President Obama continues to get very little credit for what his administration has accomplished. He has lost some support with progressives because he has yet to make good on issues that matter to them, including DADT, overturning heavy-handed Bush-era policies such as indefinite detentions, Guantanomo, domestic wire-tapping, and that little thing called the (two) wars. Jobs continue to concern us all. And Wall Street reform, so proudly hailed by the White House, will do little to curtail the dysfunctional personalities that flock to finance, where greed, aggressiveness, and a sociopathic disregard for the welfare of others are so obscenely rewarded.
And yes, Obama, and numerous other Dems crapped out on health care reform. Although Fox News won't mention it, public support for a public option was very high during the negotiations. Support dropped only when it became clear that we were geting the shitty version, the one that allowed the insurance companies to continue to rip us off. More than a few progressives now believe the White House never was committed to a public option. So there are reasons why many progressives, myself included, are ambivalent about his tenure so far.
Conservatives have no excuses for their animosity, other than to admit their addiction to partisan politics leaves them no choice but to continually confirm they are intellectual prostitutes. And confirm they do: They look especially ridiculous as they howl that Obama has shackeled business, that the mini-reforms on Wall Street will destroy wealth, or that our deficits keep spiraling out of control.
The President deserves some perspective in light of the steaming pile that Bush handed him in January of 2009, coupled with the abject refusal of Republicans to offer anything other than exactly the policies that got us here. Deregulate Wall Street? Tax cuts for millionaires? Attack the deficit by hobbling social security? That's why they are intellectual prostitutes.
Have a look at the chart below. It shows some data you will never hear from Mitch McConnell.
Right, five straight quarters of growth. The White House had the economy expanding after only six months. Don't think Obama was the reason? You can sure as hell bet the Bush or McCain White House would have stepped up to take credit. As it is, many in the media act as if the recession began when Obama took office and that eight years of Bush mismanagement never happened.
Now watch the video of Chris Hays sitting in for Rachel Maddow. Record profits for corporate America, rising stock prices, out-sized bonuses. They even got their auto industry back. It's all there.
This is a big fat Happy Thanksgiving for corporate America. Instead they whine.