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Tim Dickinson: "Taken together, Barack Obama's achievements are not only historic in their sweep but unabashedly liberal. By contrast, President Clinton's top legislative victories - NAFTA and welfare reform - catered to the right wing's faith in free markets and its loathing of big government."

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the DCCC reception at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, 10/25/10. (photo: AP)
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the DCCC reception at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, 10/25/10. (photo: AP)

 

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+1 # willow 2010-11-01 10:46
BTW, Judas did not betray, he in fact followed the will of God, and therefore aided humanity. For if Judas had not acted in the manner he did, redemption would have never been possible....Thi s according to the Kabbalist Carlos Suarex.

Similarly, President Obama has offered the American people and voters the opportunity for redemption, redeeming their over induglences, greed and race to the top of the money pile...still redemption is it not.
 
 
+4 # Roland James 2010-11-01 11:31
After being pressured by the Republicans, FDR did
cut spending in 1936, which sent us into a double
dip depression, which we didn't get out of until
the humungous spending of WW2.
 
 
+7 # Liberal TX Democrat 2010-11-01 12:13
Thank you Mr. Dickinson for this article. I am one of the liberal Democrats who has been disappointed and angry that we haven't been able to accomplish more with our political wins in 2010. I didn't look at it from the standpoint of what other presidents had done at this stage. You are right. Your list of Obama's accomplishments is pretty remarkable. I am changing my tune. I'm going to start talking about What President Obama has done instead of whining about what he hasn't.
But I still wish the Democrats would get more backbone, work together, and stop trying to appease Repulbicans who are going to nothing but obstruct.
 
 
+6 # genierae 2010-11-01 12:53
I hope that the progressive far left will read this article with an open mind, and allow Obama the credit that he well deserves. We have a president that is amazingly productive, with a very liberal agenda, and courageous enough to risk his political life for the benefit of the American people. And what does he get for his efforts? A kick in the teeth from the right and the left. Maybe this country doesn't deserve such a good man in the White House.
 
 
-7 # rob 2010-11-01 14:58
"But if the passions of Obama's base have been deflated by the compromises he made to secure historic gains like the Recovery Act, health care reform and Wall Street regulation, that gloom cannot obscure the essential point: This president has delivered more sweeping, progressive change in 20 months than the previous two Democratic administrations did in 12 years."
Bullshit!! The 3 "accomplishment s" mentioned; Recovery Act, better known as the bankster bailout didn't create jobs, instead the banksters pocketed the money as bonuses, which our children and their children will still be paying for after we're gone!!; health care reform, better known as Obama care will Force millions to pay for crappy insurance, which they can't afford, starting in 2013; and as for "wall street reform", it does Nothing to prevent another bubble and another bailout, (which the banksters are already talking about), and it does Nothing to address the wall street gambling on derivatives!
Wake up!! obama is just another smooth-talking "corporate lackey"! He represents the elite, Not US!!
 
 
+7 # DofG 2010-11-01 17:44
Anyone who thinks that Obama is a "corporate lackey" is obviously not paying attention to his legislative achievements, which is the very reason many in the corporatocracy are spending millions of dollars to change the political balance of power. The other point, which should have been the first, is that there's nothing in Obama's history that would suggest that he has ever been in it for the money. In fact, most of his wealth comes from his two books, which have done well. Read his bio, unless you're operating by some entrenched predisposition.

The other part of this, which would not be part of your reality, is that no black man would ever risk his life to be president just so he could be someone's "lackey"! Thus, to think otherwise is the price of living in an externally manufactured delusion.
 
 
+2 # soularddave 2010-11-01 20:58
Quoting rob:
The 3 "accomplishments" mentioned; Recovery Act, better known as the bankster bailout didn't create jobs, instead the banksters pocketed the money as bonuses, which our children and their children will still be paying for after we're gone!!; health care reform, better known as Obama care will Force millions to pay for crappy insurance, which they can't afford, starting in 2013; and as for "wall street reform", it does Nothing to prevent another bubble and another bailout,


My friend, you haven't been paying attention. Did you read the article before replying?

The banks have paid back most of the money already. Besides, that was the "TARP", anyway. The 2nd bailout does have limits on what banks can do.

The "stimulus" bills DOES create jobs, but maybe not fast enough, or maybe ones that some will need to retrain for. Anyway, jobs do pump money back into the treasury.

And don't forget OUR tax cut that keeps more of OUR paychecks in OUR pockets (bet you just *spent* yours)
 
 
+6 # LeeBlack 2010-11-01 16:52
Considering the obstinacy of the opposition Obama should be applauded for what he has managed to accomplish. I think he has been pragmatic.
 
 
-3 # Scott A. Weir 2010-11-01 18:30
The author's glowing claims are true, if you ignore the fact that most of them are wild exaggerations. I respect Ms. Goodwin deeply, but I don't think she understands much about the economy or the finance industry.

And comparing Obama with LBJ seems to me to be complimentary to neither. Amid his genuine accomplishments , LBJ launched what is still America's longest war so far. Obama has "escalated" what promises to exceed it in length, while pressing "reforms" which, like Clinton's, seem at this point likely to do at least as much harm as good.

I defended him for a year for what could then pass as political acumen, for all the reasons cited above. But I hear nothing reformist from this man that does not sound like it was written by a party hack.
 
 
-4 # Aliazer 2010-11-01 19:11
The very reasons the writer cites as accomplishments are the very same disappointments Mr. Obama has visited on his constituency.

These were, indeed, accomplishments on the part of President Obama but only to serve the special interests of Wall Street, Insurance Industry and the Military Industrial Complex. As for the country and the people, he, along with his so called "democrat" associates in Congress have delivered little or nothing other than much BS.
 
 
-2 # Activista 2010-11-01 19:22
Obama is intellectual - "
Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition (Oct. 31, 2010) by James T. Kloppenberg

"Obama is drawn toward the ideas of anti-foundation alism, historicism, and philosophical pragmatism. As an anti-foundation alist, he questions the existence of universal truths. As a historicist, he doubts that any ideas transcend the particularity of time and culture. Finally, as a philosophical pragmatist he insists that all propositions, positions, and policies must be subjected to continuing critical scrutiny. Whereas many activists on both the left and the right proclaim their incommensurable principles with the fervor of true believers, Obama sees things differently. He believes that anti-foundation alism, historicism, and philosophical pragmatism are consistent with the principles of civic republicanism and deliberative democracy on which America was built and for which it should stand."
 
 
+6 # Activista 2010-11-01 19:24
Obama on August 31, 2010:

""The greatness of our democracy is grounded in our ability to move beyond our differences, and to learn from our experiences as we confront the many challenges ahead.""
Question is - is America ready for Obama - do we deserve Obama?
 
 
+1 # Harold R. Mencher 2010-11-02 14:54
Why don't we all be honest here instead of trying to put Obama on a pedestal. I voted for him & I'm not a Teapartier or a Repub.

o Yes, it was Bush's TARP Bill put together by Hank Paulson, Bush's man. But it was Obama who pressured his fellow Dems to support it & vote for it, as is, without making any attempts to force Hank Paulson to add conditions, restrictions, or any oversight.

o The money was then used by the banks for expensive parties, extraordinary bonuses, & most probably to pay off lobbyists in Washington, just for starters. Without any oversight, we don't really know how it all got spent. What we do know is that very little of it was used to help the American people. And, in a sense, TARP may have indirectly helped the banks make the money that they are now using to pay for these attack ads against the Dems.

o The banks received enough money to cover their losses in the real estate market, & yet that wasn't good enough for them. They still went after the home owners by foreclosing on millions of homes.

Now that's just TARP.
 
 
+1 # Harold R. Mencher 2010-11-02 15:07
Continuing, now let's talk about health care:

o When Obama hand selected the members of the health care committee to form the health care reform Bill, he selected Senator Max Baucus to lead it, a corp crony who had accepted a tremendous amount of money from the health care industry.

o His chief adviser on the committee was a woman who represented the health care industry, one of their chief lobbyist.

o In the end, the Dems found a way of voting on the newly formed health care reform Bill in the Senate that did not require a 60 vote super majority, but a simple majority vote. And, yet, instead of putting back into the Bill everything that had been taken out as a result of Repub complaints and some of the conservadems like Max Baucus, including a strong and robust public option, they passed the same crappy Bill that existed as a result of the Repub obstructionism. Why?

o When the health care insurance companies recently started to raise their rates, and deny coverage to children who had premedical-cond itions, his Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, did nothing to stop it.
 
 
+1 # Harold R. Mencher 2010-11-02 15:23
I can make very similar arguments with Obama's mil policies, his continued policies of the Bush admin when it comes to the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, & the FISA Bill, just for starters.

He has nullified not one of Bush's Executive Orders or Signing Statements. Torture continues under the Obama admin, secretly of course, extraordinary rendition continues & extrajudicial assassinations & indefinite detentions continue under the Obama admin without any due process.

He continues to spy on U.S. citizens, not terrorists, but U.S. citizens & activist groups that don't agree with his war policies.

Virtually everyone of his cabinet appointment have either been Clinton era financial advisers who basically are guilty of the mess we're in right now, & I'm not discounting Bush's donations to the cause, & virtually every member of his war cabinet, with the exception of Hillary Clinton, were previous members of the Bush criminal regime.

If Obama & the Dems truly wanted to implement real change as they promised, they would have immediately killed the filibuster in the Senate as a weapon for the Repubs to use to block their legislation.
 
 
+1 # Harold R. Mencher 2010-11-02 17:11
Continuing, here's another example of Obama's lip service. Obama recently condemned the Repubs for their agenda to destroy the entitlements such as Social Security & Medicare. And yet Obama himself hand-selected the current members of the Deficit Commission, the very people who are now determining the future of these entitlements.

Virtually every member of this Deficit Commission, both Repubs & Dems alike, are more sympathetic to the Repub agenda of destroying these entitlements rather than protecting them.

Senator Russ Feingold & Congressman Alan Grayson, who are two of the most devout progressives in Congress, are about to lose their seats. This is a tragedy, one that should not have happened if Obama had been a stronger pres & leader.

Obama & the Dems should have done to the Repubs what Bush & the Repubs did to the Dems when the Dems had a larger minority in Congress prior to the 2006 midterm elections than the Repubs have today, steamroll over them. The Dems should have killed the filibuster from the very start when the Repubs made it clear that they were going to be obstructionists , and then the repubs would have been a non-issue.
 

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