With President Obama’s decision last night to send 30,000 more troops to Iraq, I think we can officially declare the honeymoon over. Maybe it was already over awhile back. Obama was always more moderate than many of his supporters had wished, and people always tend to expect that Presidents can accomplish more than they really can. There are a lot of Democrats in the Senate who just aren’t interested in working to pass legislation that’s progressive in any way. The main lesson I take away from Obama’s first year in office is that we have a national government that is unwilling to even look realistically at the nation’s problems, much less try to enact solutions to those problems.
That said, I’m fairly pleased with Obama, maybe because I didn’t expect as much as many other people did. One thing that often makes me feel a little better is the news feed from PolitiFact’s Obameter. During the campaign (and after), they compiled a list of more than 500 promises that Obama has made, and they’re keeping careful track of how Obama’s doing in delivering on those promises. They’ve already rated more than half of Obama’s promises, and while 25 were broken or are stalled, 308 were kept or are in the works.
Most days I open my news reader and see that President Obama is making progress on one or two promises that he made, and it makes me feel better about my vote. The big ticket items get the lion’s share of the limited attention people pay to politics, but there are a lot of other things going on, and they’re easy to miss.