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Ironically, this is what I love about Obama

We love to complain about how Washington is broken, that it is too tied up in partisan politics and has forgotten how to actually govern. And ironically, we also complain about Obama and the Democrats not standing up to the Republicans. Or, in plainer words, we attack them for not being partisan enough.

And yet, governing is exactly what Obama is trying to do. You can hear it in his announcement last week of an overhaul of the failed “No Child Left Behind” act in response to the report that the US is falling even further behind other countries in education.

You can also see it in the health care reform bill, which is likely to pass later today. Yes, it isn’t the bill that some people on the left wanted, and goes way further than some people on the right wanted. But it is reform, and it is at least a step in the right direction, which is a big step more than any president before him has been able to take.

I don’t agree with everything that Obama does. I don’t like the bailouts of banks and auto companies. I’d prefer a single-payer health care system, modeled on the one in New Zealand, or at the very least a public option like in the bill sponsored by Alan Grayson. And, occasionally, I want the Dems to be more partisan; for example, I’d love to see Dick Cheney rot in jail for war crimes.

But instead, Obama is trying to get this country back on track. He’s governing. I may not like every little thing he does, but the important thing is that it is clear that he is working hard to do what he thinks is best for the country, not what is best for him getting reelected or for enriching his friends. The process of governing might not get the headlines, but it is just what this country needs right now.



  1. rusty wrote:

    Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ironically, Rusty, your kind of ranting is what I *don’t* like, and think is ruining our country.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
  3. ebdoug wrote:

    Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush: If any of the Gitmo prisoners are tried, and it is found out that they were tortured, Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush can be tried for war crimes because the Supreme court has ruled that the prison is on US territory; hence must abide by the Geneva Convention. Bush has quickly tried to get them all out and back to their own countries so he doesn’t also rot in jail.
    Wonderful joke by Bill Clinton last night “The health care bill may not be passed in the life time of Dick Cheney and but should be passed by Easter.” (the men with heart problems)
    I have been so excited all day waiting for the vote. That this wonderful man can get done what none of his predecessors were able to do.

    Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  4. Mad Hatter wrote:

    Rusty, have you ever served in the military…have you ever served in any capacity where you weren’t the center of the universe, my little man?

    Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Permalink
  5. b wrote:

    Something occurred to me this morning while thinking about health care. After listing to all these complaints from the Repubs about invading someone’s personal health choices I wonder how they would categorize what they did with respect to Terri Schiavo.

    Monday, March 22, 2010 at 7:38 am | Permalink
  6. Sammy wrote:

    I recently completed my tax return, and being someone who does accounting for a living (not a CPA, but a small corp controller), I have a very good handle on personal finance and tax planning. I can predict very accurately in January what my tax burden will be for the year and plan accordingly to avoid over-paying or under-paying.

    This year, as I went step by step through TurboTax (yes, I’ll give them a plug – worth every penny), I found a new tax credit/reduction for middle class earners I didn’t know about. So instead of my usual almost break-even, I got a little surprise.

    So, when I read bumper stickers on middle class cars (specifically a Subaru in my neighborhood) that talk about the evils of Obama’s change and how it will cost them hard-earned $$, I wonder if they have even bothered to compare their tax return from year to year?

    And exactly which freedoms has Obama stripped from us?

    Monday, March 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  7. Jonah wrote:

    So when does that rush limbaugh character leave for costa rica? Here’s an excerpt from dave frums article about rush which sadly suggests he may not leave after all.

    ” When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.”

    Monday, March 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  8. The kind of rants rusty is engaging in is indeed ruining the country. Perhaps ironically, though, it doesn’t have as much to do with rusty as it has to do with the deterioration in quality, objectivity, and ethics of news media sources across the country. Democracy is dangerous without a news media in place capable of battling propaganda.

    Also, I completed my taxes too. I paid 10% of my income in federal income taxes,…it’s ridiculous how recklessly low taxes are in this country.

    Monday, March 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink
  9. starluna wrote:

    I’m right there with you on the tax issue. Although we are homeowners, which is the primary reason why our tax burden is low. That, and we also overpay just a little bit, primarily because I hate having to pay at the end of the year.

    Depending on the state you live in, your tax burden may be higher when you consider state and local taxes. I’ve seen some economic analyses that found that states with no income tax have a much higher overall tax burden because municipalities are forced to rely on sales, excise and property taxes to provide basic services.

    Here in MA, I was found out that some of my acquaintances pay over $10K a year in property taxes, which is astounding to me as a Boston city homeowner. And their kids aren’t any smarter for the supposedly better schools either.

    Monday, March 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  10. ebdoug wrote:

    Sammy, thank you for your TurboTax plug. After 28 years and probably 8000 tax returns, I am retiring in three weeks and two days, having used Proseries by the makers of TurboTax much of the time. I am inviting my semi computer literate clients to come back next with a wireless lap top and do their returns at my desk while I knit. Of course, I’m curious if it was the “making work pay” or the credit for property taxes without itemizing that you found. If it was property taxes, you can amend 2008.
    David, thank you for the support of allowing the tax cuts to the rich to expire. We need to support our lawmakers on this.

    Monday, March 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  11. Sammy wrote:

    @EB: It was the “Making Work Pay”. I itemize, so I can take the property tax credit on my Schedule A.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink