Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Question for Liberals

What's the underreported Obama Administration success? What's the underreported Obama Administration failure?


  1. Underreported success: withdrawal from Iraq Underreported failure: judicial and Federal Reserve appointments

  2. I agree with Ron but would also add the huge changes in education policy at the state level caused by Race To The Top as a success and the decision to surge in Afghanistan back in 2009 as a major failure as it now seems to have been pretty pointless.

  3. Another failure: manned spaceflight. 40 years after the end of Apollo and the human race is still drifting about in earth orbit. It's a poor performance for a nation whose politicians spend so much time babbling about international leadership.

  4. Death to Coal!!!!!

    Bankers Still Free!!!!!

    1. Well... Death to burning coal here, maybe. Coal exports are up since 10 years ago, which is like the stupidest thing ever.

  5. Underreported success: the stimulus.

    Underreported failure: I don't think there is one; all the failures (of which there have been several) have been adequately reported or overreported.

  6. Echoing thoughts above, but my 2 cents:

    Underreported success-->Energy policy changes, from the stimulus and ARPA-E to the rules on existing and new coal plants, made despite the failure of the cap-and-trade bill in the early going.

    Underreported failure-->slow Judicial and Federal Reserve nominations, disappointing Federal Reserve appointments when they were made

  7. Well, he got us out of the Great Recession and revived the economy faster than Europe, with stimulus and other funds he jumpstarted the clean energy sector (where successes seldom get reported), gambled on saving the U.S. auto industry and won, kept Congress from committing national suicide several times, ended Iraq war, is ending Afghanistan war, got ACA when every president since Truman failed, kept focus on al Q. without histrionics, hasn't outed a single CIA agent, managed Middle East conflicts both new and eternal, was on top of hurricane relief in every instance, new carbon regs making their way to impact, etc. All forgotten by the what have you done for me lately media.

    Apart from the failures we won't know about until this administration is history, there are no failures, real or mostly imagined, that were "under-reported" with "reported" in dubious quotes.

    1. I think the Captain nailed it.

    2. The economy is a joke. We have done better than Europe but we could have done much better if Obama had prioritized monetary policy. Instead he appointed a right wing republican who did far too little. In addition Obama wanted to pivot as soon as possible to the deficit because of his commitment to DC neoliberalism.

      We did better but our economy absolutely sucks.

      Also lol at his M.E policy. He nearly dragged us into another war in that region and has been overly hawkish to Iran inflicting significant pain on Iranians for no reason beyond appealing to the f muslims crowd.

    3. @Anon:

      I find it hard to believe that our stimulus problem has been lack of monetary policy. That's been pretty much our only stimulus since the initial 2009 round. And we probably can't do too much more on that front. Which is why even Bernanke keeps telling congress to spend more. That's the problem, we've had losses in total government employment, whereas every other president since Reagan has grown government employment. Whatever one things about long-term size of government, job cuts from government (local, state, federal, whatever) only cause unemployment in the short term.

      As to the Mid East, we're also in talks with Iran over ending their weapons programs, and are closer to working out a deal than we've been since, oh, 1980. A large part of getting to the point where a deal is plausible has been the economic sanctions. We'll need more time to see how it turns out, however.

      As to almost war, I really don't know. There's this way Obama does things, where it looks like he's fumbling around, getting nowhere, annoying key players, and the POOF all of a sudden there's a deal which is pretty much what he wanted in the first place. Judging by how it almost always seems to work, I tend to think there's more than luck to it. So I really can't say about Syria that "we were almost dragged into another war." Maybe we were, maybe we weren't, but I don't think it's really something we can know.

      Where Obama has been poor in the Middle East has been in the constant hum of drones. Not under-reported, I don't figure, but I do think it's a problematic overuse of the capacity.

  8. Underreported failure: Obama's nonreaction to the military coup in Egypt.
    Underreported success: It's so hard to choose, but I guess I'd say fuel economy standards.

  9. Under-reported success: basically just holding the public opinion coalition that elected him, with no real effort being put forth to talk up or "handhold" the base in any way. The stupidity of the opposition provides a "floor" that prevents his base from collapsing. Also the performance of skating past the NSA revelations without having to make any actual response should be seen as a success.

    Underreported failure: the allegiance to big business's trade model that threatens, in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks, to make it impossible for local forces anywhere to ever win any victory against corporate greed. This is related to the other under-reported failure, the allegiance to the Monsanto corporation that allows all their lobbyists and lackeys to run the USDA and all farm and food policy and all Congressional legislation on farm and food policy.

  10. Under reported success: steps towards energy independence, e.g.,

    May not sound like much, but when you recall the ceaseless cacophony of "Drill Baby Drill" and arguments for putting an oil derrick in every national park, it's a nice I-told-you-so.

    Under reported failure: Hard to say, everything I get cranky about (surveillance state, etc.) is pretty well reported. Part of me wants Obama to be more of a "fighter," but a) he does OK with his rope-a-dope strategy of letting his opponents self-destruct and b) we see how well tilting at windmills worked for the GOP during the shutdown.

    So... I'll go with not standing up (more) for Women's access to reproductive healthcare (e.g., the attacks on Planned Parenthood etc).

  11. Success: ACA although it was not under reported so much as spun as being a disaster.

    Failure: Toss up between not closing GITMO and not letting all the Bush Tax Cuts expire, even if just for better leverage in negotiations.


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