Unimpeachable Legacy

For most of Biden’s Democratic rivals, they’ve treated one part of his record as taboo to criticize: His years in the Obama White House… “It’s going to be challenging for progressives to attack that legacy,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the progressive political action committee Democracy for America. “Because Obama not only is and was so popular, but people are very nostalgic for that time, particularly after a few years of Trump.”

Really, though? Obama was super smart, classy, attractive, an amazing speaker but that’s all that matters in a class president, not a country’s president. In terms of policy, he was hawkish, neoliberal, the economy stank, Obamacare was a mess. What’s so great about his legacy other than the speeches? What are people so nostalgic for? The drones? The invasions? The mishandling of the financial crisis?

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One thought on “Unimpeachable Legacy”

  1. Most people I know like the ACA. Even people who want to take it further are deeply thankful for the Medicaid expansion. I wouldn’t have health insurance if not for the ACA, and I’m not the only one. The economic crisis sucked, but it happened before he took office, and most Dems credit him with leading us into a recovery as best as anyone could’ve. I used to hold that view, although having given it further thought I have more mixed feelings now. Most people haven’t given it further though. Most people wouldn’t consider him hawkish, probably because we lived through the Bush years. People don’t care about drones as much as whether we’re sending a bunch of American soldiers to die, and he didn’t do that. He’s neoliberal, but what American can even remember anything else? That describes every president from 1980 onwards. I’d consider him a step up from his predecessors in that respect.

    Beyond that, people’s feelings about a presidency are just that, feelings. They aren’t reasoned out by people carefully looking at policy. My mama has fond memories of the Clinton presidency because “the economy was good,” even though Clinton probably had nothing to do with that and definitely did a lot of stuff that logically should make her hate him (she’s further left than we are.) I have fond feelings about Obama despite all my criticisms (although there’s some logic there; the ACA changed my life.)

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