Monday, March 12, 2012

For the Record

Kevin Drum over at Mother Jones spells it out, for those on the left still choosing to be pissy and obstinate:

"And yet, there's still.....the entire rest of his record. After all, Obama deserves to be judged by ordinary human standards, not by standards of perfection. A sidebar to Paul's piece lists Obama's top 50 accomplishments, and I think it was mistake to create a list so long. It ends up looking like the usual boring laundry list that any president can trumpet. Better to pare it down to ten really top accomplishments in order to highlight how many truly major accomplishments Obama has been responsible for. So I did. Except I couldn't get there. I cut it down to 13 and got stuck. Here they are, in the same order as the original WaMo list:

1. Passed Health Care Reform

2. Passed the Stimulus

3. Passed Wall Street Reform

4. Ended the War in Iraq

6. Eliminated Osama bin laden

7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry

9. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies

14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program

16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards

18. Passed Mini Stimuli (July 22, 2010; December 17, 2010; December 23, 2011)

22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants

27. Achieved New START Treaty

These are all big deals. Big fucking deals, to quote our vice president. Unless you're just bound and determined to sulk in your tent while insisting that healthcare was a sellout and the stimulus was too small and Dodd-Frank was feeble and the mini stimuli were more like micro stimuli, there's just no way around the fact that this is a historically colossal set of progressive accomplishments, especially in the face of a historically hostile political environment."

Now compare that list against anything you'd get from any of the current crop of sociopathic, war-on-women-waging, hyper-religious, red-meat pandering clowns running for president as a Republican. I'm not gonna let up on this, folks: You have to consider political reality because in the end that's the wall you come up against. You get this president or you get one of them. And if you've got even three brain cells in your head, the choice is immaculately clear.

Any other arguments are a waste.

Mother Jones: Barack Obama's Had a Pretty Damn Good Presidency/3.11.12


Alan De Smet said...

"Ended the War in Iraq" - I assume referring to the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq? Seeing as the White House was negotiating to keep troops in Iraq almost right up to the day they pulled out, I'm not seeing Obama deserving credit for this one.

Chez said...

Already been through that argument. Not doing it again.

Peter L. Winkler said...

#4 –– Factually innaccurate claim. Also undermines the credibility of other items on the list. Partisan special pleading.

C.L.J. said...

Alan- we're out of Iraq. You may not want to give credit where it's due, but the fact is that it was the Obama Administration that got it done.

Chez said...

Horseshit, Peter. And knock off the arrogant phony "objectivity."

He also didn't technically kill bin Laden -- meaning he didn't put a round from an HK MP5 through his eye -- but as CLJ said, he gets the credit. Split hairs and argue semantics and behind-the-scenes wrangling all you'd like if it makes you feel intellectually above the fray.

Anonymouse said...

I'm going to vote for Obama again. That said, some of these things on this list are dubious accolades in my mind. Number seven assumes that GM represented the entire automobile industry in the US which is flat out wrong. Furthermore, it assumes that the President had day-to-day control of the company which is not true, nor does the claim that the president saved GM tells an accurate depiction of the very complex auto-bailout proceeding.

Number 9 assumes that the President took leadership on this issue when in reality the DoD has been fighting this stupid rule since Clinton came up with it. It was impossible to enforce and it cost the military too much in lost manpower and wasted training. The DoD basically forced the President's hand by releasing survey data showing that the vast majority of military members didn't give a shit, and even then, he drag his feet as long as possible. As it was, the rule was barely enforced military wide.

Number 22 assumes the reader is ignorant how the President has scrapped the EPA's planned smog standards against the recommendations of EPA scientists. So while yes, the administration is limiting mercury and a select group of air toxins, the business friendly air quality standards used by Bush administration will remain under Obama. At best, he has done window dressing on a serious environmental issue, putting political games over concerns about lax air quality and health standards.

Number 14 implies that the growing financial crisis for students, with student education debt now greater than the total credit card debt in the US has been solved or at least remotely addressed. It hasn't. Right now, bad college debt is being openly traded just like bad housing debt was because the government is pretending that it is AAA rated. Its a looming disaster that is going to rock this country very soon. It will be even worse than housing crisis as it is crippling the new workforce before they even have a chance to help in our struggling economy.

I don't want to sound like a am nitpicking but this list seems WAY too rosy colored for his achievements. Again, I think Obama has done a tremendous job in a VERY difficult presidency. And I will vote for him.

ntx said...

Simple rule: If President Obama could have been blamed had any of these things not occurred (and he would have been), he is entitled to take credit that they did.

Anonymous said...

@ntx....A f'in men

warrenbishop said...

"And if you've got even three brain cells in your head, the choice is immaculately clear."

And therein lies the problem. It seems a pretty significant portion of the electorate does not in fact have three brain cells.

namron said...

And he accomplished all of this while secretly practicing his Muslim faith and maintaining his Kenyan colonial perspective.

One other qualifier: he has great comedic timing and a subversive, somewhat snarky sense of humor

drater said...

Anonymouse...regarding number 7, that's GM AND Chrysler. No, Obama doesn't get all the credit, but a Republican would have let those companies and their tens(hundreds?) of thousands of manufacturing jobs disappear. At a time when the economy was already teetering on the brink. He deserves a lot of credit for making the smart move.

As far as 14, yes, student loans are still a problem, but getting the vampire squid banks out of the mix is a good start.

drater said...

Forgot to ask, shouldn't putting Donald the Birther Trump in his place make the top ten?