Last week I wrote angrily (and rather long-windily) about how Obama has let me down, about where he could have made a difference and didn’t.
I still believe he has blown incredible opportunities to work towards peace in the Middle East, TRUE health care reform, and an end to Bush-era surveillance and detention policies. I continue to feel strongly that the tax cut “fight that wasn’t” has set us on the road to really draconian measures.
When I wrote “Dear Mr. President” (which I probably should have written more like an actual letter, but hey…) the common wisdom on all sides held that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the ratification of New Start, passage of the Dedicated Health Fund for 9/11 Responders Bill, and of the Food Safety Reform Act were all DOA.
Then something funny happened on the way to the morgue.
All of them.
It feels awkward to be so pissed at, yet also in awe of, this man. President Obama has massively moved his agenda forward during the “lame duck” session. Even the Tax Plan has to be looked at in a different light. Without that deal all the rest might not have happened. I didn’t think of that when he made the deal, but he probably did.
My anger at Obama for what he can but doesn’t do blinded me to a bigger question; Given the Bush years (especially the meltdown), is there anyone who could have done better?
He is “better than the last guy”, MUCH better. Same for the guy before that, and the guy before that, and the guy before that.
I may not ever understand the man, but I respect him. I will continue to hammer him for not being all he can be, but he is a far better President than I have given him credit for. The continuation of Gitmo, state sanctioned murder of US Citizens, and electronic surveillance remain inexplicable. Yet this was the week that saw an old acquaintance who has coughed up inexplicable gunk since helping at Ground Zero will get the help she needs, my food will become safer, the chances of a loose nuke blowing me away at work will decrease significantly, and 14,000 proud American Veterans will be told “you did nothing wrong. We did.”
All in all, not a bad week.