The first fifteen months + my bad.

Yesterday Andrew Sullivan ran a post about what the Obama Administration has accomplished in its first “year and a half” in office. Given that it’s April 23, I would like to offer a small corrective: It’s only been 15 months.

And holy crow! Look at all they’ve done!

An end to illegal torture of terror suspects. A beginning to a saner method of detaining, trying and convicting terror suspects.

Adept handling of the worst financial crisis and recession since the 1930s, leading to a profitable bank bailout (excluding Freddie and Fannie) and a return to growth. Check.

Salvaging of the automobile industry, which is now showing signs of life.

Passage of an ambitious stimulus package that has helped repair many crumbling parts of the US infrastructure and poured money into green industry.

The biggest social policy reform since LBJ – guaranteeing access to health insurance for all Americans.

Financial re-regulation of an out-of-control Wall Street, and the beginnings of real scrutiny (see Goldman) of the self-serving corruption at the heart of the financial industry.

Repaired relations with Russia, leading to a new START treaty, and better relations with China, leading to a revaluation of the yuan.

Joint Chiefs’ endorsement of ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

A tough re-balancing of the US position in the Middle East, away from the Likudnik-oriented jerking knees of the last eight years, and an assertion that US foreign policy should be conducted to advance the interests of the United States, not the interests of a belligerent faction in a foreign country.

Please click through and read the rest — it’s not much more, but I didn’t want to lift the whole thing. Didn’t seem prudent! Or respectful.

But speaking of crow, I need to eat some. Back in October, I was a Debbie Downer, a Debbie Dreary, a Debbie Doubtful. Lovely Friend (remember Lovely Friend? She’s really quite lovely) commented, begging me “not to go to the dark side.”

He’s putting himself out there in his pragmatic and sensible way and it’s not radical enough for some of us, but it has made peace once again seem thinkable and something we have a duty to pursue.

In February, I began to pick up my head and see more light, and we all know how happy I was about Health Care Reform. Not to mention the general sense that I’ve had, since even before the announcement of new homes in Jerusalem made during Vice President Biden’s visit to Israel, that the Administration might very well be making some serious movement on Israel/Palestine. So, you know, my perception has been changing.

But I have not yet publicly eaten crow, and it’s time. Look at that list that Sullivan put together. Just look at it.

I was wrong. Lovely Friend was right.

Fingers locked and duct-taped into the crossed position that the work continues on finance regulation, and climate change, and gay rights, and the wars, and (and…) Israel/Palestine.

But so far? Man. It’s been a good fifteen months, I’d say.


UPDATE: The title to this post originally read “The first fixteen months…”, and that’s been, well, fixt. But I must say, that is just the sort of Freudian slip that I can find amusing for hours (h/t to the husband who noticed it in the first place…).


  1. dmf

     /  April 23, 2010

    welcome back to the sunshine, was watching food inc the other night on pbs and they were outlining all of the ways in which the bush/cheney folks had dismantled regulation and fed us into the meat-grinding machine of usaInc while trading on redstate nostalgia for farmlife and it got me thinking how we really need to expose the nihilistic lie (left rigth and center) that there is no meaningful difference between the parties.

  2. I think he’ll have amassed a mighty impressive record by the time of the midterms this fall, certainly more than Clinton had at that point. The question is what direction he will take this country under a GOP-controlled Congress, particularly one that hates his guts.

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