If you'd take the criticisms of some people who long for the good ol' days of , say around September 2008, you'd think NOTHING good has happened in the past year and a half.
Progressives who looked for miracles and conservatives who have wished nothing but failure on President Obama since the day after he won the election, are unified in one thing: dissatisfaction.
I'll say what I've been saying, "I'm glad to have a President unafraid of tackling big things". No he's not done everything right, nor has he done everything I thought he should do and he's not doing everything I think he should be doing. He is, however, doing things that matter - and not just for the duration of an election cycle.
Of course some will never be satisfied. Obama has not miraculously reversed an economic catastrophe eight years in the making in a year and a half. He has not gotten capital flowing, or corrected the perverse thinking on Wall Street that suggests that they can sit on money they have through bailouts by the American taxpayer in order to get the economy moving more quickly. Nor has he been able to get the GOP to act like the 'loyal opposition' instead of unreasonable obstructionists.
But this year and a half has not been without accomplishments. Major ones. Whether you agree with them or not. We have to remember that for eight years we were conditioned to a 'prosperity' that offset job losses and increases in the poverty rate, with cheap credit for the middle class and an overheated mortgage industry. As long as the bubble didn't burst, we were talked into the idea that things were fine. Until the good ol' days...say around September '08, when we found out that the prosperity was a mirage.
There are those who resent the hopes and aspirations that were invested in Obama's presidency. It appears as if the rejection of the mirage prosperity is a comment on their values and their hopes and dreams. Some have lost jobs, houses, retirement. The differences in Obama's presidency frighten them. It makes them say contradictory things: 'He's a 'socialist'; he's in the pocket of Wall Street financiers!' 'He's a radical Christian; he's a Muslim'!
The facts are, he will accomplish some campaign promises and some he will not be able to accomplish - just like every president. He will gain and lose support, just like every president (until the Oklahoma City bombings, Clinton was being asked whether or not the presidency was still 'relevant').
There are conservatives who will never give Obama his due. There are progressives who are going to have to be realistic, like my friend Shawn Williams suggests (you can find his commentary at -9:09 on this clip)...
And maybe we all need to remember the good ol' days circa September '08 and realize that they only look good in our rear view mirror...