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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

QUESTION: How's Obama Doing?

Since it's the anniversary of the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama, the obvious question for you folks: how's he doing? When he gave an interview with Oprah Winfrey in December, he gave himself a B+; he must have been grading on a curve, because I'm thinking more like C+.

The good:
Pretty much his very first act was to sign an order extending the time women who had been systematically discriminated against in pay to seek redress.
He set a tone of more international cooperation rather than "America's way or the highway."
He promised to close Gitmo, though I think he could have waited on ANNOUNCING it until he had actually lined up the places the prisoners would be transferred to.
He ended torture. I know that there are those who think banning "enhanced interrogation methods" makes the US less safe; I so totally disagree.
He took responsibility for the failing in his administration, notably Christmas airline near-disaster (cf, his Homeland Security chief's tone-deaf pronouncement that everything had gone right).
And I shouldn't understate the impressive nature of his comportment.

The bad:
Yes, he was dealt a touch economic hand. But he always seems to side with the big bankers on deregulation when he should have been putting the screws to them. The dissatisfaction from people on the left and the right on this one topic may be the failed legacy of this Presidency.
The Afghanistan war; I'm willing to be proven wrong on this.

The ugly:
Health care. I support the ideas that Obama put forth in the campaign. And I agreed with the notion that hit had to be done early. Yet, apparently afraid of Clinton Health Care Disaster, Part 2, he instead left it to Congress to flounder around the topic, undercutting what I believed was the most important idea - single payer - making the bill weaker and mushier. And now, with the US Senate race in Massachusetts, Teddy Kennedy's seat, the health care guru's seat, falling to an obstructionist Republican, health care seems to be dead for the foreseeable future. It was bungled - badly. I'm talking Jay Leno at 10 p.m. badly.
Race. The one "teachable moment" became a "beer summit," a bit of a joke.

Now to be fair, there was a lot of poisonous lies (born in Kenya, a Muslim, a socialist/fascist/communist) that too many people were eager to believe. That doesn't help governing, though there was a point when I thought that since so many people were accusing him of being a socialist, he ought to act more like one, rather than the centralist he tends to be.

I'm sure there are other issues I'm forgetting. What say you re: BHO?



Gattina said...

I was looking for your ABC photo, and can't find it. Obama is well liked in Europe, he does what he can. It's not so easy after the Bush disaster !

Thee Earl of Obvious said...

First of all, the Beer Summit. I agree it was a missed teachable moment: a lost opportunity to teach people that no one should be above the law. The distinquished professor acted like an ass and was rewarded for his behavior with opportunity to self promote himself further

Accepting the Nobel Peace prize and then sending troops into battle? The prize should have been declined on princible.

Dimissing the Harry Reid comment without even a bit of the indignagtion given to Trent Lott or
Don Imus set back the Civil Rights movement as we know it.

The economy. Too big to fail will be our epitath if we are not careful. White collar crime is running rampant and must be reigned in with the same ghusto we use to fight the drug war. Is there any reason for these guys to change? THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENS TO THESE GUYS IS A PERP WALK.

The firt time homebuyer tax credity should not have been extended based on its cost and apparent misuse. From what I understand the credit has caused

Health care is a disaster and will be as long as trial lawyers are running the show. An alligence to this group without and sort of real governance is nuts. Oh, lets let them govern themselves, yeah

Overall I give him a C. At least he is failing on what he said he would try to institute.

Ann said...

Does the loss of the ex kennedy seat signifiy anything?

I thought his holiday in Hawaii wasn't a good reflection when the plane was almost bombed. It is this simple things that ordinary people care about.

You should come to New Zealand. It's almost everything in US packed in a small bottle. If you come to Auckland , I will show you around, at least to Western Springs.

jabblog said...

I enjoyed your ABC post and the one about Barack Obama's 'blackness' or lack thereof. 'There's nowt so queer as folk' as some in UK say.
As for Obama's progress report - I can't really judge, being on the wrong side of the pond but it seems to me that he's basically one of the good guys - honest, articulate, intelligent. His 'League of Nations' background and upbringing surely can only help him .

Roger Owen Green said...

The loss of the Kennedy seat signifies that people supported Obamqa, not "the Democrats" and that he has little pull.

Obama is articulate and intelligent, but is he politically savvy? Jury's out.

Scott said...

I can understand that the economy isn't getting better by leaps and bounds. I didn't expect it to either. What is frustrating though is that my life has gotten worse since he took office. I don't blame him and his administration for it. But there has to be more that they can do.

What really bothers me now is health care reform. I am very frustrated that it seems to be dying. I had big hope for this.

Wayne John said...

I still like him, and I think that his down to earth approach and his communication skills are impeccable.

Has he done the right things? I think so. It's easy to sit in my arm chair and be judgmental of what he's doing and what he might propose, but at the end of the day, I will never know the reality of what it means to be president. Therefore, I don't think any one of us is able to really understand the full scope of his decision making process. We only hear what the media, himself, and all the Washington bureaucrats are saying.

What would be nice, is to have a 24/7 microphone on everyone in public office. If they need privacy (for security reasons perhaps), then let's build them a nice black box they can step in and out of everytime they need to have those discussions.

We'll have cameras on the black box and call it CSPAN III, or something like that. But they will always know the American public is listening in...perhaps that would cease the bastards from being in it for themselves, and not what they were elected to do.

I've strayed from the conversation a bit, but will say I'd still vote for him over McCain. ANY day.