17 February 2010

Setbacks, False Starts, but a Steady Hand

Despite all the shit being hurled his way, despite the efforts of the obstructionist opposition to derail his presidency, and despite all the whining and moaning on the left about his centrist policies, President Obama's job approval rating remains solid and steady:
Approve 52%
Disapprove 41%
Two points I want to reiterate once again:

To independent voters: We all need to remember what this guy walked into. Yes, it has been 13 months since he took office; and yes, this Great Recession has been a bitch. But the mess left behind by the Bush administration is going to take years, if not a decade, to clean up. The recovery will be long and quite bumpy. But try and picture what things would look like right now had the McCain/Palin ticket won the election.

Plunging stock markets, bank failures, 15% unemployment, and "McCainvilles" popping up under every bridge, not to mention a war with Iran. That's how things would look today under a "President McCain."

To my compatriots on the left side of the political spectrum: I agree with your contention that the President has done little to further the progressive agenda. But given what was piled on his plate the first day he walked into the Oval Office...well...even Dennis Kucinich would have been forced to set aside much of his social agenda.

When Mr. Obama announced his candidacy in February of 2007, hopes were high for a solid swing to the left after eight years of Fascist right-wing rule. But events leading up to the 2008 election interceded and, whether it was Obama or Clinton, Dodd or Kucinich, the newly elected president was going to have to vastly alter their agenda. Saving the globe from financial ruin and repairing America's tattered reputation took top priority.

Do I have my personal disappointments with President Obama? You better believe I do. The thing is, I knew I would. I wasn't expecting perfection. In this day and age no president of any party will be perceived as perfect. As he said in his victory speech on Election Day:
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president.
And so it is.

Setbacks and false starts are part of the game called governing. But one thing is for sure: I can't think of anyone else I would want at the helm.