With less than three weeks to go before the crucial midterm elections, the folks at Rolling Stone magazine have decided to pen a love letter to Barack Obama clearly in the hopes of motivating readers to get out and vote for Democrats.
Forget about the President's horrible poll numbers and the feeling by a stunning number of Americans that the country is on the wrong track, the current White House resident has a truly impressive list of accomplishments according to author Tim Dickinson, so much so that he's the best leader America has had since Lyndon Baines Johnson (h/t NB reader Dave, accompanying spoof cover photo courtesy The Razor):
This president has delivered more sweeping, progressive change in 20 months than the previous two Democratic administrations did in 12 years. "When you look at what will last in history," historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells Rolling Stone, "Obama has more notches on the presidential belt."
In fact, when the history of this administration is written, Obama's opening act is likely to be judged as more impressive than any president's — Democrat or Republican — since the mid-1960s. "If you're looking at the first-two-year legislative record," says [Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute], "you really don't have any rivals since Lyndon Johnson — and that includes Ronald Reagan."
Wow! Got that?
But there's more:
Less than halfway through his first term, Obama has compiled a remarkable track record. As president, he has rewritten America's social contract to make health care accessible for all citizens. He has brought 100,000 troops home from war and forged a once-unthinkable consensus around the endgame for the Bush administration's $3 trillion blunder in Iraq. He has secured sweeping financial reforms that elevate the rights of consumers over Wall Street bankers and give regulators powerful new tools to prevent another collapse. And most important of all, he has achieved all of this while moving boldly to ward off another Great Depression and put the country back on a halting path to recovery.
Along the way, Obama delivered record tax cuts to the middle class and slashed nearly $200 billion in corporate welfare — reinvesting that money to make college more accessible and Medicare more solvent. He single-handedly prevented the collapse of the Big Three automakers — saving more than 1 million jobs — and brought Big Tobacco, at last, under the yoke of federal regulation. Even in the face of congressional intransigence on climate change, he has fought to constrain carbon pollution by executive fiat and to invest $200 billion in clean energy — an initiative bigger than John F. Kennedy's moonshot and one that's on track to double America's capacity to generate renewable energy by the end of Obama's first term.
On the social front, he has improved pay parity for women and hate-crime protections for gays and lesbians. He has brought a measure of sanity to the drug war, reducing the sentencing disparity for crack cocaine while granting states wide latitude to experiment with marijuana laws. And he has installed two young, female justices on the Supreme Court, creating what Brinkley calls "an Obama imprint on the court for generations."
What's even more impressive about Obama's accomplishments, historians say, is the fractious political coalition he had to marshal to victory. "He didn't have the majority that LBJ had," says Goodwin. Indeed, Johnson could count on 68 Democratic senators to pass Medicare, Medicaid and the Voting Rights Act. For his part, Franklin Roosevelt had the backing of 69 Senate Democrats when he passed Social Security in 1935. At its zenith, Obama's governing coalition in the Senate comprised 57 Democrats, a socialist, a Republican turncoat — and Joe Lieberman. […]
Obama has succeeded in forging a progressive legacy that, anchored by health care reform, puts him "into the same conversation with FDR and LBJ," says [liberal presidential historian Douglas] Brinkley.
Dickinson then listed what he believes are Obama's accomplishments with the following headers:
- Averting a Depression
- Sparking Recovery
- Saving Detroit
- Reforming Health Care
- Cutting Corporate Welfare
- Restoring America's Reputation
- Protecting Consumers
- Launching a Clean-Energy MoonShot
Readers might find it surprising there was no number 9, "Walking on Water," or number 10, "Parting the Dead Sea."
On the other hand, since this was the second sycophantic piece Rolling Stone has published in as many weeks - recall co-founder Jann Wenner's syrupy interview with Obama in the October 14 issue - maybe that will be the premise of the next one to be released just before Election Day.
This way, the good folks at the Stone can "progress" from "Obama in Command" to "The Case for Obama" concluding with "Obama IS God!"