If you follow the news every minute (used to be every day), you’d think that Obama’s presidency has been a grand failure. After all, he didn’t save the world, or make friends with the terrorists and turn them into democrats or make the economy zoom along at a 5% growth rate or clean the air or any number of things that he either promised to do or was expected to do when he took office in 2009.
Instead, he faced some of the most extreme opposition of any president and really only accomplished most of his agenda when he Democrats controlled both houses of Congress by filibuster-proof (in the Senate) majorities. I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind people that many other presidents faced concerted opposition including Theodore Roosevelt (from his own party), Woodrow Wilson, FDR (from the Supreme Court and Congress), JFK, LBJ, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. That any president can get things done under our constitution is a monumental accomplishment, but somehow we as a country manage to move forward.
So it is today. The Senate has thawed some over the past two months and recently avoided internal chaos with the approval of a good number of Obama appointments. Of course, the GOP is now facing buyers remorse on that compromise, but only because they got, well, nothing out of the deal. And it looks like the stars might not align on immigration reform because the House, always extreme on the right or left, will not consider a comprehensive bill. In fact, the House is so busy voting to repeal the health care law that there’s precious little time for anything else.
In this environment, it’s useful to remind everyone just how much Barack Obama has accomplished in just over a term. Those accomplishments are listed in this article, and should be required reading of anyone who says we’ve done nothing since 2008.
We’ve had financial and bank reform, health care reform, the saving of the automobile industry, and avoided a depression. But there’s more and any thinking American should know that. So take a look and understand that our government was built to act slowly. That works both for and against us, but it is how the framers constructed the system. We will have more landmark legislation over the next three and a half years. Some of it will be incomplete and need revision in a few years. Some of it will become part of the fabric of American life.