POLITICAL observations & opinions

* I have been challenged as to whether I accept any criticisms of President Obama … here are some

Posted by Lew Weinstein on August 15, 2011

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I have been challenged as to whether I accept any criticisms of President Obama.

I think Obama has achieved far less than I would have liked, and less than he would have liked.

Where I have a problem is understanding how, given the variables he has had to work with, he could have done better. It is not enough to say what he should have sought to do without also evaluating if those objectives were actually possible.

… on DADT should have been a Presidential mandate in the inaugural address. What a tone that would have sent, and it was within his power. Why didn’t he?

… but on healthcare reform, could anyone have done better? It’s not perfect, but no other president even came close.

… on Iraq and Afghanistan … slower withdrawal than I would have done. I think the generals might have backed down if he pushed harder. But we don’t know. Maybe he did, and they didn’t.

… on immigration … where are the votes? Even W couldn’t get them.

… biggest tactical mistake … failure to make Senate R’s do a real filibuster (in the first two years) … make them look silly while you look aggressive … I think they would have backed down had Obama pushed Reid to take the hit.

Overall … my evaluation is that Obama has done a good job, within the limits of what was possible. And he will be the candidate in 2012. If Liberals walk away because Obama has been less than their definition of perfect, we will end up with Perry or Bachman, or maybe Romney if by some miracle he is able to win the nomination. Will that be an improvement?

A better strategy for all of us who think a Republican president chosen from the current field would be an utter disaster is to push Obama to be more aggressive over the next year, so the country will be better off, and so he can win in 2012.

 

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