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You know Obama’s transformation into a Republican is complete when the AP so shamelessly fawns over him:
Obama toasts “season of progress” after big wins
WASHINGTON – Buoyant in political victory, President Barack Obama on Wednesday wrapped up a long, rough year in Washington by rejoicing in a rare, bipartisan “season of progress” over tax cuts, national security and civil justice. Halfway through his term, he served notice to his skeptics: “I am persistent.”
If, of course, by “persistent” he is referring to his efforts to uphold DADT, or to reject anything even remotely progressive. But I digress.
Obama spoke on the same day that he found enough allies in both parties to get Senate ratification of a nuclear arms treaty with Russia, a vote watched around the world as a test of international security and presidential clout. He also signed landmark legislation to allow gays to serve openly in the military, calling himself overwhelmed by the enormity of the moment.
And that was on top of other achievements, including a hard-fought deal to extend tax cuts and unemployment insurance even as it piled on more debt, a broad food security bill, a trade deal with South Korea and declarations of progress in the widening war in Afghanistan.
Now, I am hardly an expert on any of these issues, but it seems to me that Obama is being extremely disingenuous here. Obama has actively struck down the repeal of DADT several times this year, and it has only passed this time due to the unexpected – but highly welcomed – efforts of Congress, lead by Nancy Pelosi. For Obama to in any way attempt to take credit for its repeal is dishonest in a way I thought only Republicans were capable.
With the exception of the food security bill, the other “achievements” mentioned above hardly seem appropriate for a progressive to celebrate. The Bush era tax cuts for billionaires were gleefully extended by Obama without even pretending to object. The trade deal with South Korea reeks of more “free trade” shenanigans, and issuing “declarations of progress” in a vastly escalated war in Afghanistan is strikingly similar to Bush’s endless proclamations about accomplished missions and “turning the corner” in Iraq.
The New Start Treaty is certainly a step in the right direction, but the ceiling of allowing 1,550 nuclear warheads per nation still seems dangerously – and unnecessarily – high, and it obviously falls well short of Obama’s publicly professed desire for a nuclear-weapons-free world. In addition to all of this we now have passage of the 9/11 responders’ aid bill, which is clearly a good thing but brings to mind two obvious questions (aside from the fact that it was Jon Stewart who brought the matter to the national stage): Why has it taken nine years in total, and why has it taken Obama two years?
But such questions apply to all of these alleged accomplishments, and all of them seem worth far less than the frenetic media hype that is accompanying them. This “season of progress” being shamelessly touted by Obama and the AP is little more than a conservative circle-jerk. With the exception of DADT’s repeal – for which Obama bears absolutely no responsibility – these achievements are mediocrities which, more than anything else, reinforce the status quo while mind-bogglingly elevating an ultra-conservative Congress and White House onto a wholly undeserved pedestal of pseudo-populist values.
We have to hold these bastards just a little bit more accountable. This has not been a “season of progress” any more than Obama’s first two years in office have been a season of change. We need to demand real progressive accomplishments and not accept anything less. Anyone who fails to deliver – or at least even attempt to deliver – doesn’t deserve our votes.