You're Gonna Miss Me
Crooks & Liars has run a great reminder of how much we’re gonna miss President Obama when he leaves office next January.
Despite a recalcitrant Congress, Obama has done a lot for a country that stood on the brink of economic collapse when he took office in 2009.
Under his leadership, the Federal Government some say we don’t need has changed health care, education standards, legislated pay parity for women, revolutionized how energy is produced through renewable resources, fought back against global warming, provided deportation relief to young immigrants, legalized same-sex marriage and opened new opportunities for women and gays in the military, and tackled childhood obesity.
On the economic front, the Obama White House took actions that saved the domestic auto industry, has added nearly 4 million jobs, reduced unemployment to 5 percent and the deficit by two-thirds. It’s now a puny 2.5 percent of the United States’ GDP.
Under Obama, there has also been a new engineering of egalitarian tax reforms. The most usurious strong-arm tactics of the credit card lenders have mostly been eliminated.
The world is a scary and tenuous place. But for all our complaining, the United States is an island of relative calm. Why else is so much of our real estate being bought up from other continents? They want a foothold and safe haven here.
As for those who love calling Obama “lily-livered,” a “namby-pamby” and much less savory names, I’ll say that for 8 years Bush/Cheney did nothing about Osama bin Laden. Instead they diverted resources, along with our attention and patriotism into pointless, ugly, violent and expensive regime change. Period, end of story. If he’d done nothing else, that would almost have been enough. Obama also has isolated Vladimir Putin, ended the war in Iraq, reduced our involvement in Afghanistan, normalized relations with Cuba, and stabilized relations with Iran.
Do I agree with all of the things above, or the way the Obama Administration went about them? No, not at all. In particular, I think Kerry gave up way too easily on Iran. But even Israelis I have spoken to say some variation of “keep your enemies closer,” i.e. it’s better that we have Iran close enough to know what they’re up to. Keeping them isolated and knowing nothing is never an effective strategy, in spite of what deliberate know-nothings like to say.
Haters are going to focus on all the mistakes Obama has made. That’s their right. But please, can anyone name a perfect President? All I can say is that this is the first President in my lifetime (and I’m 53) that I respect enormously while he is in office. Obama is perhaps the first President since FDR who truly talked with us, not down to us. Obama hasn’t tried to scare us with 9/11 reminders or told us to go shopping.
Obama hasn’t been afraid to ask us to get involved and be courageous again. All the passion that young people feel for Bernie Sanders did not occur in a vacuum.
Many of them were young in 2008. They wanted more from this President, and were disappointed in several ways. They still don’t have the opportunities they’d hoped for, nor have they seen the recovery affect them. As much as I disagree with Trump supporters for their choice of candidate, they are looking for the same thing. Now they’re hoping for their candidate to do it better.
Some of my contemporaries see the contentiousness of the 2016 Election as End of Times. Others say The Revolution is being usurped by Wall Street or special interests. I disagree. When Engagement triumphs over the massive Apathy that I knew growing up, it gives me faith that the United States will be a better place.


We are in the middle of silly season. Both Republicans and Democrats are behaving like the rear ends of horses. Obama’s two terms may not have been Camelot, but they certainly showed what can be done amidst trying circumstances, limited expectations and while he had to fight off virulent enemies from within.