Rachel Maddow on President Obama's job performance to date


Uploaded by DemocraticRants on 28.06.2010

Transcript:
He signed a bill that gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
He grew the size of the federal government and the budget.
Added a whole new cabinet level agency,
and added tens of thousands of
government workers to the federal payroll.
He tripled the deficit.
He bailed out and expanded Social Security
with a big fat tax increase.
He raised corporate taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars
He raised taxes on gasoline.
He, in fact, signed into law
the largest tax increase in history.
He supported federal handgun controls.
He called for a world without nuclear weapons.
He was...
Ronald Reagan.
As a conservative saint.
As the right-wing Rock Star.
As King of the Republican prom in perpetuity.
As a transformative figure for people
who call themselves Conservatives,
the facts of Ronald Reagan's legislative record...
are awkward.
Ronald Reagan's record has in it a lot of things
that would get him kicked out of today's Republican Party.
Which is not to say that President Reagan
was a secret liberal
he was not.
What he was was...
complex...
but accomplished in his own way.
With the passage of financial regulation in Washington today
President Obama took to the very un-momentous setting
of "Twitters" as he called it yesterday, to say this:
"Last night's House-Senate agreement
on Wall Street reform represents
the toughest financial reform since
the Great Depression."
Turns out a lot of things that have happened in the
less than two years of this Administration
are the biggest,
or first
or the most important in generations.
On the occasion of the Wall Street
reform announcement today
Taegan Goddard at CQ Politics wrote:
"Not since FDR has a President done
so much to transform the country."
Even before today's historic Wall Street reform agreement
President Obama, of course, did what politicians
have been trying to do for more than 60 years --
he passed health reform,
which for the first time establishes government responsibility
for the healthcare of American citizens.
Consider also the stimulus bill
it didn't just throw a lasso around our
entire economy and yank it back from the brink
it also pumped about a hundred billion dollars
into the crumbling embarrassment of our national
infrastructure and transportation system.
It was the largest investment in infrastructure since Ike.
For solving our country's energy problems -
something Obama has compared to
man walking on the moon
it contained about $60 billion dollars in spending
and tax incentives for renewable and clean energy
also an historic investment.
It also included an unheralded but giant
investment in science and tech
amping up the budgets of NASA,
the National Science Foundation and
an experimental energy research agency
that was created under President George W. Bush
but never funded until now.
President Obama also expanded state kids
health insurance to cover another 4 million kids.
He signed a Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act
for equal pay for equal work.
He signed a nuclear arms deal with Russia
that would reduce both country's arsenals
by a third.
He created a new global nonproliferation initiative
to keep nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists.
He set forth an international way forward
on that radical left-wing proposition of Ronald Reagan
a world without nuclear weapons.
Then there is the legislative and policy achievements
but don't just build on previously set precedents
but set new ones -
the Hate Crimes Prevention Act
also known as the Matthew Shepard Act
it had languished in Congress for years.
The Food and Drug Administration permitted
for the first time to regulate tobacco.
Better late than never, he dismantled
the scandal plagued Minerals Management Service,
broke it into three parts so that the folks who
collect money from oil leases
aren't the same ones regulating the industry.
And now will actually investigate the industry
it was busy schtupping and doing drugs
with during the last administration.
Obama fired two wartime commanding generals
in little over a year.
He overhauled the astonishing
stupidity of the student loan system
in which banks were being subsidized
to give loans that were guaranteed
by the government anyway!
A license to print money!
That was ended and the savings
put towards actual aid to students.
He canceled a weapons program that was
bloated, unnecessary and totally irrelevant
to either of our current wars --- the F-22.
Why even mention the cancellation of a single weapon system?
Because that never happens!
Weapons systems never get canceled!
The F-22 did which is itself a miracle.
In each of these achievements
and in the list of things that he has yet to do:
Don't Ask Don't Tell
closing Guantánamo
in each of these things,
there is room for liberal disappointment
I sing a bittersweet lullaby to
the lost public option when I go to sleep at night
but presidential legacies are complex
not even the Reagan administration's legacy
is pure as the conservative driven snow
but Taegan Goddard at CQ Politics was right today
about nothing this big happening since FDR.
The list of legislative accomplishments of this President
in half a term even before energy reform
which he is probably going to get to is
-- to quote the vice president --
"a big freaking deal"
Love this administration or hate it,
this President is getting a lot done.
The last time any President did this much in office?
Booze was illegal.
If you believe in policy?
If you believe in a government that addresses problems?
Cheers to that.
Goodnight.