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Monday, December 14, 2009

Progress Report

Much is being made about Obama's "self-evaluation" for his first year as President. From the more predictable tirades from the far-right calling this ego-driven blather to tebaggers equating this with Obama claiming that he can perform complex brain-surgery, I would honestly have to say I don't agree with any of it - including Obama's assertion that he gets a B+.

From my perspective, he gets a C. He's passing, but can do better.

Here's a list of things that I believe he needs to do in order to get that grade up.

1 - Veto any healthcare legislation that does not include a Public Option. While I am of the belief that this country would be better off under a Single Payer structure, a "robust" Public Option is light-years away better than what the Senate has done to reform up to today.

2 - He needs to answer his critics in a more direct fashion. When people like Dick and Liz Cheney essentially calling you a traitor, you should respond. If you've got people like the teabaggers railing that you weren't born in the US, you respond. The only problem is creating the illusion that these questions and concerns are far more valid than they are.

3 - Don't continually give ground to Republicans if they aren't willing to meet you half way. Far too often, Obama and his administration have given Republicans chance after chance with no common ground being met - only obstructionism and fear mongering from those same Republicans that clamour for "bi-partisanship".

4 - No secret deals with Wall-Street or big corporations. Sever all ties with them and the people will rally around you more than ever. This alleged deal with PhRMA and the White House has twisted healthcare reform into something almost unrecognizable. Get all administration officials with close relationships with Wall-Street out ( ie: Geithner and Paulson )

5 - Increase transparency. While it appears that a large portion of what has gone on since Jan 20th has been open to the public, there is a lot more that we need to see. Naturally, there are things that can't be due to security and classification issues, but I am speaking from a realistic standpoint. If it doesn't violate any previously established laws that prevent revealing info/documents to the public, be up front about it.

6 - Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan completely. The Bush administration pulled focus from the initial mission not only when Iraq was invaded by when he lost Bin Laden in Tora Bora. We don't need to be occupying either country any longer. The Focus should be on domestic security and finding key Al Queada in Pakistan with a reasoned time-table and goals for that. We are dangerously close to nation-building in Afghanistan and that is something that we don't need to be doing

These key points are what Obama can definitely improve on. As of right now he's lost enough ground that conservatives feel they've gained the upper hand, but there's time enough to correct the mistakes of this first year. Obama doesn't need to be a one-term President - his goals are noble and will benefit this country no matter what elements from the Right may think

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