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It's Too Early To Judge This President

I'm not really in the mood to go off on a political rant, but I will say that these First 100 Day grade reports on the Obama Presidency strike me as utterly ridiculous.  FDR did all Presidents a disservice by introducing the notion of the "First 100  Days" into the political lexicon.  Yes, Roosevelt accomplished a tremendous amount in the first three months of his Presidency.  He also had won an overwhelming election majority and carried with him huge majorities in both the House and Senate.  He didn't have to deal with the world of 24 hour news channels, and early on he didn't have to deal with idiots like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity (though he did eventually have to cope with Huey Long and Father Coughlin).  And though he did face opposition to some of his programs, the sense of crisis in the nation at that time was so great that he had as much of a legislative free hand as any President in modern history.  No President since has accomplished nearly as much in his first 100 days, and no matter how much Obama has gotten done (and I'd argue that he's done quite a bit) it will pale in comparison.

That said, the benchmark itself is worthless.  The problems he has faced since taking office were years in the making.  Expecting him to have solved them in three months isn't realistic.  Yet I heard someone on CNN today lamenting that stimulus spending had yet to pull the nation out of its economic troubles.  It was all I could do to keep from throwing my glass through the screen.

You disagree with his policies?  Fine.  I can understand that.  You don't expect them to work?   That's fine, too.  Time will tell.  But declaring his Presidency a failure after 100 days is ludicrous, and judging his Presidency in historical terms when he's less than a tenth of the way through his first term is a waste of time.

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
fireheart1974
Apr. 28th, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC)
I knew I liked you! ::grin:: Great rant!

~T
davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
Thanks, Tera!
madkestrel
Apr. 29th, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
Yet I heard someone on CNN today lamenting that stimulus spending had yet to pull the nation out of its economic troubles.

You know, stimulus money would probably be more effective if certain governors would SPEND it.

*grin*
davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Right. I keep forgetting that you're from SC, and that you therefore have to put up with Mark Sanford. You poor dear....
madkestrel
Apr. 29th, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
AND Jim DeMint, and Lindsay Graham. Leave it to SC to create truly ridiculous politicians. If it wasn't for the live oaks and the close proximity to the ocean, I would SO move.
davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC)
Yeah, without the live oaks and the ocean but with all those idiots running and representing your state, it would be like . . . well, like Tennessee.....
estellye
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC)
Hmmm, he's overturned some insane policies; gone a long way toward repairing our relationship with...pretty much everyone; juggled an economic meltdown, a housing market collapse, the self-destruct of automakers, a volcano, some flooding, some wildfires, a potential pandemic, pirates (you can't make this stuff up), and border security issues; He's kicked our butts out of inertia in science, education, the environment, energy, and health care (keeping campaign promises - novel, that); and he even adopted a dog in there somewhere. I've lost track of everything he's done, he has done so much.

Yeah, he's a total failure. ;) I'm sure I could have done all that in a week, week and a half, tops.
davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
Well said!! Thanks for the comment!
arhyalon
Apr. 29th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
I completely agree that 100 days is a ridiculous benchmark. Look at other presidencies, many of them did very little in 100 and still accomplished many things.
davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
As Estellye points out in her comment, Obama has actually done a tremendous amount in his first three months. But yes, passing judgment on his presidency after so little time is just silly. Thanks for the comment, Jagi.
arhyalon
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, I agree. I was amazed with how much he got done before the first 50 days were up.
davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's like he's been slackin' for the second 50. ;)
arhyalon
Apr. 30th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
That's not what I meant and you know it. ;-P
markwise
Apr. 29th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
I agree. The First 100 Days hype is a farse. Only History can judge what kind of President he will be.

That being said, here is my report card. *laugh*

I think he is not as bad as some feared, but not as good as others hoped. In some things, he has gone way far and in other areas he has not gone far enough. (Vague enough for you?) *laugh* I like that he has showed some backbone in international politics and in the crisises that he has dealt with so far. Yet he has been too appologetic for America's past. Let the past be past and move on. Domestically, he has spent money like a drunk sailor (helped by both sides of Congress) and is trying to implement his Socialist agenda. Yet he has pulled back for now on some of the worst extremes when it comes to policies and taxes.

So overall I would say a C.

davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
I appreciate the comment, Mark, and I thank you for being so even-handed, right up to the point where you start the "his Socialist agenda" crap, and then you lost me. He has no Socialist agenda. He's trying to save capitalism, because as we saw for eight years, simply allowing the market to run wild and unregulated leads to disaster. Calling him a Socialist is like calling Rush Limbaugh a moderate; your spectrum is skewed wildly to the right.
markwise
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
It may be a case of perspective. I admittedly lean to the Right side of things, so perhaps Obama is not as far Left as I think. However, based on what I see so far is scary to a certain degree. When he takes over provate coroporations and develops plans to take over others that he deems "too big to fail", I get a little worried about heading down a Socialist track.

I appologize for jumping the gun a bit with my comment, but I am worried for our country. I sincerely hope you are right and that he is trying to ultimately save our capitalist model. His stock will rise signaificantly in my book if you are correct.
davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
He hasn't taken over any private corporations! As far as the banking industry is concerned he's done basically what the Bushies did except he's attached a few more strings to the TARP money, demanded greater accountability, and tried to keep Federal money from being used for huge bonuses. RE the auto industry: he bailed out what has been for a century a vital cog in the American economy, but as a condition of that he demanded the removal of GM's CEO and ordered GM and Chrysler to come up with workable business plans. This is really not that different from what JFK did in 1962 when he forced the steel industry to take back a steel price increase, and it's far less intrusive than Truman's attempt to nationalize the steel industry in 1952.

I do understand being afraid for your country (having felt that way for eight years) and I know that Obama's vision for the country is far to the left of what you'd like it to be. I know how you're feeling. But I do believe he's interesting in saving our economy, not reshaping it.
markwise
Apr. 30th, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
I guess time will tell who is right in the matter. I, for one, would rather it was you.

Did you see his press conference last night? I for one was pleasantly surprised in some areas of it. He actually said that he disagrees with those who say being Pro-Choice is purely a Woman's Rights issue. I know that had to piss off some of his supporters.

davidbcoe
Apr. 30th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it probably did tick off some. He's never been quite as liberal as he was made out to be during the campaign (yeah I know that National Journal had him as "the most liberal senator" but that was a statistical artifact related to the votes he missed while campaigning). Early on, many Dems, myself included, considered him a slightly more moderate alternative to Hilary -- it was only when she started doing better with Appalachian voters that she became "the moderate" and he the liberal. So his stance on abortion didn't surprise me too much, nor did his reluctance to talk about prosecuting Bush Administration officials on torture issues. He's a cautious and is inclined to build consensus rather than strike out boldly to the left. At times I actually wish he was even more liberal than he is (Did your head just explode? ;) ) I was impressed by his presser last night, and I think those who felt that he lacked the experience or leadership skills to be President are seeing that, regardless of ideological concerns, he is up to the job. Thanks for the comments, Mark.
fatbaldguy60
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
It is just a symptom of the wired, interconnected, overanalyzed world we live in today.

There is so little content when you consider all the avenues that even incremental changes are hyped and chewed over and over.

If you watch SportsCenter or Nancy Grace, you will know exactly what I mean. TV directed at Gen Y, attention span nil.
davidbcoe
Apr. 29th, 2009 09:22 pm (UTC)
You have a point. I used to love Sportscenter, but not anymore. Of course, that could be because I'm turning into a grumpy old man. It could also be because the Mets suck....
fatbaldguy60
Apr. 29th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
Hey, maybe the Yankees will miss the playoffs again this year.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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