Forum:How's it going, Barry?

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How's it going Barry?[edit]

What is your opinion on Obama's job performance? I am currently putting him at a C+, a little overrated but considering how he inherited the country, it could have been a lot worse.--Thanatos (talk) 05:29, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I give him an A for effort but a C for policy. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:34, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
B+. Amazing President so far, and I am damn proud to have voted for him.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 05:37, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
C+ - he is a little too pragmatic and slow. He needs a little more fight. Acei9 06:00, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
(1) Obama is not "pragmatic." He grabbed a political third rail with health care reform. (2) We need, if anything, more pragmatism in American politics; the parties are at each other's throats and wind up politicizing things that should be apolitical. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:06, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Replace pragmatic with deliberative. I think he needs a little more muscle. Acei9 06:29, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
If he takes a muscle approach, it would give those right-wing blowhards even more to complain about.--Thanatos (talk) 07:28, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
They'll hate him no matter what he does. I just eel he could be more assertive. Acei9 09:09, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
He's trapped by the party machinery & the requirement to maintain funds for the next election; not his but all his party senators & congressmen. It all boils down to the crapness of the party system. Jesus H Christ wouldn't be able to do a lot. I am eating Toast& honeychat 09:32, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

(undent)It depends on the measure. If compared with what our hopes and dreams were then he barely makes a C+. Why is Guantalamo Bay still open? Why is Don't Ask, Don't Tell still policy? Etc. Etc. On the other hand, compared to any of the alternatives he's an A++. Just remember who would have been in charge if he had lost, and, more importantly, who would have been a heartbeat away. That's the scary one. As a comparison, as a long term Labour supporter here in the UK I'm resigned to the fact that the current administration is scoring D-- but the thought that we're in for several years of Tory rule... ugh! Bob Soles (talk) 10:33, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I give him a B-. He lost points because of his failure with regards to Guantanamo and gay rights and his timidity with respect to genuine health care reform. However, I think we have to be careful to balance his grade on the things he actually campaigned on and the state of country when he took office, not the (sometimes unreasonable) expectations of his supporters or the sorts of ( purposely unreasonable) pie-in-the-sky things the tea baggers, racists ad other assorted anti-Obama wing nuts like to say he campaigned on. Essentially anytime someone calls him some variation on "The Messiah" you can stop listening. He is sort of shackled by partisanship and the (seemingly inevitable) fracturing of the democratic party. I'm hopeful that he will be more lion like in his second term when he has less to lose. Me!Sheesh!Mine! 15:33, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
You raise a valid point. Expectations were so high among Obama's supporters we had to be brought back to Earth at some point.
For my own part, I think B- is fair. I like what he's doing in Afghanistan, which is exactly what he said he'd do, contrary to what a lot of people across the spectrum seem to think. I'm disappointed he's not ended 'Don't Ask Don't Tell', but I'm also enough of a political pragmatist I realize that a) he's got bigger things to worry about, and b) Democratic politicians don't worry too much about pissing off the gay community because they know we're one of the most loyal constituencies. I think he's done a decent job with the economy -- at least things haven't gotten worse. MDB (talk) 15:56, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't see how he should be penalized for avoiding drawing a huge amount of criticism for repealing DADT within his first year, when he's trying to get health care and a climate bill through Congress with his political support. He can do that later. It's pragmatic and realistic not to try to do everything at once, which would mean he gets nothing done.--Tom Moorefiat justitia 16:01, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
B-/C+, depending on how I temper my expectations. It's a shame he lost Kennedy in the Senate just before Kennedy's lifetime cause became a front-burner issue. Should we break this up into sections by grade, perhaps? ħumanUser talk:Human 19:56, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I'll be honest, what you lot need these days is a strong administrator, rather than an ideologue. And that seems to be what you've got, so fair enough. I just wish we had someone who was interested in governing, rather than endlessly campaigning (even after winning the election) and gaming the system. --Kels (talk) 16:27, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

F. Predator drone attacks on Pakistan--an ostensible ally--within a week of his taking office set the tone for a continued foreign policy based on military aggression. Thirty thousand more armed killers in Afghanistan, coupled with an increase of fifty percent in the number of privately-contracted "security forces" in Iraq to make up for lowered numbers of legitimate forces that at least have to play by the rules of the Geneva Conventions don't bode well for peaceful outcomes in either of those countries. Refusing to meet the Dalai Lama (a fellow peace prize laureate) in order to assuage the sensitive feelings of a murderous regime in China spoke to a fundamental cynicism on his part. America is still sending military aid to a country that is actively colonizing territory seized in war. Guantanamo is still open, and the US is expanding its facilities for "detainees" (not legally-recognized prisoners of war) at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan.TheoryOfPractice (talk) 16:32, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
A for not being a puppet of Big Oil and Big War. The senate Dems get an E for everyone who died or went bankrupt waiting for healthcare reform. You're 60-40, you can do anything you want! Totnesmartin (talk) 16:50, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
C. Could be more assertive and needs to push what he campaigned on more, but then he inherited a shitty economy which must be taking up most of his time. Add to that a substantial and vocal minority who'll damn him if he does and damn him if he doesn't, and I wouldn't like to be in his shoes. Still, probably better than McCain/Palin. EddyP (talk) 22:55, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I'll give him a C in most things, a F in Strong-Arming Republicans, and an A+ in Not Being Bush. --Gulik (talk) 20:43, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

I think the lack of strong-arming is one of his better qualities; it really puts the lie to all this mud right-wingers are throwing at him about being a Red and a demagogue and an extremist. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:52, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Quiet Revolution[edit]

Every time I begin to get pretty disappointed with Obama, I see new evidence he's playing chess and not checkers. With things like the recent powerful State of the Union speech, movement on DADT, his skillful confrontations with the Republicans, and revelations like his restoration of U.S. regulatory agencies, I'm pretty pleased these days.--ADtalkModerator 02:47, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Tom, I wish I could get with you. I really do. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 02:50, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
But it's pretty hard to do that these days.. TheoryOfPractice (talk) 22:27, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Some of this I'm not on board with, but I am still thinking about the Yemen story and the drones. That's a tough one. The "permission to kill Americans" thing just makes sense, though, from a political standpoint - and even from a logistical standpoint, since such people would presumably be enormously valuable alive.--ADtalkModerator 23:26, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Extrajudicial executions make sense to you? TheoryOfPractice (talk) 23:28, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't know yet whether it can be fairly condemned or supported. I'm thinking about it. Right now, I'd venture to say that these specific incidents may be wrong, but that doesn't rule out the practice as a whole. Still considering, going to have to read more.--ADtalkModerator 23:36, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Alright, but let's not lose track of what I want to get at--not "is bombing other countries/using military force on other countries that we're not a war with (P-stan and Yemen)/ targeting people for extrajudicial execution/using disappearances, and hidden detention centres wrong on its face." The question is, how do these policies fit in with a reading of the Obama approach as markedly different in substance, if not degree, from the Bush approach? TheoryOfPractice (talk) 04:35, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Oh, on national security he's essentially identical in most ways, except for domestic torture. There's not much question on that one. And yet he still gets called weak on terror. That's a hard one to deal with right now, I think, assuming he actually does intend to change those ways eventually.--ADtalkModerator 04:41, 5 February 2010 (UTC)