Many American leftists are disgusted with Barack Obama – like the ones that told Steve Kroft of CBS that Obama’s a complete milquetoast who offered the store to Grover Norquist. But at the Daily Kos – a website that sincerely compares Dick Cheney to serial killers – the diarist “Troubadour” has boldly offered an article that declares, “Barack Obama: Best President Ever." He began this Friday morning boastfest: "Barack Obama is either the best President we've ever had, or more humbly, equal to the best Presidents we've ever had (and thereby one of their number).” Move over, Mount Rushmore favorites. Obama's the best ever.
Right before the 2010 midterms, this same blogger offered his ludicrous opinion that “Win or lose this election season, Republicans appear to be headed on a one-way path to organized political violence.” He also confessed (quite rightly) that “I am not leadership material...I do not respond appropriately in a timely manner to sudden and emotionally fraught new information.”
Feast your unbelieving eyes on the list that our Troubadour makes.
I have little trouble stating the following conclusions - Barack Obama is...
1. The most liberal President ever.
2. The most accountable President ever.
3. President of the most transparent administration ever.
4. The most committed to civil rights and equality ever.
5. The most committed to science and technology ever.
6. Either the most, or tied with the most, competent and intelligent President ever.
7. The hardest-working President ever.
8. The most globally-respected, loved, and feared (by our enemies) President ever.
9. Either the most, or tied with the most, politically courageous President ever.
10. Most, or tied with the most, honorable and honest President ever.
He boldly declares that Lincoln had it easy compared to Obama:
We all know how great a Democratic President can be when Congress does whatever it's told (e.g., FDR) and has a highly disciplined, motivated public; and how diabolical a Democratic President can be under the same Congressional climate with a divided public (LBJ); but what about a Democratic President who is literally tested in every way:
What about a Congress so hostile they question your very legitimacy as an American on a daily basis, threaten impeachment as many times as there are hours in the day, and obstruct every single appointee and piece of legislation on your agenda as a matter of course even if they had previously supported it? What about managing to endure and thrive in the glare of a deranged, lying media controlled by an oligarchy of your enemies that spreads 24/7 propaganda against your administration and party? What about an opposition that has unlimited, unregulated funding not only from corporations that have accepted trillions of dollars in no-strings-attached public bailouts, but from hostile foreign countries (e.g., China and Saudi Arabia) that have a vested interest in controlling American politics through Republican corruption?
Without meaning to belittle the past, frankly Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union don't seem nearly as insurmountable in comparison - at least from the perspective of the White House. When taken in the context of political hyper-corruption, the transmogrification of the GOP into an ultra-malignant, treasonous crime syndicate, the disfigurement of news media into an engine of lunatic partisan propaganda, and the total domination of petty corporate tyranny over every aspect of our lives, the problems we confront today come to seem like the greatest challenges this nation has ever faced.
I'm sure a G.I. storming Omaha Beach would disagree about the relative hardships, but as an overall republic, we at least had each other -- we had a rational faith that The Enemy was Over There, not surrounding us and poisoning our children's food and minds while stealing their future. The closest President to have faced comparable conditions to Obama would be Lincoln, and frankly Lincoln had it easier.
This article is so perfectly, hilariously kooky that it's most plausible that this is a conservative making this gunk up in between giggle fits. The writer then assaults other Democratic presidents as Obama's inferiors:
-- "Carter was no fool - he was a trained nuclear engineer - but he had no conception of political context or institutional inertia, and all the policies he instituted by fiat as President were swept away with ease the moment he left office."
-- "LBJ had some grandiose vision of America as a flourishing Empire with himself as a benevolent dictator or king, citizens living in equality and luxury, and the glorious military benevolently lording it over far-flung territories as a bulwark against the Soviet hordes."
-- This is my favorite: "Kennedy was a dangerously inexperienced and underqualified Boy King" -- unlike Obama? JFK "was basically a conservative with some populist trappings because of his youth and minority religion."
-- "Truman and FDR both presided over simpler and more trusting countries, and their power far exceeded that of a President today even while their level of accountability was much lower."
The article wraps up by more gooey praise for Barack Almighty:
President Obama, meanwhile, is basically a lone voice in the wilderness of a government that no longer even feels the need to pretend it has something to do with the United States of America....
This is the environment in which Barack Obama volunteered to lead America, and somehow he has still managed to achieve remarkable results. Somehow the Iraq War has still been ended, Iran has not been invaded despite a decade of saber-rattling by blowhards, we helped liberate Libya from the air and concluded our involvement with the thanks and gratitude of the Libyan people, killed Osama Bin Laden who had eluded us for a decade, brought healthcare to thirty million more Americans than had it before, poured forty billion dollars into rebuilding the economy, founded the ARPA-E program to push the envelope of energy technology, opened the military to gays and lesbians, got two liberal Supreme Court justices confirmed (and both women at that), preempted several right-wing terrorist militia plots to attack the US, rescued the American auto industry (saving millions of jobs), weekly online presidential addresses...the list just goes on and on of things this President has accomplished basically without the help of a halfway decent Congress or the general support of an informed public.
Barack Obama is a shockingly great President. [Italics in the original.] Regardless of their group politics and his never have been in the military, soldiers strongly respect him; despite their distrust of his progressive fiscal outlook, businessmen generally respect him; despite his race, accentless English, and aristocratic intellectualism, he nonetheless manages to command an unusual level of respect in the South and Midwest, in areas that are full of wingnuts, and is fearless about visiting them and engaging with the people of those regions; and wherever he goes in the world, he is treated like a rock star because he remains a symbol of America's promise, and an eloquent leader who speaks universal truths while acknowledging universal realities in action.
There is no one I can name whom I would rather have in the White House at this time in American history, and no contemporary figure in politics who I think would do even a remotely comparable let alone superior job.
The article ends up with this complete redundancy: "So basically...FOUR MORE YEARS!"