Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy 49th

Have a beer, Mr. President. You've certainly earned it. Let's face it, you're stuck with one of the worst jobs in the world.

Barack Obama has been exactly the type of President I expected him to be. I know a lot of my fellow liberals expected him to be more progressive, but I always saw him as a pragmatic moderate. Sure, I wish he were stronger on a variety of issues; climate, DADT, human rights and ending the wars, among many. But that was never a realistic expectation given our political system and climate.

Let's face it, any American President will be attacked from some quarter regardless of which stance he takes on an issue. Ours is a noisy, fractious political system, and there's a media that makes a good living off of stirring up a controversy. But the right wing noise machine has been over the top when it comes to attacking Obama, no matter what he does. It's not a new phenomena: remember the hearings about the Clinton's Christmas card list? Despite all the attacks, Obama has managed to govern in a fairly calm, cool manner, and I admire him for that. He's managed to make the best of a "no-win" situation.

Obama has actually been very successful so far. The stimulus, health care reform, financial regulation, and most importantly his Supreme Court appointees all count as achievements (even if I wish that they all went farther) to be proud of. The winding down of the wars in Iraq and (hopefully) Afghanistan may be slower than I'd like, but they are moving in the right direction. So President Obama has earned a celebration.

The thing I like most about President Barack Obama? The fact that he saved us from a "President McCain", which truly would have been frightening.

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