barack and michelleAs a so-called liberal, I should be disappointed in President Barack Obama, right?

No gun control, Guantanamo still open, an immigration policy that is no policy at all, drones, no universal health care, an NSA run amok, vicious unchained violence in the Middle East, a locked-down North Korea testing long-range missiles, a bunch of demented and drug-fueled Islamic terrorist boys looking for those 72 virgins I hope they find in hell, Israel up in arms against America?

Hey Barack, what the hell?

But I love President Obama and I think, when historians have a chance to
weigh in, they may find much to love about him too.

First of all, remember when George W. Bush and his neocon greed-heads bankrupted the country? Who can forget those pallets stacked with hundred dollar bills — our money! — being shipped out to Iraq, millions of dollars which remains unaccounted for to this very day?

They bankrupted us with an unnecessary war that either killed or maimed millions of Iraqis and Afghanis, thousands of American soldiers, and which destabilized the entire Middle East. And then, after the mortgage crisis toppled the banks and the auto industry, unemployment rose to near-Depression heights and Wall Street was about to crumble, they happily skipped town.

After Bush, who would want a clean-up job so big? Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney should send prayers straight to whatever heaven they actually believe in that they didn’t inherit the mess that Obama did.

Once Obama won, while many were rejoicing over having a black man in the Oval Office — remember “racism is over” —Obama’s mere presence opened a
Pandora’s box of evil that is still out there twisting and fermenting today.

One recent book estimated that Obama is the target of about 30 death threats a day. It called him ”the most threatened president in history.”

The Huffington Post and Wikipedia both have pages — long pages —dedicated to Obama death threats. Once there was a Facebook page called  “Reward for Capture of Obama.”  The nut job who sponsored that particular website felt that Obama had committed so many illegal acts (has he been watching too much Fox News?) that his life was forfeit and under the Second Amendment to the Constitution, anyone could legitimately kill him. Facebook finally shut the page down.

In 2013, Colin Powell, a Republican, said, ”Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that’s despicable.”

Amen, brother. Obama has been called “the Anti-Christ,” the N-word, an
immigrant, a Muslim terrorist and God only knows what else.

And still he serves, implacably and impeccably, this man Jerry Seinfeld calls “the
coolest guy to ever hold this office.”

He must be, because the coolest First Lady to ever hold this office is married to him. If Michelle thinks he’s OK, so do I.

A word about Michelle and Barack. They live in the world I live in. They know about the Blues. They move and groove to Motown and rock and country. Michelle, for one, can really dance; I just love to watch her, although sometimes I think she embarrasses her kids. But what else is a mother for?

The stunning Michelle wears new American fashion designers. They raised their two daughters out of the spotlight for seven years. Barack loves babies and old women and relates to women who have hearts and guts rather than blonde helmet hair. This couple lives in our world, not in 1959 or whenever Ronald Reagan started to systematically kill democracy in this country. (Bill Clinton helped, by the way.)

True, Obama can’t get control of the gun laws yet. But he cried when he talked
about the children gunned down in schools, the worshippers gunned down in
churches and synagogues and mosques, the people gunned down on the
streets. He wiped real tears from his face and openly expressed his grief and
rage. Showing your feelings. It’s a start.

“Second amendment rights are important,” he said. “But there are other rights that we care about as well, and we have to balance them…Our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were stripped…first graders…Every time I think
about those kids it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

OK, he couldn’t get restrictions on guns through Congress, but think of the legislation he managed to pass against giant odds.

Obama came into office preaching bipartisanship, yet the right wing of the Republican party got together on the day of his inauguration, and decided that whatever the Obama administration tried to do, they would just stonewall it and shut it down.

Fortunately, the Democrats still controlled Congress for the first two years of his presidency. That was how he passed an economic stimulus package that, while it was small and limited in scope, was just enough to keep the nation from sliding into a depression.

Obamacare (a.k.a., the Affordable Care Act) barely passed Congress without a single Republican vote. It’s certainly not perfect. The government didn’t force the issue of negotiating drug prices, and the mandatory coverage requirement itself is a bonanza for the insurance industry, but about 15 million more people now have some kind of health insurance. Boo-yah!

The unemployment rate when was 9.8 percent on Jan. 1, 2010 at the peak of the Great Recession. Now it’s 4.9 percent. There’s been a 70-month streak of steady job growth Boo-yah again!

When Obama came into office, the auto industry was tanking. Now it’s paid
back its bailout money with interest and is flourishing both here and abroad. Boo-yah, boo-yah, boo-yah!

The big banks that were “too big to fail” didn’t fail. I guess that counts
for something.

The economic collapse of 2007-08 (under George W. Bush) wiped regular
people’s savings, but their investment portfolios (under Barack Obama) have
gained back those losses.

Gay marriage became the law of the land.

“Love won,” Obama said. “No matter who you are, here in America, you’re free to marry the person you love, because the freedom to marry is now the law in all fifty states.”

America —at least the non-batshit crazy one — finally admitted that climate change is real and signed a god-damned treaty — what the hell took it so long?

Wind and solar power have tripled under Obama, and alternative energy now accounts for more than 5 percent of America’s electricity, a figure that’s rising every month. The Saudis, who enslave women and fund Islamic terrorism, are scrambling.

We’re trading with Iran, which gave up its nuclear bomb potential to do it, and with
Cuba!!  Pistachio nuts and cigars all around!

And Osama bin Laden — whose family George W. Bush flew out of the United
States on Sept. 12, 2001, when worldwide flights were cancelled — and
whom he refused to capture in the caves of Afghanistan — is gone.

It’s still a dangerous world. The damage that Bush and Cheney caused so casually will resonate for decades. But if you remember how bad it was in 2008, you can easily see the good, and that’s attributable to Barack Obama.

Barack Obama has often been called “the smartest guy in the room.” A lot of people don’t like the smartest guy in the room. They’d rather have a president whom they can drink a beer with, or watch selling snake oil on television.

Yet with everything rising against him, Obama is leaving America in a significantly better state than the one his predecessor handed off to him.

Politics is most like football, Obama argued. “A lot of players, a lot of specialization, a lot of hitting a lot of attrition but then every once in a while you see an opening,” he said. “
“You’re hitting the line you get one yard, you try one play and you get sacked, now its like third and 15, you have to punt a lot, and every once in a while you’ll see a hole and then there’s open field.”


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