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comment by cgod

It's right in line with the values he'd governed with, I can't imagine anyone who's paid attention being the least bit surprised.

OftenBen  ·  858 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I get looked at funny because I'm not on the 'super emotional because Obama is leaving, he was so wonderful' train.

johnnyFive  ·  856 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Trump will be the best thing to happen to Obama's legacy. After the shitshow I expect, Obama will look like Lincoln or FDR in comparison.

kantos  ·  856 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Already is - hence "Obama was so wonderful" from the left and somewhat center. History will be the real arbitrator on his legacy. That's not to say the swinging of the political pendulum will have something to say about this transition and next silly season.

cgod  ·  858 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I get looked at funny because I think he was one of the worst presidents in modern times.

kleinbl00  ·  858 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Really. I'll play.

Kennedy - LBJ - Nixon - Ford - Carter - Reagan - Bush - Clinton - Bush II - Obama

That gives you over 50 years to play with. I'm curious to hear an objective argument as to why the guy on the end is "one of the worst presidents" considering the guys in the middle.

cgod  ·  857 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I keep trying to put out a decent response but Portland is snowed in and the shop is busy. I'll be brief.

There are no triumphs in foreign policy and many dissatisfaction.

We still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and now have troops in a few new countries. The Arab spring made nothing better. Pivot to Asia doesn't seem to have even happened. Rapprochement with Russia, well...lolz. Israel is...a fucking mess, we really couldn't be getting along with them worse. Relations with Cuba is a nice thing but pretty underwhelming. There have been some improvements in relations with regional economic and governance groups around the world. He killed Osama!

Health care costs jumped more this year than they have in decades. Health care is supposed to be Obama's big thing. Personally I don't feel like the health care reform was done well, it might mostly be because I've paid more for less care every year since it's been passed and I lack any objectivity about all the good it's done. I'm paying significantly more for significantly less care as are most other people I know.

He 'saved the economy.' I think most presidents would have done about the same thing he did. Lots of people lost their homes but the 1% did pretty well as he bailed out the banks.

Some decent work on the environment and workers rights. Don't call it a legacy because much of it will be gutted in the next two years. Gays can openly serve in the military and LGBT rights have been advanced, that's cool but not really big impact stuff that wasn't coming down the pipes in the next decade Obama or not.

The main reason I think he should live in infamy. Government has become opaque and the citizens transparent. Bush got things started but the Obama administration really ran with it. Massive surveillance technology has been brought to bear against citizens while Freedom of Information requests are being denied at a record rate. NSL letters, prosecution of whistle blowers, Sneak and Peek warrants, suspicionless stops of American citizens at internal US checkpoints by the boarder patrol, prosecutions that are based on the fruit of knowledge obtained by technology's like stingrays where the defendant never gets to challenge the initial search or even know that it existed (who knows what else they are using). I could go on but this is a fair collection of the things his administration has been up to that trouble me.

The people get to see less and less of how the sausage is made while they have lost most of the protections that used to be assumed to be protected under the 4th amendment against getting ground up by government. I think that the relationship between government and the governed has been profoundly changed and there will be terrible consequences down the line when the new powers and protections available to government fall into the wrong hands. I think people we will look back and say that this was the time things really went off the tracks. Bush II was the inflection point in relationship and Obama was the guy who pushed things over the edge needlessly.

I could be getting crazy. I sound a lot like people I've known who were survailed and assailed by the FBI in the 60's. They sounded a little crazy to me until I heard some of the dirty tricks that the government put on them. There are people I love and respect who think I'm a little wacky but I still think that our society is in deep trouble and that Obama has done things that are undermining our basic constitutional protections and enhancing government power by degrading constitutional freedoms and the liberal democracy.

On an up note I just found out that a coffee shop three blocks from me is closing down. Huzzah! The opened after me and there is plenty of space to put a coffee shop without being that close to another one in this part of town. It was kind of a dick move. Their coffee wasn't as good as mine but they had some nice pastries that they made on site. I think what killed them was not being open 7 days a week and changing their hours too much. If they had been open seven days a week and had better brewing equipment they probably wouldn't have closed up shop. I don't know that I'll see a lot of business from them closing but I'll see a bit. They were very new Portland with natural wood edge counters and shiny and slick, my old building shop has a lot of character. I'm sure they played a lot of very comfortable music, I play all kinds of weird shit that is delightful if you don't want the standard Portland playlist. It's a lifestyle guig. I'm very old Portland... WTE, things might get better but they aren't going to change. I'd rather jump off a bridge than look at a natural edge counter all cut from the same tree for the rest of my days. Huzzah! Huzzah! I've outlasted the competition! I'm busier this winter than last! Huzzah! Seriously I just found out about this and want to crow but don't want to come off as a dick to my customers so this is my outlet.

kleinbl00  ·  857 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I appreciate the thoughtful response. Thank you. Above all else, congrats on outlasting your competition. I can imagine how that feels. So the real question is whether you feel like making some nice pastries on site?

That said:

    ...the federal government is an aircraft carrier, it’s not a speedboat. And, if you need any evidence of that, think about how hard we worked over the last eight years with a very clear progressive agenda, with a majority in the House and in the Senate, and we accomplished as much domestically as any President since Lyndon Johnson in those first two years. But it was really hard.”

- Barack Obama

Your complaints basically boil down to "Obama didn't stem the tide" or "Trump is going to destroy everything he did. In some cases you're complaining that he didn't do enough and he did too much at the same time. Line by line:

- Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush II overthrew the secular power center of the Middle East and Reagan created the Taliban. You're mad that Obama didn't solve a problem 30 years in the making? And then you're upset that we didn't get any regime change out of the Arab Spring. The last time the US got involved in something like that we ended up with Mossadeq under house arrest and a talentless despot on a puppet throne. Israel? Israel is being run by the guy who incited a crazy man to shoot Rabin. You're putting that on Obama?

- Health care costs. Aren't going down. But find the inflection point:

The fact that 20 million people have health insurance that didn't should count for something. Yeah - the Republicans are likely to tear it apart but I mean, Reagan stopped stem cell research for 8 years. Bush II piled millions into the Office of Faith-based Initiatives. Nixon created HMOs which got us here in the first place. Infamy?

- "Saved" the economy. "Most presidents would have done the same thing."

- "Bush got things started but the Obama administration really ran with it."

In this case, "really ran with it" means "didn't immediately reverse the September 11 police state." You're griping about Stingrays which are state-level, not federal level. You're griping about the border patrol and lemme tell ya - both the north and south borders are hella chiller under Obama than they were under Bush. You've got a lot of nebulous examples of things that are bad - and they're bad. Don't get me wrong. But the "oh shit you're idiots" moment for the Obama administration was Holder's Fast & Furious in which 1300 street-legal guns disappeared into the cartels. Let's get real:

- Bush: $12bln in unmarked cash pallets vanishing into Iraq. Which only happened because, well, we invaded Iraq. Which only happened because, well, September 11.

- Clinton: 76 dead cult members in Waco. Plus Ruby Ridge. Plus Oklahoma City Bombing. Plus the first WTO bomb.

- Bush I: Desert Shield. Desert Storm. Somalia. Panama.

- Reagan: El Salvador. Lebanon bombings. Grenada. Iran Contra.

- Carter: Iran Hostage Crisis.

- Ford: Pardoning Nixon.

- Nixon: Doing shit he needed pardoning for.

- LBJ: Winding up the Vietnam War.

- Kennedy: Getting us into the Vietnam War. Bay of Pigs. Cuban Missile Crisis.

I mean... Obama doesn't so much as have an Elian Gonzalez to explain.


I get it. He's no knight in shining armor. I get it. People far less cynical than myself expected unicorns and rainbows out of this administration. I get it. Fuckin' Guantanamo Bay is still open. But we're talking about a Kenyan-born secret muslim that half the country loses their shit over because he's black and a Republican congress that decided "fuck you, you've got slightly less than a year left in office, we're not going to vote on a single Supreme Court nominee."

Even FDR wasn't cool with that shit.

There's a whole lot I would have liked to have been different about 2008-2016. But holy fuck, dude, compared to where we've been?

..."one of the worst presidents of modern times" is a titch hyperbolic, no?

goobster  ·  856 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks kb.

I went the wrong way with my response because I didn't want to bring all this shit up again, and so I was a dick to cgod.

Glad you laid it out for me. I just don't have the patience to fight willfully ignorant blanket statements about how "bad" Obama was.

On top of everything, all the problem people associate with the ACA are due to the parts that the Republicans stripped out of the plan! If the original plan had been enacted as written, the checks and balances would still be in place, and the whole program would've worked better. Now the Republicans are whining about how poorly the ACA works, after they took three of the wheels off, the clutch, and poured sugar in the gas tank!!

Obama should get credit for how well it works despite Republican shenanigans!

And on top of that:

    ... health care costs aren't going down, but ... The fact that 20 million people have health insurance that didn't should count for something.

This is what everybody fails to understand. There are twenty million more people insured today than have ever been insured before, solely because of the ACA.

And prices are going up, on average, 2-3% this year. (Except in Trump's cherry-picked state of AZ, because they started below market value, didn't have any increases to account for inflation, and are making ALL the increases this year to catch up with everyone else's rate structure.)

In what program, anywhere in the world, can you add 20 million of the sickest and uninsured people to a healthcare plan, and have the rate adjustments two years later be 2-3%?!?

That is a FUCKING WIN right there, my friends.

cgod  ·  856 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If your measure of the greatness of Obama is that he brought the United States from having just about the worst health care system in the developed world all the way to still having just about the worst health care in the developed world than I guess that's fair.

I don't look upon it as a great success.

It's not why I think he was a terrible president but it doesn't go in his triumph column.

No, it doesn't become a triumph because it would have been awesome if Republicans weren't such big meanies.

There are so many problems with health care. There are so many people that still can't afford the care they need to lead productive comfortable lives even after the current round of reforms. I know so many people who get their kids medical care but won't go to the doctors for their own problems because they really can't afford it, even with insurance.

I think pretending something great happened is a fantasy. Did some people get access to care that they really needed but could never have afforded before? Yes. Is that a good thing? Of course. Does our system work, is it affordable for vast segments of society? Not so much.

And no, I don't fail to understand that more people are insured than were before, or that people can't be denied for existing conditions or that you can keep your kids on your health care for longer. These are all good things but they don't add up to quality health care that is affordable many people. Costs went up 5% last year here. Most the plans that cover the recently insured are getting big hikes this year and some companies are pulling out of the market. Having expensive insurance so that you know your kids will be safe but that you won't use because you just can't afford it doesn't seem all that fantastic in my book.

Each of us has different values and a different perspective. I really don't understand why Obama's health care reform is looked at with such a glow. It's better than nothing but I don't think it's a profound change in a system that needs profound change.

cgod  ·  855 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Look at it this way.

Obama increased the number of Americans with insurance by a little over one half of a percentage point, not exactly sweeping change. A lot of that isn't very affordable or very good coverage but it's a win. It doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that defines a great presidency.

goobster  ·  858 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Wow. That is just a colossally dumb statement, man.

You are joking, right? Bush, Cheney, Nixon, Reagan...

I mean... this is a joke, right? Right?

cgod  ·  857 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not joking and I don't think my views are dumb.

I'm comfortable with you not agreeing with me, you have your own belifes and values, doesn't make you right or me wrong to value and worry about different things.

Nice knee jerk, doesn't agree with me so it's dumb.

OftenBen  ·  858 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hard to call a spade a spade when he's working for your side.