The Case for Obama

I cannot recall a president as maligned as the current one.  Even Nixon, more deserving than any, was not subjected to the frequency and viciousness of the attacks on President Obama.  It really doesn't matter what he does.  Every day his opponents (especially in the media) find a way to attack him.  Did he ask students to study harder for their country?  Seditious.  Did he bow to a foreign dignitary?  For shame.  Did his wife do a fist bump?  Outrageous.  Did he take his family to the presidential retreat for a vacation?  Slacker. Did he make a speech?  Talks too much.  Was he eloquent?  Too professorial.

The President doesn't do a very good job of defending himself.  "No drama Obama" continues in spite of the political scene.

Like a lot of liberals, I'm disappointed in some of what he's done: not closing Guantanamo, refusing to investigate the torture memos, promoting off-shore drilling in spite of the BP Gulf disaster, renewing the Bush tax cuts, conceding the public option in health care, overzealous drone bombings and a heavy hand in spying on citizens.  But there's never been a perfect president (except maybe Wm. Henry Harrison who died before he could do anything wrong).  And since this one insists on staying above the fray, I'll offer my list of significant accomplishments. 

  1. Ended the War in Iraq.
  2. Eliminated Osama bin Laden, something Bush managed not to do.
  3. Passed comprehensive health reform, something nearly every president of the past 100 years tried to do.
  4. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 8,000 when Obama was sworn in.  Today it's above 13,000.
  5. In the wake of the worst recession in 70 years, unemployment reached 10% a few months after he took office.  Today it is at 8.3% -- still not great but the trend is clearly reversing.
  6. His decision to intervene in Libya was (against popular wisdom, including mine) a decisive force in ending Qaddafi's regime.
  7. The decision to save one of America's core manufacturing bases -- the auto industry -- through a combination of emergency loans and incentives for car buyers was a striking success.  In fact, for the first time in many years, our economy is ADDING manufacturing jobs, not bleeding them.
  8. Salvaged a maligned American reputation internationally.  Bush's attitudes and actions had trashed our image around the world.  Obama restored it.
  9. A major movement to eliminate the proliferation of nuclear weapons, an important effort that should have been high priority from the time the Soviet Union split up, leaving dangerous weapons in the hands of small states to be sold to the highest bidders.
  10. Has been an ideal role model for American families of all colors and circumstances.  His rags to riches story, the story of a young man raised by his single mother and grandparents who went on to be head of the Harvard Law Review, a U.S. Senator and now President of the United States.  Not since Lincoln have we had a model like this one, one who could inspire all of us to reach for the stars.  And what a wonderful family too.
  11. Dignity.  That's the hallmark of this man.  In spite of the disgusting assaults on his character and his family, he has remained above the fray and has displayed impressive calm and self-control. 
That last one is a big deal.  In an age when the art of the insult and being rude and obnoxious earns you the big ratings, here is an intelligent, mature grown up showing us all how we ought to behave.

Mr. Obama, you have my vote.