Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Obama's First Year

Everywhere you look online, polls are being taken on whether in his first year in office the president has been successful. This in place of the more burdensome task of looking at the hard facts of what has been accomplished. And make no mistake, this president, much as he has been maligned by pundits, press, congressmen on the other side of the aisle and even Saturday Night Live, has been effective. You might consider that the loud roar against him may be in direct response to his unprecedented success. Yes, I will repeat that, unprecedented success!

National Public Radio has reported that a Congressional Quarterly study has discovered President Obama to have done better than even legendary arm-twister Lyndon Johnson in winning congressional votes on issues where he took a position. In fact, the study gives him the highest mark of any president since it began tracking more than fifty years ago. And this in a year where the issues Obama tackled included how to deal with Afghanistan, Iraq, an expanding terrorist threat, the economic crisis and battles over health care.

In addition, the list of his accomplishments during his year in office are impressive, despite the press’s reluctance to list such boring stuff as the fact that he ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending; ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices; instituted enforcement for equal pay for women; began the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq; made sure families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB; ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information as well as on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB. He also has the executive branch of government now respecting the Freedom of Information Act; instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible; and has put limits on lobbyist's access to the White House as well as limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration.
The list goes on with such important actions as removing restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research and adding new federal funding for research project as well as science and research labs. The much neglected infrastructure in our country has been given funding dedicated to projects focused on infrastructure rebuilding and, in the process, putting people back to work. The list is incredibly long for one year and that list does go on.

Has he had missteps? Nothing even close to the list of accomplishments. There is no question but that we now have an intelligent, savvy president who is listening and paying attention and, most importantly, getting things done. He has given us back our Constitution and our pride in our country. Another of his important accomplishments has been to garner respect in the world community for our country and leadership, something that would seem a gargantuan task after the Bush years in the wilderness.

Before you take a poll on Obama’s “success” or “failure,” it would perhaps be more seemly to actually look at the record.

No comments: