All things considered, Barack Obama is one of the Best Presidents we have had…

Mother Jones has printed an intro to an upcoming Washington Monthly commentary by Paul Glastris concerning the evaluation of Barack Obama’s first term. The cover story is called “The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama,” a headline almost guaranteed to set your teeth on edge.

The main text of the Glastris article refers to what Obama has accomplished as opposed to the criticism of what he hasn’t.

It turns out that damn few Presidents have accomplished as much in under four years.

From the Mother Jones commentary by Kevin Drum:

Obama deserves to be judged by ordinary human standards, not by standards of perfection. A sidebar to Glastris’ piece lists Obama’s top 50 accomplishments, and I think it was a 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 10 really top achievements 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 Washington Monthly 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 US 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 Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”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 health care 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.

Remember, this was all during a term when Mitch McConnell went public saying he would make sure none of Obama’s desired legislation would get passed; when tea party members elected to the Congress spent more time criticizing the POTUS than promoting the better lives of the people.

Obama hasn’t done everything I wanted, either. I wish we were out of Afghanistan by now, and I wish we had single-payer health. Maybe someday these will happen. I do believe that no one is perfect… but some people currently in the presidential office are more perfect than others.

About btchakir

Retired Theatre Producer, Graphic Designer, Usability Tester and General Troubleshooter with a keen interest in Politics and The Stage. Currently heard on WSHC, 89.7 FM (on line at and occasionally dabbling in Community Theatre.

Posted on March 13, 2012, in Announcement, campaign, Congress, Corporations, Economics, Education, election, Finance, government, Health Care, history, Job Seeking, Labor, Legal, News, Opinion, Politics, Polls, President Obama, primaries, quote, Taxes, vote, Word from Bill and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You know- I really don’t care much for Obama. But I remember watching the collapse of America happen under Bush before people woke up. I remember the full page ads the FDIC took out saying “all is well- don’t worry” after Wamu and others failed. I was working for one of the main investment bankers at the time- 2006-2007- and remember him saying- “you aint seen nothing yet- it will be the great depression all over again”. And he was right. And Obama put a stop to the downward spiral- and helped start an upward climb- something the republicans failed to do.

    And to be honest- I said before the 2008 elections that the reason the republicans were running McCain- especially with Palin as VP – was that they knew damn well that whoever inherited Bush’s mess would not see the white house again for generations.

    And I know politics is about compromise- not being stubborn and thinking only you are right- which is what we have seen from the right- especially since the midterm elections. But still- part of me wonders if we wouldn’t be even better off today if Obama had used his overwhelming mandate to charge boldly ahead rather then submitting to to the whims of the right at almost every turn.

    But for all his weaknesses and failings Obama has accomplished a great deal- especially in the face of the obstructionism and hatred/racism that has exploded from the right.

    History will judge him kindly if the far right doesn’t seize power and drive this nation into the ground…

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