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What Obama Could Have Done

I received a message from AlexanderClarence asking me what Obama could have done in the last two years to satisfy the crowd that formed his base (both the progressives and the moderates that didn’t often vote for Democrats).  I can think of three major things that Obama could have done, but didn’t:

  1. Obama should have pushed harder for a Public option in his healthcare bill.  He’s vilified for “Obamacare” by partisans anyway, so putting a system in place that delivers real and tangible savings, gives coverage to the fifty million Americans without it, and makes the public pay for preventative instead of emergency health care for it’s citizens (emergency care costs more and is less effective, but it’s what people without insurance get).  Instead, Obama gave up on a Public Option as early as July 2009.
  2. Obama should have been much, much harder on Wallstreet.  Again, the right-wing media machine is going to call him a job killing capitalist hater no matter the circumstances, so refusing to bail out companies that gave massive bonuses to incompetent executives while outsourcing or downsizing the majority of their labor.  He appointed Bill Daley to be his chief of staff, Tim Geithner to be the Secretary of the Treasury, and Mary Shapiro as his investor advocate at the SEC, all very corporatist selections.  
  3. The escalation of the war on terror has been disastrous morally, economically, and to our image abroad and foreign standing.  We’re ordering the assassination of US citizens without due process, exploding weddings and church gatherings with CIA drones that rarely manage to accomplish their objectives (and, as it turns out, are rarely targeted based on solid evidence), and searching/seizing the property of people who agree with our political enemies (again without due process).  The war costs massive amounts of money, paid to war profiteers who are already immensely wealthy with funds borrowed from other nations that they plan to pay back by cutting services to the poor (‘austerity’ measures they will call it, while spending more than most nation’s GDP on unnecessary wars).  Our foreign policy has even our allies thinking we’ll torture political prisoners as a punitive measure, not to mention how it looks to the many members of the UN/NATO who are already somewhat wary of US military force.   Obama could easily choose not to escalate the drone strikes, pull back on intimidation, reinstate due process and cut defense costs.

These things each wore at a separate part of the electorate that supported him and culminate in disappointment by the voting public.  

  1. dominickcosta reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    I received a message from AlexanderClarence asking me what Obama could have done in the last two years to satisfy the...
  2. flapjackstate reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham
  3. jjarichardson reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    FDR vetoed hundreds of bills and was one of the greatest presidents in history. Rather than prioritizing with bigotry...
  4. repairingmylife reblogged this from mohandasgandhi
  5. sixkindsofbullshit reblogged this from mohandasgandhi and added:
    Plus ça change, non? He was never going to accomplish everything he promised, of course, but we have to remember that...
  6. mohandasgandhi reblogged this from other-stuff and added:
    I can’t find the interview but NPR did a great piece awhile ago with some University of Illinois and Chicago political...
  7. other-stuff reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    I think we thought we were voting for a great communicator we expected someone who could explain the benefits of health...
  8. rantingnraging reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    i would like to add that he could have been MUCH better at moving the fight for equality forward. nothing got done in...
  9. onlylivinglesbianinoc reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham
  10. lady-america-singer reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    he was probably told by advisors to NOT go harder on all of these subjects.
  11. futuresam666 reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    I say this all the time when people bring up these actual points as accomplishments. Whatever was passed to deal with...
  12. peaceiseverystep said: Hear hear, point 3 especially!
  13. submissionissexy reblogged this from jonathan-cunningham and added:
    I couldn’t agree more with every one of these ideas! Choosing an inner circle that reads like a phone directory of...
  14. hungryghoast said: I think point 3 is missing fact that rather than returning to the rule of law against Bush war excesses in re: rendition and torture (as promised) Obama has only extended these crimes. Also add, generally: Attacking rather than encouraging open gov’t
  15. pantslessprogressive said: Great list.
  16. jonathan-cunningham posted this