Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Obama's Report Card

Those of you who are long-time followers of my ramblings here will probably recall my political posts over the last few years. Plug "Obama" into the blog's search pane and you'll see a few, more than a couple of which said, back before the election, that anybody who thought that Obama was going to sweep into office and cure everything that ailed us was in for an unpleasant surprise.

Wasn't gonna happen.

Hasn't happened.

He wouldn't be able to do half what he promised, I said, and while I expected him to fall short, I figured he was so far superior to GWB that all he had to do was one thing to beat the meatball's record, and he's done that. Health care alone, as flawed as it is, did that.

If you are against the idea of health care, that's your business; I'm for it–civilized countries don't let their old and sick and poor die because they can't afford medicine or bandages. The private sector hasn't done, and never will do, anything that will adversely affect their bottom line. Yesterday, there was a piece on the news about a drug company that raised the price of injections to help with problem pregnancies from thirty bucks a hit to fifteen hundred dollars a pop. They didn't invent the drug, so it's not as if they are trying to recoup all that research money. They just got greedy. 

They declined to be interviewed on camera. Hard to imagine why–just because they are looking to make obscene profits off women terrified of having miscarriages?

Greed might not be good, but there's a bunch of it around. 

Why has Obama's tenure been so difficult? First, here was the hellacious mess he inherited from Previous Occupant–a couple wars, a depression, country going widdershins down the toilet, all like that. Then, there were the spineless Democrats in congress who didn't step up; The man started out with two strikes against him and a pitcher with a fresh arm and a fastball with a lot of heat standing on the mound. And Republicans who didn't give a rat's ass about the country as long as Obama failed trying to fix things. And on and on and on. Started out in a deep hole and all he had to work with was a shovel ...

Obama's report card so far?

Health care, education, aid to countries hit by disasters, helping the economic recovery, mostly good. The Forever War, the situation at Gitmo, the current lob-missiles-into-Libya business? Bad. 

Yeah, yeah, NATO, everybody is being really careful to point at NATO, look, look, it's not us, but let's face it, a quarter of NATO's money comes from the U.S. and we call a lot of those shots. And most of the missiles came off our aircraft carriers and jets, even though the French and English are stepping in. There's some smoke and mirrors there, and they don't look any better now then they did when Bush and company lied about the WMDs. 

Why Libya and not Ivory Coast? There is always a line of tinpot dictators oppressing their people, and when Obama accused Bush of picking his battles–why Iraq and not North Korea? Because they have a big fucking army and no oil? he was on the money. 

Does it look different on him? No, it doesn't. 

We are still in Afghanistan and there's no early train home from that lonely stop. Everybody knows you can't win a war from the air, and unless Gaddafi bags it and heads for a villa in Syria–which might not be safe for long–the only way to beat him is on the ground. If his army doesn't defect, the rebels can't beat them. 

There is no way in hell that Obama can spin American troops on the ground there and not wind up looking like the reincarnation of George Bush.

I think he's trying. I think he's so much smarter than Bush as to be Einstein to your average bonobo. But he's not batting anywhere close to a thousand, and he needs to focus.

I give him a C+, and the plus is shaky. 

Better, of course, than the F- I gave Bush ...


Scott said...

Take all this with a grain of salt; to the extent that I'm a good person I'm a libertarian, the rest is worsse, okay?

Obama gets an A.

Yeah, I generally vote libertarian party ticket, but I voted for him. If he runs again I'll vote for him again.

7 years after 19 al-Qaeda killed 3000 of us we elected black Barack Hussein (!) Obama president; I have never in my whole life been prouder of my country.

Slavery was one of our worst sins; this is a very big deal.

Steve Perry said...

The country set its expectations of this president too high. No way he could ever meet them.

I voted for him, too. And would again. But I'm not arguing against the notion that electing him is anything short of wondrous for our nation to have done; I'm pointing out that his job performance, while way better than Bush's, is not as good as it needs to be to get him reelected.

He ran on an anti-war platform. He increased troops in a place from which I wanted see them all gone. He's leading the "coalition" attack on Libya.

I don't like and he has to take at least partial responsibility for it.

Anonymous said...

He ran on an anti-war platform. He increased troops in a place from which I wanted see them all gone. He's leading the "coalition" attack on Libya.

There was no way he was going to win in either one of those situations- it's sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don't type of situation, especially in Libya.

Steve Perry said...

i understand there is a time when you go to the gun; but the smoke and mirrors aspect -- all this bullshit about it being a NATO operation and the U.S. is just, you know, one little guy among all the others?

Bullshit is what it is. Anybody who reads can see it.

I know why he did it. But he was absolutely gonna close Gitmo's prison, wasn't he? And the quicksand that is Afghanistan is never going to get better -- the man is a scholar, he knows history -- and yet there we are.

I know this was on his plate when he got to dinner. But I'm seeing the politics-as-usual waffle, and I'd hoped for better.

But like I said, I'm not surprised by it. I voted for him. Would do the same again if I had known all this was coming.

All that said, C+ stands.