Obama 2008 v. Obama 2010

National Review’s Jim Geraghrty takes not of the extent to which President Obama has failed to live up to the promises that motivated his progressive Democratic base in 2008:

Guanatanamo Bay is not closed, and will not close. At least 50,000 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq through 2011. There is talk that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan through 2014. Rendition will continue. Government wiretapping is expanded, not receded. Obama has refused to release controversial photos that allegedly show detainee abuse. The Obama administration asserts the authority to kill al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, even ones that are American citizens, without trial. There will be no KSM trial in Manhattan; the administration now sees the wisdom of military tribunals. There have been no summits with the leaders of Iran, or North Korea, or Cuba, or Syria. (Obama met Chavez at a Latin America summit.) Obama’s Middle East peace initiative has gone nowhere, a fool’s errand considering the deep-rooted, longstanding furies and divisions in the region.

Domestically, there will be no Card Check. There will be no cap-and-trade. There will be no amnesty, no DREAM act. The man who denounced Bush’s recess appointments now uses the tool regularly. Bill language isn’t posted online for five days before signed into law. NAFTA will not be renegotiated; new trade deals with countries like South Korea are signed instead. No “windfall profit tax” will be enacted. He has frozen federal workers’ pay. His deficit commission rejected a VAT and proposed a slew of spending cuts that liberals find unacceptable.

I guess what I’m wondering is, did the progressive really believe they’d get all of that out of a new President and a Congress that was made up of old hands with their own agendas? If they did, then they’re as politically naive as some of the Tea Party crowd who think that we’re going to be passing bills to repeal the 17th Amendment anytime soon.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. mantis says:

    I guess what I’m wondering is, did the progressive really believe they’d get all of that out of a new President and a Congress that was made up of old hands with their own agendas? If they did, then they’re as politically naive as some of the Tea Party crowd who think that we’re going to be passing bills to repeal the 17th Amendment anytime soon.

    Some did, mostly the FDL crowd and the like. They also think Obama can get all those things done through “messaging” and the bully pulpit, but for some reason refuses to perform those particular magic tricks.

    Most of us knew many things were long shots or would take quite a bit longer than hoped.

  2. Tlaloc says:

    “I guess what I’m wondering is, did the progressive really believe they’d get all of that out of a new President and a Congress that was made up of old hands with their own agendas?”

    I never trusted obama, personally. And I agree that expecting to win every one of those fights would have been naive. What was a lot more reasonable was to expect them to at least *try*. It has been the abject surrender, if not outright betrayal on these issues by obama that has been infuriating. He had the power coming in to win at least some of these fights, but he never tried, and on many he actively sabotaged the stated goal.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    Geraghrty’s concern trolling really is quite touching if a tad disingenuous…the president didn’t campaign and make promises on all of Geraghrty’s laundry list of liberal disappointments…at the same time, I can’t wait to see his concern for conservatives when Republicans disappoint them, even more so than the GOP already has…

  4. TG Chicago says:

    Can you name anybody who expected all those things to happen? I mean, who really thought Obama’s magic healing touch would cause the Israel-Palestine rift to heal within two years? Nobody did. He’s just making things up.

    There are things in that list that progressives are disappointed by, but there’s a lot of padding as well.