The Obama Administration is like like two administrations in one. On the one hand, President Obama has achieved more for this country than any president in living memory. His accomplishments, in the context of polarized American politics, are staggering:
- President Obama did what no other president was capable of doing. He overhauled the U.S. healthcare system. He didn’t create a single-payer system, but he did put together a program that insures huge numbers of chronically uninsured people.
- The President pulled the United States and perhaps the entire world from the brink of total economic collapse with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and other economic stimulus measures.
- The Administration managed to reformed financial institutions, signing the Dodd-Frank (DF) Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the biggest financial reform law since the Great Depression.
- Obama rescued the U.S. auto industry, saving an estimated 1.4 million jobs.
- The first bill President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, redressing a long-standing injustice against victims of gender-based pay discrimination.
- The President ended legal discrimination against gays in the military.
- The President has been an inspirational figure for people around the world, especially for young people of marginalized communities. The transition from President Bush to President Obama resulted in a dramatic world-wide improvement in the perception of the United States.
- The White House has instituted rules that make government far more transparent than ever before, making unprecedented reams of information publicly available.
- President Obama failed in his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
- The Obama Administration has deported a record number of people living, working and raising families in the United States without legal documentation.
- Barack Obama has yet to publicly support same-sex marriage.
- The President has embraced the oil industry to the looming detriment of the environment, even in the wake of the worst oil spill in US history.
- The Administration has greatly increased the U.S. program of assassinating people around the world by remote control.
- Obama asserts that the U.S. has a right to bomb Iran.
- The United States is giving a blank check to the repressive military oligarchy in Egypt.
The awe, pride, and exhilaration I felt on the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration has not completely worn off. And so, while the negative side of Obama’s policies is unsettling, I tend to embrace the positive. The Administration can count on people like me supporting the President, at least with our votes in the next election. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for Obama’s detractors, no matter how many Bushian positions the President incorporates into his schizophrenic policies. The grassroots Republican opposition is so intensely myopic that the second list I presented, the list which I despise & Republicans should love, does not even register as reality to them.