In the political marketplace, there’s now a run on Obama shares. The Left is disappointed with the president. Independents are abandoning him in droves. And the Right is already dancing on his political grave, salivating about November, when, his own press secretary admitted Sunday, Democrats might lose the House.
I have a warning for Republicans: Don’t underestimate Barack Obama…
Obama is down, but it’s very early in the play. Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he’s done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do, he knows, must await his next 500 days — those that come after reelection.
So 2012 is the real prize. Obama sees far, farther than even his own partisans. Republicans underestimate him at their peril.
It seems to me that the left’s main complaint against Obama has been that he hasn’t reversed the damage done by the Bush administration fast enough. Bush and Cheney had eight long years to fill the federal government with far-right ideologues, and they didn’t hesitate to pass out jobs out based on loyalty rather than competence. Government changes slowly, and for good reason. If Obama had the power to change it any faster, then the previous administration would have had the same power and could have done even more damage, and we would be in even worse shape than we are now.
Does that mean that progressives should ease up on Obama? Of course not! Something has to counter the wing-nut noise machine. But don’t give up on Obama. He is our best hope. And he has already accomplished more than some thought possible: Health care reform (which several other presidents tried to do and failed), reversing the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, the recent financial reform including protections for consumers, repairing our image in the world, reorganizing the student loan program, stronger regulations on carbon emissions, and initiatives to lower our dependence on foreign oil. And there is so much more on his agenda: improving gay rights, fighting climate change, immigration reform, and of course ending two wars.
For those of us old enough to remember, even Reagan was being attacked bitterly by his own party at about this time into his first term. Am I totally happy with what Obama has accomplished? Of course not. Do I think he is the best president we have had in a very long time? Absolutely. Will I keep the pressure on him to accomplish even more? You Betcha!