Better than Clinton.

Saturday, December 18th, 2010 @ 2:11 pm | teh gay

1. Clinton couldn’t pass Health Care Reform, Obama did.
2. Clinton euthanized the regulatory dogs, while Obama passed financial reform.
3. Clinton signed DADT, Obama is going to sign its repeal within days.

Of course, Clinton raised taxes, presided over an era of prosperity, and put the country on the road to paying down the deficit and shoring up Social Security. I’m betting that with eight years Obama will be able to say that and a lot more.

But right now, let’s hail this great day of freedom, the day a Republican filibuster was broken in a victory for liberty and the honor of those who have served this country proudly, regardless of their orientation.

Greatest lame duck Congress ever, even with the tax deal and all the other things Republicans are killing, like the excellent DREAM act for immigrants. Somehow, they got the courage to act after they lost the election, and they did so on an issue that seemed insurmountable just years ago. This is huge. This is a big fucking deal. Marriage rights remain, but some places in America gays can get married already. Now every soldier in the Armed Forces can set this false division behind and achieve true unit cohesion. The purges can end. The best and brightest will prosper. And America finally joins the rest of the civilized world on this one.

This is just plain huge.

-hw

6 Responses to “Better than Clinton.”

  1. Jerry Says:

    1. Obama lobbied against the most popular parts of health reform and killed both of them: the public option and drug re-importation.

    2. Obama lobbied against the most important part of financial reform: breaking up the big banks.

    He will now move on to cutting Social Security–not for you, but for your kids–while keeping payroll taxes high enough to pay for militarism and hide the rest of the federal debt.

    He is not on our side.

  2. Henry Whistler Says:

    I’m fine with everything you said, except the last line. President Obama has been more on our side than any president in my living memory, and although I was too young to remember Carter, there weren’t too many liberal triumphs from his four years. Johnson and Nixon had overseen some heavy liberalization of the country, but they also gave us Vietnam.

    Say what you want about Obama’s unnecessary calculations against his base, the needless surrenders and unpopular caving over GOP saber rattling.

    I also have no illusions about who was most significant in preventing Obama from being a more liberal president: the Republicans. Obama’s biggest failures are typically borne of his tendency to regard Republicans as serious people with good ideas. They’re mostly very unserious and their ideas stink to high heaven. Obama started out with compromises and got beat back even further (with mostly cynical carping from shame-deprived fools like Eric Cantor, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell). They say stupid things constantly, and the Beltway and corporate media chalk it up to a bunch of he said/she said schoolyard battles. Republicans kick the can, Democrats chase it, Republicans kick the can again. Somehow in the lame duck session we got them to back down on a few key votes on stuff that should have been slam dunk victories.

    If Democrats had done the same thing to Republicans after they won a big election, and bill after bill failed because of votes like 58-33. Every night Fox News would have been blaring “FILIBUSTERING DEMOCRATS: WHY DO THEY DEFY THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE?”

    So I accept that Obama has made some serious mistakes, but that he is working within a system and culture that has proven to be utterly bankrupt. The Democrats are weak, but the Republicans are utterly maniacal in their ability to poison the level of America’s dialogue with cheap stupid slogans and a disregard for anything resembling intellectual honesty. Where Obama is at his worst is when trying to find a middle ground between the right answer and the completely insane answer. He becomes tainted with the madness himself, but at the same time, he’s not the source of the madness. The Republicans are.

    In a world lacking clear dichotomies, we have one embedded in the political system: the two party system. You can find fault, but the past two years did see a lot of really important legislation and progress from Obama and the Democrats. The failures stung me as badly as they did you (perhaps worse…). But I’m not going to ignore the successes. Having Democrats in power means better policies and better results for the country.

    So he’s way, way, way more on my side than the real opposition, and he’s simply the best president of my lifetime.

  3. Jerry Says:

    He protects torturers and even interferes when other nations try to prosecute them. He failed to prosecute financial fraud. He lets Bradley Manning be tortured by solitary confinement. He appointed the enemies of Social Security to his own personal debt commission. He wants to look like the reasonable compromiser even when the “compromise” is mostly surrender. He wages a dumb, unpopular war rather than learn from LBJ’s error. Obama’s platform is larger than Fox News’s platform, but he doesn’t use it. Why, for example, did he not invite those Dream Act kids to the White House for a press conference? It’s hard to blame any of this on Republicans.

    If you can agree that he will cut Social Security to pay for militarism, and you still think he is on your side, then you and I are on different sides.

    DADT repeal is not a huge victory. It only seems like one now that expectations are so low for the Change he promised.

    He is not on our side. He is on his own side.

  4. Henry Whistler Says:

    Ok I see you’re just going to keep repeating your shtick. Thanks for listening!

  5. cbmc Says:

    I agree more with Jerry than with my friend HW on this but the O admin has succeeded in restoring me to my natural position of near-total apathy – my engagement at this point is limited to disliking the Republicans more than I dislike the Democrats. The “interferes when other nations try to prosecute” torturers bit is really the tipping point if you take torture seriously as a moral issue; there are serious mistakes, and then there are moral outrages so total that they can’t be yes-that-but-this’d. If the President had, say, personally tortured a US citizen who hadn’t been charged with any crime and was being detained in the county jail, that’d be too much to start looking at the half-full glass of various achievements. For me, and for many, signing off on indefinite detention isn’t really any different.

    But as I say, I don’t really care any more, which is why you hear less from me over here; I doubt I’ll vote in 2012, because really, when both sides are pro-torture, who gives a shit?

  6. Henry Whistler Says:

    Well, it would be nice to live in a world where there really was two sides and we were on opposites, but I live in one where there are Republican voters who keep electing outright destructive politicians, and while the cool kids are above it all, things are going to persist in getting worse as they maintain such a stance.

    Guys, it’s wonderful to point out what you guys point out. You should be taken seriously. One of the primary conceits of this blog is that sane leftists are habitually ignored and their criticisms are regarded as “not serious” by the media. In a perfect world, you guys could run a challenger in 2012, even. In this world, it would only accomplish one thing: give the country and world another phony destructive Republican president who will do the country a number that will make Bush’s two terms look like the Age of Reason.

    I’m just more of a primary guy, and Obama’s was in 2008. We will run him again in 2012. Those are facts.

    And I’d like to direct everybody’s attention back to the actual substance of this blog entry: I didn’t say he was the best we could get from a Democratic president. I compared him only to actual presidents in my lifetime, and I was born a long time after Roosevelt. “Better than Clinton,” I said.

    Nobody is challenging that, so my point holds. I would love to see Obama confronted with your charges on a daily basis, Glenn Greenwald on the cover of Time magazine, and a press that could have the balls to fact-check and scrutinize the myths that Obama accepts. Paul Krugman is right, Obama concedes ideological territory to the GOP and their response is simple: Keep running further to the right. Linus, meet Lucy.

    I mean, maybe you can’t tell the difference between Dick Cheney and Barack Obama anymore. Maybe you can’t tell the difference between somebody who passed health care reform and somebody who’s trying to kill it before it even starts. Maybe you can’t tell the difference between somebody trying to pass a Constitutional amendment to make gays second-class citizens and somebody who just repealed DADT (that alone would have made these two years something worthy).

    But I can. And I’m simply not going to surrender to the GOP when I could strengthen the Democrats instead. I could almost rationalize the positives about losing 2010 (let Republicans share the hot seat), but Naderism is dead. For all the fancy talk and high ideals, the Naderites planted George W. Bush in the White House, and I won’t soon forget.