It seems the left is pretty fed up with the Prez these days. And of course, the right lost their collective heads about him some time ago. Yet, the president still has almost half of the people in the country behind him.
But what about me? I was an active campaigner for the man after all. If you ask my more conservative friends, you might understand my political persuasion as just to the left of the Chairman. On the other hand, I have some pretty liberal friends who aren't going to confuse me for a tea partier, but may not be totally convinced of my lefty bona fides. I'm certainly not middle of the road, but I'm far from an ideologue.
I figure that puts me probably in the camp of people most likely to be a firm supporter of the president. If he's lost me, he's probably in trouble I guess. Has he? Well, no. But he's not exactly wowing me either. Here's the rundown of what I think of him right now.
Healthcare - Nice job. Really. I think a lot of the left is so focused on what this Affordable Care Act isn't (national healthcare), they haven't paid any attention to what it is. That's a major step forward for those with medical needs. Take a look at this calendar from the Kaiser Family Foundation that shows what happens when in the Act.
Yes, it isn't perfect. But it's something that presidents have been trying to accomplish since the early 20th century. Now we have a start. I say that's worth something.
Climate Change - Not so good. This falls under the general category of stuff Democrats could have done if they were more concerned about the general welfare of the citizens than they were about getting reelected (which is likely going to be a problem for several anyway). The president could have stuck his neck out a little more to try and sway this debate. Some argue this could've made things worse, but I say the president is still, despite is unpopularity, the most popular politician in Washington. The most influential too. He decided to lay low on this one and it showed.
Civil Liberties - Disaster! Best I can tell, the administration recently made the claim they can assassinate U.S. citizens without due process and then keep it under wraps by declaring it a state secret. It's almost as if Dick Cheney never left.
The Economy - Well, the economy sucks. But really I don't blame the president here. The man has argued for more stimulus, but that isn't going to happen. He could have focused on it more, but I think healthcare was actually something that had a tighter window than fixing the economy (after all, everyone has an interest in fixing the economy right? Wait, don't answer that). Anyway, he hasn't magically fixed the economy, but he certainly hasn't made it worse... and he's had to battle every step of the way for what has been done.
Foreign Policy - Pretty good. The Iraq timetable was as promised. He's been aggressive in Afghanistan, and now needs a plan. But plans on Afghanistan have a long history of not working so well. So who knows? Our international relations have been better on almost all fronts, however, and that is good.
Not being the John McCain and Sarah Palin administration - A+ here. And really that is why I continue to be supportive. The president hasn't done everything I wanted him to do (and he's done some things I didn't want him to), but you always have to consider your alternatives. When you add that back in, the man has my support. But he needs to keep working if wants me to feel good about it.