Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Grading Obama

CNN has a fun and kinda stupid interactive report card for Obama's 200 days. It's interesting to look at the numbers. Everybody is unhappy with the performance so far. But the flaw of the grading system is that it doesn't say why. Both blue and red states give him bad marks on health care, but perhaps for totally opposite reasons. One can't tell from the poll. But a good thing is that except for 12 benighted states, the rest of the union gives the Republican party an F. This is encouraging.
CNN asks people to comment (read comments at your own peril.). Here is mine.

I give Obama an average of C-.
Obama has been disappointing for many of us liberals that voted for him for a number of reasons. The government bailout of the banks seems to have been conducted by insiders to benefit their banker pals, and even though it is possible that the measures may be helping stem our economic decline, unless more stringent regulation of banking practices in enacted, it's going to continue being business as usual and an ethical scandal.
I am extraordinarily disappointed with Obama and the Democrats' handling of health care reform. This country needs a single payer system, even if it means more taxes. Our health cannot be beholden to the greed of insurance companies. It's a pity that the people who are most affected by this unjust state of affairs are the ones who complain the loudest about getting health care for all. Obama is too busy trying to be liked by everybody to have the cojones to push real reform. In this case, he looks like politics as usual to me.
In terms of foreign affairs, anything is better than the preceding 8 years and we have regained some of our standing in the world. But he needs to stop the grandstanding and get down to brass tacks. Let's get out of Iraq as soon as possible. Let's push aggressively for a solution to the Palestinian issue. Let's understand exactly why we are in Afghanistan, what is it going to take, and if it's going to work. Let's look at our south of the border neighbor more actively, and push for improvements on the immigration problem and the drug war, which Mexico is waging on it's own to satisfy the insatiable demand for drugs of American citizens.
Obama promised to stop torture and close Guantanamo. It's not clear that this is happening.
The Republican leadership is an undignified freak show. They are imploding and they deserve it. They are completely out of touch. They are bizarre.
Congress in general is disgraceful. Our elected representatives work for the corporate lobbies and not for the citizens, regardless of party affiliation. There must be political reform.
The media is pathetic. There is no real coverage of what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. More time is devoted to Michael Jackson or to absurd and offensive fringe movements like "birthers", than to informing the American public of the real issues facing us. No news organization can be trusted, because none is delivering the news. The media is overrun by hysterical personalities that bring the lowest polarizing discourse to the table. Walter Cronkite and the likes of him are gone forever.
Obama needs to act on his promises and he needs to stop behaving as if he is still courting favor with red states and blue states. He is the president now. Time to put his foot down.

No comments:

Post a Comment