Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Obama: A Damn Good President

I'm going to shut up for awhile now, but one of the things we ought to reflect on now is what a damn fine president Barack Obama is.

He is an intelligent, decent, honest, hard-working, knowledgeable man with the right principles and sentiments, and good inclinations with respect to policy. He's a liberal centrist who is committed to compromise and bipartisanship. Why anyone would think it relevant to point out that he is not perfect is beyond me; this is not the sort of thing that one ever really needs to point out about anyone. It's like pointing out that he has no magical powers; it's not to any plausible point. He's a very good--perhaps an excellent--president, and we're lucky to have him. I have not agreed with everything he has done, but his decisions have always been in the ballpark; and when I've disagreed, it's always more than plausible that he is acting on information I don't have, or compromising to achieve other ends that I acknowledge to be important. My biggest disagreements have been with respect to civil liberties; and I predict that he plans to move in a more liberal direction in that respect in his second term. But this isn't a post about details and specifics.

The fact that the American right not only says, but apparently actually believes, that he is not just not-good, but positively awful--and perhaps evil--is a sign of their own derangement, their retreat from reality into a fantasy world...and not a good one. When you judge a very-good-and-perhaps-excellent human being and president to be awful and evil, it is a defect in you, and a serious one. The right needs to recognize that it has begun to represent the world in something akin to a fun house mirror. The American right has become unhinged. This is the biggest threat that the country faces. We must be careful not to let their debasement of American politics tarnish what we have, nor allow it to disgust us so that we disengage. We've got a man in the Oval Office that has shown that he can and will fight for us--for all of us, even those who fight against him even as he is fighting for them. We should not forget that. And we should fight for him as he fights for us. It won't do to sit back and watch passively as the right-wing noise machine works to destroy the foundation of rationality and trust that makes democracy possible. One way we can fight back is to fight those propaganda efforts.

We're lucky. Barack Obama is a good president. Let's us not forget that.


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