In the ramp up to the General Election, it’s a good time to consider what has occurred under President Obama’s first three years and how those actions could be reversed under a Republican. To begin, here’s a trailer from the Obama Campaign’s upcoming documentary, “The Road We’ve Traveled”:
Clearly, President Obama’s biggest accomplishment was preventing the nation from plunging into a new Depression through the passage of the Stimulus Bill and other economic decisions. Passing Universal Health Care was pretty huge as was ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and of course, tracking down Osama Bin Laden.
It’s easy to lose perspective on events when one is in the midst of them but the argument could fairly be made that more profound decisions and actions have taken place under President Obama in the short span of three years, despite a viciously polarized Republican opposition, than under any other President in recent memory. And for the most part, those decisions appear to have paid off for the American People.
The propaganda from the GOP and their poor excuses for Presidential candidates proliferates the airwaves and the nation, pushing “facts” such as President Obama is a failure, he’s damaged the economy and jobs, he’s weak on foreign policy, etc. Though many of these falsehoods can instantly be seen as such by those who are informed or just live in reality, it is helpful to refresh one’s memory of what President Obama has accomplished and what there is to protect from being erased if a Republican was to win the Presidency this November.
So, here’s a partial list of President Obama’s accomplishments, a subset of a much larger list of the campaign promises he made when he ran for the Presidency in 2008 and kept, thanks to Politifact (you can read details of each item and see Politifact’s complete nine page list here):
Campaign Promises Kept by President Obama
Catch/kill bin Laden
Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq
Begin removing combat brigades from Iraq
Sign a “universal” health care bill
End the use of torture
Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions
Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy
Close the “doughnut hole” in Medicare prescription drug plan
Work to overturn Ledbetter vs. Goodyear
Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits
Reverse restrictions on stem cell research
Create new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud
Raise fuel economy standards
Support network neutrality on the Internet
Establish a credit card bill of rights
Fully fund the Violence Against Women Act
Extend child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes
Reform No Child Left Behind
Push for enactment of Matthew Shepard Act, which expands hate crime law to include sexual orientation and other factors
Create new financial regulations
No permanent bases in Iraq
Extend the Bush tax cuts for lower incomes
Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes
Increase minority access to capital
Expand loan programs for small businesses
Give tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums
Require large employers to contribute to a national health plan
Require children to have health insurance coverage
In non-competitive markets, force insurers to pay out a reasonable share of their premiums for patient care
Fully fund the Veterans Administration
Provide $30 billion over 10 years to Israel
Increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps
End the “Stop-loss” program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments
Make U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional on anti-terror efforts
Release presidential records
Reduce subsidies to private student lenders and protect student borrowers
Expand Pell grants for low-income students
Champion the importance of arts education
Strengthen the levees in New Orleans
Rebuild schools in New Orleans
Stop the development of new nuclear weapons
Ban lobbyist gifts to executive employees
Invest in all types of alternative energy
Invest in public transportation
Again, this is just a partial list from the nine pages of President Obama’s actions classified under “Promise Kept” at Politifact. To date, there are also three pages of promises that are classified by them as “Compromise” and others they classify as “Promise Broken”.
The above are just some of what’s on the table to keep or lose this November. As tempting as it is to watch the GOP primary and become confident that Obama’s re-election is a lock, there will be powerful and wealthy forces who will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars to reverse some or much of the above by smearing Obama’s record to elect a Republican to the White House.
For those who support many of the items listed above, it will take a good deal of time and energy this year, invested in the campaign to re-elect President Obama, to protect them and pave the way for further accomplishments like these.
It is painful to imagine what a President Romney’s “Promise Kept” list would look like, motivation indeed for working this year for a better America.