Friday, October 29, 2010

Barack Obama's Visit to Jon Stewart

Barack Obama’s visit to Jon Stewart’s Daily Show gave him the opportunity to set the record straight on his first 18 months in office, and the audience gave him a thunderous welcome. There is no question that Obama’s record has been distorted to the point where a number of Democrats in Congress actually believe the ads the Republicans began inundating the public with very quickly after President Obama took office. After all, their sole agenda has been to take back power. They worked on no legislation, devoting themselves to saying no and “taking back power.” To what purpose is something else since they have no definitive proposals beyond some scattered ideas of rather frightening measures. But that’s also what happened last time we played this out in recent history. But back to the facts, and one fact is that this president has worked harder than any president in memory and if you bother to research, you can find the evidence of his accomplishments.

The most impressive achievement is the healthcare bill, which no Democrat and indeed no American should be ashamed of. It is historic, it is the beginning of taking back healthcare from the health insurance industry and protecting consumers’ well being. To be able to say that 30 million people who were not covered will now have healthcare (not to mention the children) is historic. True, it will take a few years for the entire bill to be implemented, but a great many people are already benefitting.

Saving the auto industry was a good idea that is now beginning to show dividends as plants are slowly reopening, and the stimulus did indeed create jobs although most of the stimulus money has not yet been spent. We need to save our infrastructure at the same time people obtain jobs on such projects. Consumer protection for consumers in the area of financial regulation (credit cards for example) is very important. There are other accomplishments you can find. It would not be an exaggeration to say that he has done more for this country in less than two years than Bush did in 8 (unless you want to see two wars as accomplishment).

And yet the Republicans want to repeal everything. Have you forgotten that during the Bush years, when we didn’t have these things, everything went wrong? We are now on the right road, and it is a slow trek but at least we are finally doing the right thing. To expect everything to be accomplished immediately must be an idea acquired from watching television programs where the most complicated situations are resolved within an hour. But not in life. No doubt if it didn’t take 60 votes in the Senate to pass a bill and if a lone Republican were not allowed to hold up an incredible number of important nominations, things might go faster, but, hey, if you believe that giving the reins back to the Republicans (and some of these people now running are even more right wing than before) is the answer, I suggest you really think hard about the eight years before Obama.

Almost all those jobs that disappeared were lost before Obama took office and from the time, he went into the White House, it has been a slow but steady record of fewer and fewer jobs lost, more jobs created, and the economy coming back. Too bad it can’t happen more quickly. But it won’t happen at all if the Republicans have their way about cutting and austerity and the same kind of nonsense that Herbert Hoover so tenaciously put into practice. He thought that all you had to do was cut spending and everything would be great. Haven’t you heard? Things got worse. The truth is, people, that, first and foremost, we must invest in ourselves big time and

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