It’s Too Early to Judge This President

April 28, 2009

I’m not really in the mood to go off on a political rant, but I will say that these First 100 Day grade reports on the Obama Presidency strike me as utterly ridiculous.  FDR did all Presidents a disservice by introducing the notion of the “First 100  Days” into the political lexicon.  Yes, Roosevelt accomplished a tremendous amount in the first three months of his Presidency.  He also had won an overwhelming election majority and carried with him huge majorities in both the House and Senate.  He didn’t have to deal with the world of 24 hour news channels, and early on he didn’t have to deal with idiots like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity (though he did eventually have to cope with Huey Long and Father Coughlin).  And though he did face opposition to some of his programs, the sense of crisis in the nation at that time was so great that he had as much of a legislative free hand as any President in modern history.  No President since has accomplished nearly as much in his first 100 days, and no matter how much Obama has gotten done (and I’d argue that he’s done quite a bit) it will pale in comparison.

That said, the benchmark itself is worthless.  The problems he has faced since taking office were years in the making.  Expecting him to have solved them in three months isn’t realistic.  Yet I heard someone on CNN today lamenting that stimulus spending had yet to pull the nation out of its economic troubles.  It was all I could do to keep from throwing my glass through the screen.

You disagree with his policies?  Fine.  I can understand that.  You don’t expect them to work?   That’s fine, too.  Time will tell.  But declaring his Presidency a failure after 100 days is ludicrous, and judging his Presidency in historical terms when he’s less than a tenth of the way through his first term is a waste of time.

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