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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Great post of the day 

The Booman asks Can I Vent? Why, yes, you certainly can:
Yesterday was probably the most embarrassing day yet for the progressive blogosphere during the short reign of the Obama administration . ,. . As soon as he won the presidency, you started bitching about his appointments. As soon as he became president, you started bitching about his messaging, his framing, his agenda, and his lack of deference to your opinion. I want to know where the point was in this process when Obama was supposed to conclude that you were his allies and that you were responsible for his victory. . . .
You call him a warmonger, but he gets the Nobel Peace Prize. He ends torture and allows his Attorney General to investigate it, and you call him a torturer. He tries to enact health care reform with a robust public option and you accuse him of seeking every opportunity to sell-out to the insurance industry. He bails out the cratering financial services industry and prevents a second Great Depression, and you accuse him of selling his soul to corporate CEO's. I'm not saying that all of these criticisms lack validity. I'm not saying that people shouldn't advocate for the things they care about passionately. I just want to know where you get the fucking idea that an anonymous White House staffer who gets asked about all this criticism would feel obligated to show you deference and respect.
I have been increasingly upset by the negative, carping tone which some supposedly progressive bloggers are adopting in talking about Obama -- its always fun to be snarky, I know, but its just a Republican frame to call him an empty suit, all talk no walk, egotist, and the like. I'm glad Booman has started calling this out.
UPDATE: A Booman commenter lists what Obama HAS done in the last nine months:
1)Passed a stimulus act that pulled us back from the brink of an honest-to-God Great Depression II.
2)Passed the Ledbetter act that corrected an unbelievable injustice in employment discrimination law.
3)Pulled more concessions from Iran than Bush got in 8 years of senseless saber-rattling.
4)Increased the minimum wage, sorely needed by the workers in this country who currently have lower real wages than they did in 1970, even as our GDP has grown 18-fold.
5)Made it to the homestretch on the healthcare reform we've been trying to pass for 40 years.
6)Set a real timetable for getting out of Iraq.
7)Oversaw the killing of Al-Qaeda's top man in Pakistan and a host of other terrorist leaders.
8)Finally reworked our military budget from an ancient and ineffective cold-war focus to a high-tech-focused counterinsurgency tool...something Bush never even touched, even as his "war on terror" rhetoric reached a fever pitch.
9)Managed just enough threats against the banks that they've started repaying the TARP money Bush paid out.
10)Started the process of re-regulating the banking/insurance/investment industry for the first real time since the 1930's.
11)Begun placing Guantanamo prisoners elsewhere in preparation for closing the base.
12)Got the politics and pressure out of the Department of Justice.
13)Denounced torture and rescinded the absurd legal theories that allowed it.
14)Threaded the needle on unrest in Iran.
15)Dramatically modernized White House communications and technology, improving the flow of information to the public.
16)Started over 2500 highway projects, with bidding so fierce that the costs are below expectations and should allow even more projects than expected.
17)Created a $2500 tuition tax credit to help shore up our woeful debt-burden on families.
18)Reworked our student loan programs to great improvement.
19)Created and started execution of a plan to save the auto industry. (All you people screaming about 9.8% unemployment should stop and think what it would be if GM and Chrysler had been allowed to fail as prescribed by conservative economics.)
20)Stabilized Pakistan with $5B in aid.
21)Created the Office of Urban Policy and reversed Bush cuts to inner-city anti-gang/anti-gun policies, policies experts say are instrumental in reducing crime.
22)Added over 2 million acres of Federally-protected wilderness.
23)Dramatically improved America's image abroad.
Oh, and appointed the first Hispanic justice to the Supreme Court. Now, you can quibble with the details here or there, but its patently untrue to say that Obama and his administration isn't getting anything done.

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