As 2014 ends, Barack Obama is finishing his sixth year in the Presidency, and will officially mark that milestone on January 20, when he delivers the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, controlled by the Republican Party, which has stood in his way, has been a constant barrier to anything Obama proposes, and hates the ground he walks on. Conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel, and conservative think tanks, would not be happy no matter what Barack Obama does or says. And there is a strong level of venal hate, very dangerous, that puts the President in the cross hairs of a potential threat to his life on a daily basis.
But despite all that, President Barack Obama has a record in office to be proud of, not perfect in any sense, but still outstanding enough to have a chance to end up in the top ten of our Presidents, if not immediately after leaving the White House, over a generation or more as time passes, and passions calm down, and particularly after Obama has passed away, an opportune time to reconsider the legacy of any President, particularly one so much maligned in his time!
The list of Obama accomplishments is endless, but key points include:
The adoption of ObamaCare, which will be seen as transformative over time, as much as Social Security and Medicare.
The successful tracking down and elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the perpetrator of September 11, 2001.
The ending of US military engagement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, two wars that were unwise to conduct in the first place.
The revival of the American economy, with 11 million jobs created; the unemployment rate below six percent; the greatest economic expansion since the Bill Clinton Presidency; the smallest increase in the deficit for the past decade; the 150 percent increase in the stock market; the lowest gas prices in five years; and the revival of the domestic auto industry.
The appointment of two Supreme Court Justices–Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and some exceptional cabinet appointments, plus the best Vice President in American history, Joe Biden.
The promotion of gay rights and gay marriage, insuring the end of discrimination based upon sexual orientation.
The advancement of environmental concerns, including dealing with global warming and climate change.
The promotion of a tolerant attitude toward immigration reform.
The establishment of a new relationship with Cuba after 50 years of a failed policy.
The promotion of labor rights in a time when labor has been under attack.
The protection of women’s rights against right wing attempts to undermine the advancement of women in all spheres of American life.
The avoidance of engagement in new wars, which the right wing is always itching for.
The courage of Obama to go after terrorists in a way that limits US military involvement, but effectively has killed more terrorists than George W. Bush.
President Barack Obama was the the right person for his time, and will be seen as that in history. He has met racist attacks by refusing to show anger, but instead class and dignity! He has admitted failure, but also has confidence in the morality of his cause. Considering the extreme opposition he has faced, what he has accomplished is miraculous beyond belief.
Despite having presided over the rapid decline of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress by vicious attacks and massive spending by right wing billionaires, he has made it clear that he will use executive orders to do what he feels must be done in the last two years of his Presidency. The right wing Supreme Court, with its Citizens United Case in 2010, and the lackadaisical attitude on voting of many Democratic constituent groups, has contributed to this decline in Democratic Party strength, but Obama has reacted by making clear that it will not deter his plans to make the nation a place better for the middle class and the poor.
President Barack Obama will NOT allow the prevention of further improvement of the New Deal and Great Society, and he is much to be admired, as a credit to the office he holds!