Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

Andrew Sullivan on Obama's Long Game (and my own frank opinion)

Anybody who cares about politics in the slightest, or who simply wants a little insight to cut through the media nonsense, should read Andrew Sullivan's article in this week's Newsweek. (Really: go read it -- it's a nice calm rundown, point-by-point, of the *reality* of the past four years.) He says far better than I can what I've been observing for a long time now: that President Obama has been not just less monstrous than his critics make him out to be, but actually a remarkably *effective* (and even surprisingly honest) politician.

I quite agree. Sullivan's main point is that Obama spends (by political standards) relatively little effort on hype, instead focusing on getting things done. He's gotten a *huge* amount done already -- and as Sullivan points out, if you actually pay attention, it's clear that he is running an eight-year presidency, focused on making serious long-run changes instead of popular quick political hits on the issue of the moment. No, he hasn't created Shangri-La on earth, but he never claimed he would. (Even if some of his more fevered supporters during the campaign believed it.)

I voted for him in 2008, to be the practical, smart, moderate technocrat that the country desperately needed. He's delivered surprisingly well -- better than anyone else in that campaign likely would have, and far better than anybody in this year's pack of Republican midgets plausibly might. No, I haven't agreed with every decision he's made, but that was expected: I voted for a leader, not a panderer. The worst I can say about him is that he's not as clever about the vicious game of politics as some in Washington. But choosing to focus on getting things done instead of political sound-bitery is not a weakness.

I intend to vote for him again, and there's not a hint of apology or "I guess he's been okay" in that. He's been presented with some of the most trying circumstances in decades, and he hasn't let them stop him from getting things done. He deserves to be re-elected; moreover, it is in the country's best interest that he be.
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