I have noticed, of late, a number of my fellow Kossacks are ready to throw in the towel on the Obama presidency. This is despite the fact that we have yet to pass the anniversary of his first year in office and is in spite of the fact that Mr. Obama has been working at a furious pace to both overturn the worst of the Bush years and shape his own legislative agenda. This willingness to give up on Barack, to me, smacks of impatience at best and naivete at worst.
I'm old enough to remember this point in the Clinton presidency and I'm here to tell you, my friends, it was far, far worse than this. The Big Dog got off to an awful, clumsy start and didn't really recover his bearings until after the '94 elections that gave him that paragon of virtue and conservative intellectualism, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as his legislative partner.
Clinton's missteps over gays in the military and the First Health Care Reform Debacle spelled certain doom for the possibility of a second term. Plus, Clinton had rammed through his tax increases, which made him an enormous target when the off-year elections rolled around. Never mind, of course, that Clinton's economic policies led to the greatest post-war boom in American history. Never mind that we enjoyed years upon years of prosperity under his watch. The GoOPers painted him as a tax and spend liberal and it stuck.
Until...1995. Suddenly, the fruit of his labors started to pile up in bushels. The deficit was beginning to be tamed. Unemployment shrank. The stock market exploded and, with it, the era of on-line trading was born. The dot-com boom (which would later go ka-flooey) was making millionaires left and right. By the time the 1996 elections rolled around, poor Bob Dole didn't stand a chance. Bill rolled over him and, with a little detour in his second term we'll call "the M.L. incident, Clinton enjoyed another four years of unparalelled growth.
Given this history, I am untirely unmoved by those who would label Obama a failure this early in his tenure. He is doing much- not all, but a great deal- of what he promised to do when he was elected. Yes, the health reform bill should be better and it would be if not for Droopy Joe and the Blue Dogs. Yes, we're sending more troops to Afghanistan, but we're beginning the withdrawal from Iraq next year, at long last. Yes, Guantanamo is still open, but we're looking to transfer a great many of those prisoners to my home state of Illinois for trial next year. And yes, yes, yes he should get rid of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And I have little doubt that he will.
So carp and complain (as you should) that things aren't happening as fast- or in the exact way- you would like them to.
Me? I'm in this for the long haul.
I still believe.