The charges are familiar: He's a compromiser who hasn't stood up to the GOP or Wall Street. But a look at his record reveals something even more startling — a truly historic presidencyTim Dickinson in the the Rolling Stone publication making the case for the President started:
~Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone
For many progressives, the presidency of Barack Obama has been deeply disappointing. To hear some prominent lefties tell it, the New Jesus of the campaign trail has morphed into the New Judas of the Oval Office. "He loves to buckle," MSNBC host Cenk Uygur declared in a July segment called "Losing the Left." "Obama's not going to give us real change — he's going to give us pocket change and hang a 'Mission Accomplished' banner."
BTW, know that 85 percent of the liberal Democrats give this "dangerous President" a high approval ratings.
The article goes to make a point about what has been echoed by some purist on the Left for not standing up to Republican obstructionists, to sleeping with corporate interests, to surging 50,000 troops into Afghanistan, to the lack of action in closing the prison at Guantánamo and asserting authority to assassinate American terror suspects abroad.
Further in the article, it goes to list many complaints, some of which includes my interpretation, about how Obama has surrounded himself with ex-Clinton's deregulation kings and obstructionist, Wall Street bitches, calling him corporate butt-boy and/or corporate shell who has no remorse for the poor but gives obscene profits to his corporate bodies fooling all of them hardworking gullible progressives into believing he is the real deal, et al.
I bet Tim Dickinson was shaking his head when collecting all of this selective indictment but pretty much nails it when he said:
...such selective indictments — legitimate and troubling in many of their particulars — grossly distort the sweep of the 44th presidency. It's one thing to call the president on his shit. It's quite another to paint his entire presidency as shit — even if Joe Biden and Robert Gibbs are losing their shit, accusing you of being a "whining" member of the "professional left."Amen to that, Tim.
Eight years of George Bush gave us two wars, a 3 trillion dollar give away to KBR and Halliburton, dismal economy, a 9% unemployment that could easily have been 17%, Financial crisis, Mortgage crisis, credit crisis, oil crisis, Enron, Katrina, no stem cell research, squandered budget surplus, a truths deal as a gift to Ben Ladin, broken Government at every level filled with incompetence, the highest income inequality, a hand out to the rich and a take away from the poor Ponzi economy, gutted the constitutional checks and balances leading this country into a dictatorship and on and on and on but I will let you hear it from Kieth Olberman:
I recall fuming at the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, in rage and in complete hateful mode for the evil the Bush years were. However, that anger and lack of power to advance progressive ideologue helped us to organize and be united to win in the 2008 election to reverse the 8 years of hell bent governance that change the fortune of America. When Obama got elected, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley notes, "Expectations were so sky-high for [Obama] that they were impossible to fulfill." Some wanted what took 8 years to destroy this country to be fixed in a sweep in less than a year before starting the indictment.
Yes, the President has compromised to get things done and will continue to compromise to make progress like telling Congressional leaders that he is open to a compromise on extending the Bush-era tax cuts for two years on those making $250K and above if an unemployment insurance for 2 million Americans who will be losing their income during the holiday season is included, but threatened to veto if the deal didn’t include an unemployment extension. Yes, he is a president that selects his battles to win something than loss everything unlike people like Cenk who would think it is ok to let go 2 million Americans without UI income.
His motto being if necessary make incremental progress than no progress. Half way through his term, he has changed the face of a detested America under Bush to a nation that has some high moral standing in the world through his leadership. He passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act saving 3 million jobs, he prevented a Great Depression putting the country back on a path to recovery, increased the amount of federal Pell Grant awards for College Tuition and stripping banks privileges as intermediaries for student loan servicing, signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he rewrote the America's social contract, Health Care Reform, making Health Care accessible for 30 million Americans and potentially preventing close to 45,000 death that occurs because of Health Care Insurance lack of access, he expanded the SCHIP health-care program, signed a Public Lands bill, passed a credit card industry reform bill to protect consumers, Jobs bill, The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, brought back 100,000 troops home from Iraq, appointed the first Latina to the Supreme Court, revived a dead US Auto industry that was in the gutter and made it profitable saving 1 million jobs, allowed stem-cell research to continue, secured sweeping financial reforms, just to mention a small number of accomplishment from a long list of amazing achievements but the Left Puritant like Cenk, with their new found progressive creed pretending to be life long democrat throw tantrums like Republican Teabaggers.
What's even more impressive about Obama's accomplishments, historians say, is the fractious political coalition he had to marshal to victory. "He didn't have the majority that LBJ had," says Goodwin. Indeed, Johnson could count on 68 Democratic senators to pass Medicare, Medicaid and the Voting Rights Act. For his part, Franklin Roosevelt had the backing of 69 Senate Democrats when he passed Social Security in 1935. At its zenith, Obama's governing coalition in the Senate comprised 57 Democrats, a socialist, a Republican turncoat — and Joe Lieberman.And you wonder with the kind of coalition Obama is faced with - "Rupert Murdoch, Dick Armey, the Koch brothers and the rest of the professional right", not to mention being the First "Negro" President in a nation that always tries to preserve its White Supremacy, the non stop racist and disrespectful behavior he has received from law makers never mind the racist teabaggers, how he has been so successful in comparison to LBJ or FDR, his accomplishments are in itself on "a wholly different scale". Damn it, LBJ and FDR should have done more than what they had if this President can do all these things in a time with all the opposition he faces. Listen to Rachel Maddow:
Believe it or not, and it don't matter if some think of him as not being the President of the United States but the President of Urban United States(snark), President Obama has used his power to expand social and economic justice, may be not yet to the Professional Left, but to the voiceless "base" in ways most can't seem to want to see, from Health Care to Education to Consumer Protection.
Tim Dickinson in the same rolling-stone article addresses the historic progress that Obama has made and how it is evident in eight key areas:
1) Averting a Depression
...where we would be today if laissez-faire Republican radicals had succeeded in allowing the economic collapse to take its course. According to a study by economists from Princeton and Moody's, more than 16 million jobs would have been lost without the interventions of TARP, the Recovery Act and the Federal Reserve — double the damage actually suffered. Unemployment would have spiked to 16.5 percent, and next year's federal deficit would have more than doubled, to $2.6 trillion. "With outright deflation in prices and wages," the study concludes, "this dark scenario constitutes a 1930s-like depression."Right, Mr. President! You are weak and you've Lost Me For GOOD Sir! Aint't that some Bullshit! You must be stupid to think that!
2) Sparking Recovery
An easy question that can be answered with a YES or NO answer..."Has the stimulus put us on the path to recovery?"
...But the stimulus was far more than macroeconomic medicine. As conceived by the White House, the Recovery Act was not only intended to address the economic catastrophe at hand, it was simultaneously designed to make investments critical to reviving the middle class and improving America's long-term competitiveness.Right, Mr. President! You are weak and you've Lost Me For GOOD Sir! Aint't that some Bullshit! You must be stupid to think that!
"This wasn't a stimulus bill," says Van Jones, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as Obama's green-jobs czar. "A stimulus is what you do when you think you've got a short, V-shaped problem in the economy and you want to deliver a jolt to reset to business as usual. A recovery program is what you need when business as usual is no longer possible."
To the extent that Obama has attempted to brand his presidential project in the way that FDR did with the New Deal or LBJ did with his Great Society, he has talked about a "New Foundation." And the Recovery Act was designed to lay the cornerstones. The law included the most progressive middle-class tax cut ever enacted — delivering benefits to 95 percent of working families. It invested $94 billion in clean energy and $100 billion in education — unprecedented levels of commitment in both areas. It also devoted $128 billion to health care and $70 billion to mending America's safety net — including direct cash payments to the elderly, the disabled and impoverished parents, as well as billions invested in low-income housing, food stamps and child care.
"If you passed each of those as separate pieces of legislation," says Ornstein, of the American Enterprise Institute, "that in and of itself would make for a very significant record of accomplishment." Seen through this prism, the stimulus alone represents a strikingly progressive presidential legacy — rivaling the biggest reforms of the Clinton presidency. And it passed on Obama's 24th day in office.
3) Saving Detroit
All I have to say on this $85 billion bet on the future of the U.S. auto industry equals a "jackpot" to many hard working Americans as 1 million jobs were saved. What has been an $85 billion hole now shows according to fhe Congressional Budget Office that the expected lose to the government has dipped to $19 billion on its bailout of the auto industry.
From the start, the prospect of recycling TARP funds to save GM and Chrysler from liquidation was wildly unpopular — a fact that Obama's top political counselors, warning against the intervention, vigorously impressed upon him at the time. But if action was politically risky, inaction was economically intolerable: Had the administration allowed GM and Chrysler to go under, it would have triggered a collapse of parts suppliers and dealerships nationwide, creating such collateral damage that even Ford would likely have gone belly up. The collapse would also have led to the loss of more than 1 million jobs, primarily in the devastated economies of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, where unemployment is among the highest in the country.Right, Mr. President! You are weak and you've Lost Me For GOOD Sir! Aint't that some Bullshit! You must be stupid to think that!
4) Reforming Health Care
Obama's crowning legislative achievement is health care reform. And true to Joe Biden's pithy and profane assessment, it's a Big Fucking Deal. "All progressives since Theodore Roosevelt wanted it, all Democrats since Harry Truman fought for it, and only Barack Obama got it," says Brinkley. "This is his huge accomplishment."Funny how a no body Jane Hamsher tweeted while making blackface,
"Liberals and conservatives hate the health care bill for the same reason, It sucks."Right, having coverage that can’t be denied to children with pre-existing conditions sucks.
Having adults up to age 26 to stay on parents’ health plans sucks. Having Free preventive care sucks. Making rescinding coverage illegal sucks. Eliminating lifetime limits on insurance coverage sucks. Restricting annual limits on insurance coverage sucks. A $5 billion investment in immediate federal support to affordable Coverage for the Uninsured with Pre-existing Conditions really sucks or is it the $10 billion investment in Community Health Centers that sucks in a grand way. How about creating an immediate access to re-insurance for employer health plans providing coverage for early retirees and cutting prescription drug costs for the nation’s seniors to reduce the size of the "donut hole" in the Medicare (Part D) Drug Benefit. Should these be a health care bill that Liberals and conservatives hate because it just sucks?
Right, Mr. President! You are weak and you've Lost Me For GOOD Sir! Aint't that some Bullshit! You must be stupid to think that!
I recommend to everyone to go ahead and read the in depth coverage of the other four areas where Obama has made historic progress here from the Rolling Stone publication -- Cutting Corporate Welfare, Restoring America's Reputation, Protecting Consumers, and Launching a Clean-Energy MoonShot. However, be very conscious cause looking at the facts will bring an indictment unto yourself since it does not meet the Daily
I say not bad for the first not so Black President...right? Well, Van Jones says not bad for the first Green President...and that is just fine by me.
"Everybody calls Obama the first black president," says [Van] Jones, the former green-jobs czar. "But if you were from Mars, and couldn't see race, you'd call him the first green president. That's what distinguishes him on a policy level from every preceding president: this incredible commitment he's made to repowering America in a clean way."David Axelrod in an hour-long interview with Rolling Stone sum up the reality:
What Obama has delivered as president, he concedes, has fallen short of the expectations Obama inspired as a candidate[link added]. "I understand why there's this dissonance out there," Axelrod says. "But Democrats don't have the luxury of lamenting the fact that we've only gotten 70 to 80 percent of what we wanted done. Because that 70 to 80 percent is at risk."More and more though, puritant so called progressive sites like Dailykos's or Huffpost's understanding of progress is 100% or nothing. If we don't get our way, well...it's like watching a train wreck with vitriol demonizing President Barack Obama, whipping him with a spit of anger and hatred from the same people who call themselves the "base" or "Left Puritans".
Norbrooks blogs could not have been more on point when it summed it up by saying "Grow Up when puritans foam from the mouth saying "Obama is Dangerous" and "Let's Primary Obama" fruitless Right Wing talking points...
You’ve been acting like toddlers who are throwing a tantrum because you didn’t get your favorite treat. In the adult world, we understand that serious change takes time – more than two years, and sometimes a generation or more. We understand that we have to cooperate, and that sometimes we have to delay gratification to get what we want, or to get something else. We know we have to work within the rules, even if the rules aren’t to our liking. We understand that sometimes priorities have to change because of circumstances. We understand that great strides are made up of many small steps. That’s what the adults know, and you’re not them. It’s time – past time – for you people to grow the fuck up. Because we’re trying to get things done, and your tantrums are distracting.Bravo...no sugar coating there indeed.
The thing is loyal Democrats to the bone don't fantasize or allow teabagging characters to sabotage a progressive forum and/or movement. Ofter the leadership and ownership of a democratic site first pledge alliances to ensure that progress is not sabotaged on their watch unless their loyalty to a democratic ideology is a new found creed like picking up a sandwich from McDonald. We have a lot of converts so called progressives in the blogsphere who thought when they converted they can get theirs in a minute. They feel like they are doing life long progressives a favor for stopping to show their unwavering support for one or two things. When you are not loyal to the bone of all of the Democratic issue in an intersectional ways, it is easy to shit on the fundamentals of what Democrats stand for. President Obama is our leader and pissing on the guy that is doing something for America is enabling Republicans to win aiding in the slowing of true progress. May be that is the goal all along.
We have many progressive site some call home in the democratic blogsphere like the Daily Fox, Huffingtonpost, the Young Turks, et al. But, it is no surprise with such sites owned by convert ex-Republicans and congregants of like background, that ex-typical belligerence and chest thumping character that is practiced by the other side is evident here too successfully inciting others to act like Republicans so they can get their new found progressive fix.
To those looking for a quick and dirty progressive fix, a word of wisdom from Howard Zinn from The Optimism of Uncertainty,
We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we don't win, there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn't necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.Well, Mr. President if you can hear me, I don't understand why so many on the Professional Left are so willing to want to destroy your Presidency like the Teabaggers from the Right but Sir, you've earned my trust and support into your second term. Keep doing what you are doing, Mr. President!