 157-201 record. Mr. Robinson’s was 186-189.

David Irvine, Laurel