A Political Rant

January 18, 2012

They call Obama “the food stamp President,” and then they accuse Democrats of engaging in class warfare and of playing the race card.

They accuse Obama of following a foreign policy of appeasement, ignoring the fact that the man ordered the killing of Bin Laden in a raid that was so daring, so bold, it would have made other Presidents weak in the knees, and ignoring as well his Libya policy, which ALL of them opposed, and which ended the reign of Muammar Gaddafi.

They say he’s a socialist who is destroying America; and they also say that he is guilty of “Wall Street cronyism;” it almost seems that they don’t understand all the words that come out of their own mouths.

They say he has done nothing to save American jobs, and then criticize him for “bailing out” the auto industry and thus saving nearly a million and a half jobs that the industry supports.  They say he’s done nothing to save jobs, but ignore the chorus of economists who tell us that if the stimulus bill hadn’t passed, the unemployment numbers would have been far, far worse.  They say he’s done nothing, but don’t mention that for more than twenty consecutive months the private sector has added jobs — a total of over 3 million jobs added in that period — or that the vast majority of job losses in the recession occurred either a) before Obama became President, or b) in the three months of his first year in office BEFORE the stimulus took effect.

They call his a “failed Presidency,” but they don’t want you to know the following:

— He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that guarantees women equal pay for equal work.
— Through the Affordable Care Act he has prohibited insurers from denying coverage on the basis of preexisting conditions and canceling coverage when insurance policy-holders become ill.  The reform bill will also extend health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans who weren’t covered before the law passed.
— He has steered through Congress a Wall Street reform bill that prevents unfair lending practices and creates a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that (thanks to his recess appointment of Richard Cordray as the Bureau’s head) will help prevent predatory behavior by banks and credit card companies.
— He ended subsidies to banks and used the savings to double funding for Pell Grants to needy college students.
— He has placed two highly qualified progressive women on the Supreme Court.

Has Barack Obama been a perfect President?  No, far from it.  I wish he had fought harder for a larger stimulus and for a more far-reaching health bill.  I wish he was better on the environment (although his announcement today that he will NOT allow the Keystone pipeline to be built is welcome news).  I wish he hadn’t agreed to an extension of the Bush tax cuts.

But he has been fighting against an intransigent and unreasonable Republican opposition, and he has accomplished far more than they would have liked.  And he is so more more qualified to lead this country, so much more sincere in his concern for the well-being of average Americans, so much more committed to raising the tone of political discourse in Washington than any of the men who are seeking the Republican nomination, it is almost laughable.

I have had enough of listening to the vitriol and race-baiting and attacks on the most vulnerable in our society coming out of the GOP “debates.”  If the GOP field wants to continue to pander to the basest instincts of their Tea Party constituency, they can, but I won’t be paying them any attention.  Because fortunately we already have a President who is looking out for the rest of us.

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