Friday, November 5, 2010

What The Eff Has Obama Done So Far?

Lots of my friends have been posting links to in recent days. I'm not sure if the site is intended to buck up dispirited liberals or convince skeptical independents -- but either way I'm not terribly impressed. A lot of what's listed on the site is either bureaucratic paper-pushing that, while important, stands a fair distance from the heart of the liberal agenda. Other stuff is empty gesturing that deserves no better than a slow golf clap.

I'm pulling up the site now and running through a few items. What the eff has Obama done so far?

* Appointed nation's first Chief Technology Officer.

Um. Great. I know that's why I voted for him.

* Signed financial reform law establishing a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to look out for the interests of everyday Americans.

Better, actually.

* Signed financial reform law requiring lenders to verify applicants' credit history, income, and employment status.

Reasonable, but very "campaign in poetry, govern in prose" type stuff. And I suspect this particular item might have come out of a McCain presidency, actually.

* Appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in US history.

Nice, but we're veering pretty close to the "empty gesture" territory. (Rick Santorum has gay employees, too!) It's taken Obama so long to get the ball rolling on "Don't Ask Don't Tell," for example, that he's about to lose the Democratic congressional majority likely to pass a repeal. And of course, he remains opposed to same-sex marriage. Obama's not been a disaster, I suppose -- unlike George W. Bush, he didn't try to win a presidential campaign by putting gays on the defensive -- but the inaction on this front might explain why gay voters doubled their support for Republicans in Tuesday's election from two years ago.

* Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than during entire Bush years.

That might be true, but only as a niggling technicality. As Atrios pointed out this week, unemployment has consistently been much higher under Obama than it was under Bush. I don't think that's Obama's fault: I do believe the unemployment rate and slow growth of the economy are the result forces that came to a head during the Bush years. But as a political matter, that doesn't matter: We're feeling the pain right now, and the voters are going to punish anybody who isn't making it better quickly.

I could go on, but won't. And maybe liberals need a reminder that the last two years haven't been as pointless as Tuesday's election made them feel. But there's something about the WTF site that strikes me as out-of-touch with the wants and needs of the average American voter -- and disconnected from the bigger picture of good liberal governance, as though the accumulation of small acts of governance is somehow good governance. That's not necessarily the case.


KhabaLox said...

A friend of mine linked to that site too, and I visited it thinking I could find something to post (despite my intention of trying to keep my politics out of Facebook). But like you, I couldn't find anything really impressive. The best one was the one my friend had "liked" - ending "enhanced interrogation" and forcing the military to follow the Army Field Guide.

emawkc said...

Most of the items I saw on the few seconds I spent on that site could be translated to "increased an already bloated and ineffectual federal bureaucracy" or "spent a crap load of money we don't have" -- not to say that a similar list couldn't have been made for his predecessor.

PS- Word verification for this comment: "randm"