Time mag lauds Obama as "on the path to huge success," ignores facts 

President Obama's success is underestimated by his critics and he's on path to become one of the most successful presidents ever, writes Mark Halperin of Time magazine:

Barack Obama's right-wing opponents have cast him as a socialist failure. His left-wing hecklers see him as an over-cautious hedger. But, critics notwithstanding, President Obama is on the path to be a huge success by the time of November's midterm elections.

Before the Right jabbers (what about the huge debt, the broken tax pledge, the paucity of overseas accomplishments?), the Left yammers (Guantanamo hasn't been closed, gays aren't serving openly in the military, too many policies cater to business interests!), and the media chides (POTUS and party poll numbers are down, Washington is more partisan than ever), look at the two key metrics that underscore Obama's accomplishments. It is too early to assess the ultimate measure of victory — whether the President's actions have been prudent and beneficial, domestically and internationally. But by Election Day, 2010, Obama will have soundly achieved many of his chief campaign promises while running a highly competent, scandal-free government. Not bad for a guy whose opponents (in both parties) for the White House suggested he was too green in national life to know how to do the job — and whose presidency began in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis that demanded urgent attention and commanded much of his focus.

It's too early to assess the ultimate measure of victory, so Halperin suggests, perhaps, the penultimate measure? And what does it mean to have "soundly achieved many of his campaign promises" -- when each of them have been judged a failure by their own standards? For instance, Obama promised that health care reform would force insurers to cover children with preexisting conditions -- it was left out of the bill. Obama campaigned on the public option and hit Hillary hard for her position on insurance mandates -- which he would later adopt. Unemployment wasn't to go past 8 percent with the stimulus -- it now stands at 9.7 percent.

As for scandals, let's see: There's the questionable dismissal of Gerald Walpin, the gangster-like shunting aside of creditors to General Motors and Chrysler, and the Justice Department's refusal to pursue charges against the Black Panthers who threatened Philadelphia on voting day. There are the phantom districts getting stimulus money. There's the administration's revolving door relationship with Goldman Sachs and other special interests.

By every metric Obama himself has put forward, his administration has fallen short. Perhaps that doesn't mean he's a failure, but to say he's on the path to success is some Orwellian verve.

About The Author

J.P. Freire

Bio:
J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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