Recently BooMan brought us two stories with real import that I didn't see mentioned anywhere else on progressive blogs. But they signaled the kind of major impact that shape a presidency - both in what is actually done and what is not done.
The first one was about how President Obama rejected - during the election - the advice of most of his national security apparatus to intervene in Syria.
Obama not only stood up to the CIA and the top brass at the Pentagon, he did it without the cover of Clinton or Panetta. He kept us out of a war the rest of the Establishment wanted to fight; he did it without arousing disloyalty, and he did it in the heat of a presidential campaign.The second one is about the fact that the President is about to sign off on a plan that will reduce our nuclear arsenal by a third.
President Obama is poised to sign off on a new internal review of U.S. nuclear weapons strategy that would reduce the arsenal by one-third, resulting in billions in savings to the Pentagon and Energy Department.So do you see how this works? As most of the political world is consumed with talk about the use of drones and Republican obstruction about sequester, the really big news is that he avoided entanglement in yet another war and is about to save billions of dollars by getting rid of a major portion of our nuclear warheads.
When the story is told in the future about this presidency, what do you think will really matter?
- Saved us from another great depression
- Rescued the auto industry
- Passed universal health care
- Reformed Wall Street
- Repealed DADT
- Negotiated new automobile efficiency standards
- Passed immigration reform
- Passed gun reform
- Ended 3 Bush wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on al Qaeda)
Have all these achievements been perfect or exactly what he wanted? No. But the ball has been moved significantly down the field in the progressive direction - despite the mess he was handed by the last president, the obstruction from Republicans, and the lack of support he's sometimes received from progressives along the way.
When you take a look at the big picture by putting all this together, its clear that we are living in one of the most momentous presidencies in our history.