While the Republican National Convention is busy trying to promote their narrative that Obama has been a disappointment of a president, there are two things that you should remember:
First of all, that it is a lie. Despite relentless opposition from the Republicans — who even opposed their own ideas (like Romneycare/Obamacare) when Obama adopted them — and despite inheriting an economy in free-fall, this administration has actually succeeded in turning the country around and gotten it moving in the right direction again.
The “Please Cut The Crap” blog has put together a comprehensive list, with comprehensive citations, of 200 accomplishments of Obama. Whether it is tracking down Osama bin Laden, saving the American automobile industry, reforming America’s reputation abroad, putting new emphasis on education, pushing less polluting forms of energy, or even cutting taxes, there is a lot to like.
Second, notice that there is one person who will be noticeably absent from the Republican convention, and that is George W. Bush. Even Republicans realize that the last Republican president was one disaster after another. Sadly, the main reminder of the Bush administration today will be Hurricane Isaac dumping rain on New Orleans on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Well, that, and having to live with the legacy of Bush appointments to the Supreme Court, like the Citizens United decision that has opened the floodgates of special interest money in elections.
And it isn’t just Bush. What have the rest of the Republicans been doing the last four years? Opposing Wall Street reforms. Opposing health care reform. Opposing gay marriage and trying to outlaw abortion. Trying to shut down Planned Parenthood. Promoting tax cuts for the rich and giveaways to large multinational corporations.
And what are the GOP priorities for the future? It is telling that the first item on the Republican platform is “Preserving and protecting traditional marriage” (against gays). While the first item on the Democratic platform is the economy.
It is instructive to read the rest of the Republican platform. Their vision of the future says “The Internet must be made safe for children” by going after “all forms of pornography and obscenity”. But they don’t say how they will do that while protecting freedom of speech.
Ironically, their “Prescription for American Healthcare” says:
We believe that taking care of one’s health is an individual responsibility. Chronic diseases, many of them related to lifestyle, drive healthcare costs, accounting for more than 75 percent of the nation’s medical spending. To reduce demand, and thereby lower costs, we must foster personal responsibility while increasing preventive services to promote healthy lifestyles.
And yet, when Michelle Obama promotes healthy eating for children in order to fight obesity, she is mocked as promoting a nanny state.
The Republican Platform also promotes education reform, which they call “A Chance for Every Child”. Wasn’t that what Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” was supposed to do? And under “Improving our Nation’s Classrooms” they complain that “Ideological bias is deeply entrenched within the current university system” and call on “State officials to ensure that our public colleges and universities be places of learning and the exchange of ideas, not zones of intellectual intolerance favoring the Left.” You know, those liberal ideas like evolution or climate change.