Tuesday, June 29, 2010

POLITICS - Opinion, Obama's Administration

"Obama's Unbelievable Winning Streak" by Peter Beinart, Daily Beast


So he hasn’t plugged the leak, and his poll numbers are sagging. Truth is, Obama has exceeded in 18 months what Clinton and Carter achieved in a combined 12 years.

I know this is supposed to be Barack Obama’s summer of discontent. The oil spill is still gushing; the economy is still floundering; the Afghan war is deteriorating; Americans don’t find him so charming anymore. But have you noticed that when it comes to actual policy, he keeps racking up the wins? This week it was financial-regulatory reform. One can argue about whether the bill the Senate passed will truly change the way Wall Street operates, but off the top of your head, can you name a more significant piece of progressive legislation signed by either of the last two Democratic presidents? Neither can I. And that goes for Obama’s stimulus package and his health-care reform as well. All of which means that, legislatively at least, Obama has exceeded in 18 months what Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter achieved in a combined 12 years. By summer’s end, he’ll also have shepherded two young liberal justices on to the Supreme Court.

Even on the foreign-policy front, Obama has been meeting with success. He’s gotten Beijing to revalue its currency, which has been a goal of America’s China policy hands for several administrations now. He’s gotten China and Russia to back new United Nations sanctions against Iran, and he’s dramatically improved relations between Washington and Moscow, drawing Russia closer to the West and further from China, which once looked like its emerging strategic partner.

To be sure, the summer of 2010 could go down as the moment Obama doubled down on his dubious Afghan war strategy, bringing in David Petraeus and thus tipping the bureaucratic balance against a significant troop withdrawal next year. And it could go down as the moment when the oil spill and the recession lost him his majority in Congress. But even if Obama never manages another legislative victory, he’ll already have pulled off one of the most impressive opening acts in American political history. The question is why we’re paying so little attention.

Need I say? I totally agree.

This is why, even though they deny it, the GOP is in a panic. I'm having fun watching the GOP tear themselves apart (Teabaggers, misstatements, in-fighting, etc).

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