Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ya gotta have "progress" before you get "progressive"

While having a looksee over at The Daily Kos, I entered into an ogoing thread discussion with someone who was feeling frustrated with our President and the rate of "change" that was being enacted on our behalf. The frustration was most evident on the lack of "fierce advocacy" that had been enacted by the President and his staff in failing to move more quickly on the removal of DADT policy and the lack of support that was issued on behalf of the Maine proposition to rescind the gay marriage status.

This is not a cut and dried solution set, while I hate being an apologist, I also have to be a realist, at least when it comes to implementing progressive agenda items because I don't believe that the rest of the country has "caught up to us" or in fact believes as we do, despite our passion about believing what we think is the best course of action. So to sum up, I want to reiterate what out newest president was up against as soon as the electoral college indicated that he was the President-Elect.

There's little arguement that he hit the ground running in gathering a staff and getting up to speed on the challenges that were laid in front of him. Unfortunately, we can characterize the feeling from those voted out as being surly at best.

So, as a gentle reminder, let's remember what he had on his plate, when he walked through the door.

1) The close aversion of the financial meltdown of the western world, unfortunately, the previous administration passed this boondoggle with nary a string or a caveat that would prevent these guys from doing it again or voting themselves huge bonuses for a job well done!

2) Yet the same guys that made sure that we gave these financial wizards carte blanche screamed bloody murder at the bailout of the auto-industry which was a tenth of the size of the bailout of the financial institutions and only then it was after getting concessions from the unions about pay rates. Hey at least THEY MAKE SOMETHING! Welcome to the office Mr. President!

3) Two wars, neither of which had the support of the American public at the time that he was elected

4) A bunch of terrorists left on a base in Cuba, the majority of whom are most likely bad guys, but there was this lil issue about us ingnorning the Geneva Convention rgarding the treatment of prisoners and our refusal to put them into the American system of justice. But they're so bad, they can only be kept in a prison in Cuba, but not the US, but we're not gonna try them and oh by the way, we tortured the crap out of a good many of them, but we lost the tapes and no, we can't have what they know brought up in a trial.... So now we have a crap sandwhich of monumental proportions and the Republicans left town with an "I dare you to prosecute us for war crimes while we wrap ourselves in the American flag" while at the same time ignoring all that America stands for (or at least what I thought it stands for).

5) The attempted trial balloon of the repeal of DADT that fell like wet laundry when he pitched it to the military. The rank and file don't seem to care, anyone willing to man the post appears to be okay with them, but the old school guys at the top can't wrap their heads around it.

6) Finallizing a game plan that allows him to pull our collective chestnuts out of Iraq and figuring out how not to get them burned in Afghanistan.

7) Having 200+ appointments to federal jobs still in limbo waiting on confirmation and the wheels of confirmation to turn. 54 of them alone in the Senate held up by Republicans just because they can. Part of this is due to the adventures of the previous administrations who for some reason couldn't keep themselves from hiring illegal immigrants to watch the kids and clean their houses, so the vetting process is now much longer than it used to be.

8) Finding a nice moderate judge to name to the SCOTUS

9) dealing with the outrage and pique of the right on everything he said and did, which at first was simply childish and has evolved to the point where they've neglected decorum so much that he's dealing with catcalls during national addresses and being called everything from not even being a citizen to a nazi to a communist and a socilist and depicted as The Joker, Hitler and a witch doctor.

10) His repeated attempts to be bipartisan in the first six months of his administration and in return, his appointees are backlogged and each attempt to be open handed, most especially on health care, is met with such ridicule from the right that if he said that water was wet, there would be a panel formed to determine what right does he have to make such an outrageous statement.

So considering what he's up against, I think we should be patient. He warned us all that this would be a hard slog. While he's not been a good advocate of LGBT rights, I want to wait and see if he gets his act together with more time under his belt.

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