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Hindsight 20/20: Obama's Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Mickey Kaus has a list of the things President Obama could have done differently throughout his presidency. Take a look here.

Ezra Klein provides us with a progressive’s surprisingly substantial list of what, from a liberal viewpoint, are the good things Washington has accomplished since Obama moved in:

Indeed, if you had taken me aside in 2008 and sketched out the first three years of Obama’s presidency, I would have thought you were being overoptimistic: an $800 billion stimulus package — recall that people were only talking in the $200-$300 billion range back then — followed by near-universal health-care reform, followed by financial regulation, followed by another stimulus (in the 2010 tax deal), followed by the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” followed by the killing of Osama bin Laden and the apparent ousting of Moammar Gaddafi? There was no way. And yet all that did get done.

It’s hard to tell which is more remarkable: how long Klein’s list of liberal accomplishments by the Obama administration is, or how little an impression those accomplishments have made on the President’s supporters.  When the economy is working against you, nothing really helps.

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  • Richard S

    It seems to me that the Left is unhappy not because of the slow growth per se, but because the lack of growth has made Obama, and the Progressive agenda, unpopular. The Left not only wants to do certain things, it wants praise for those things as well. In that, as in much else, the Left doesn’t differ from other movements.

  • Rubashov

    The problem with Klein’s “substantial” list is that it assumes passing a bill is necessarily a good thing. People on both left and right raise serious doubts about the Stimulus, the health care bill, and the financial regulation bill.

    In addition, the list of “good things he did” also neatly avoids the issue of “bad things he has done,” like expand the War on Terror into several new countries and the lengthy list of domestic issues that Kaus provides.

    Klein is like a stage magician, hoping you’ll only think about what he tells you to think about. Once you’ve narrowed your vision per his instructions, then he can say “oh, it’s just Obama’s bad luck with the economy” and you’ll believe him.

  • Jim.

    There are only two good things on that list — the legislation is either deeply flawed or completely wrong — and neither of those were something Obama had a whole lot of a role in doing.

    The SEALs (and defense / intelligence establishment) handed him Osama on a plate; as far as Gadfly is concerned he is being *deliberately* standoffish.

    If people aren’t happy with Kleinschen’s list, that should probably tell him that Obama isn’t going to get another term.

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