1. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
2. The Economy: I know the opposition says that Obama hasn’t done anything, and there are people don’t like what he has done. I think Obama and the laws and programs he has enacted stopped the economy from going off a cliff and bursting into flames. It’s hard to argue about this conclusively; there’s no way to tell what would’ve happened if McCain had won the election. I suspect nothing good (which is why I voted for Obama last time).
The economy is recovering from the worst recession ever. Ever, period. It’s a slow recovery, but it’s been steady. We’ve gained jobs over the last 30 months (325,000 added since 2009). Unemployment is finally down below 8%. The stimulus worked (it did), but in fairness to the opposition who simultaneously loathed it and used it, it wasn’t big enough to work miracles. I found this interview very illuminating, although I haven’t read the book yet.
Obama wants to get people back to work, and he wants to continue to grow the middle class. He’s outlined his plan to do so (if people don’t know that, they’re not paying attention). He’s also been opposed at nearly every turn by Congress.
He couldn’t fix in four years what took nearly a decade to destroy. I’m going to give him another four to keep at it.
For an overview of Obama’s economic numbers, I like this graphic and article from factcheck.org. They look at a lot of different things. Overall, I see more pros than cons.
3. Foreign policy: He ended the war in Iraq, and he’s responsible for Osama bin Laden’s death. I saw a bunch of retweets the other day that said in effect, “Obama didn’t kill bin Laden, Navy SEALs did.” If you really, really believe that (and judging by the number of times it was RT’ed in my timeline, a number of people do) YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT. I suspect, in fact, that people who RT’ed it are being willfully obtuse. He is called the Commander in Chief, after all.
4. Women’s rights. The way the Republican party is willing to publicly talk about women is appalling. They simply don’t care about us, girls. They don’t care about equal pay ; they don’t care about equal rights; they don’t care about your body (unless they get to tell you what to do with it); and they don’t care about your family. Nothing in their political agenda or platform is going to benefit you, unless you are rich and/or you are married to a rich white dude.
They don’t think discrimination exists for real.
They don’t think most rapes are legitimate.
They don’t think if you get pregnant from rape, it’s insult to injury. They think it’s a blessing, and that you’ll agree once you have your rapist’s child. (Think legislators who keep talking about rape in stupid ways are outliers? Think again.)
They don’t think that contraceptive access is either an economic benefit or a health care issue.
They don’t think you should be able to make choices about when to start your family.
They don’t think you should have information about how to make choices about when to start your family.
I am anti-abortion. I am pro sex education, pro contraceptive access, and pro economic benefits for women who want to work to support their families.
5. The Social Safety Net. Unemployment, college loans, welfare, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid. I have used two of these benefits in my life (unemployment and federal college loans). I know that SS and Medicare need to be restructured — personally, I wouldn’t mind raising the age of retirement for my generation to 70 — but the GOP ticket doesn’t want you to have this safety net. They don’t care about poor people (a large number of whom are women and children), and they don’t think the government should help poor people.
Obama wants to make sure our most vulnerable populations aren’t further at risk. He’s not fostering dependency. He’s showing faith in the American people. That with help, they will succeed. (And, yes, many people, without help from the government, will succeed too. The government doesn’t need to help everyone! But I would argue that I’d rather know help from the government was an option if all else failed.)
PS: Gay rights. The continuing opposition in this country for civil rights for every person baffles me. The continuing hatred toward people who live or love differently than others — the minority in the majority — sickens me. I’m glad DADT is over; I’m glad it looks like DOMA will be viewed as unconstitutional. Live and let live, people. Better: live and let love.