Andrew Sprung fights back against the popular gloom of the left and the nihilism of the right, with a helpful corrective to our current short-termism and cable-news attention span:
At this beleaguered moment I believe that Obama is inevitably being judged on the wrong time scale. The economy is not growing fast enough, and that's killing him. But as to the larger, slower battleships he's trying to turn: the record (sticking for now to the domestic front) is mixed but impressive. He has laid foundations for universal healthcare and healthcare cost control (i.e., meaningful entitlement reform); educational improvement; and a reversal or at least slowing of the 30-year rise in income inequality (via healthcare reform, student loan reform, middle class tax cuts and tax hikes for the wealthy, the latter a work in progress). The stimulus also seeded a host of investments in infrastructure and alternative energy (as well as education) that will also take a long time to assess. With a little bit of economic luck, he will be the transformative president that he aims to be.
I think there is an enormous amount of truth to this, just as the presidency of George H.W. Bush was vastly under-estimated at the time, only to be fully appreciated later. It's time for the sane center and the left to rally behind this president, especially given the domestic and foreign policy recklessness of the alternative.
(Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty.)
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