My old (and unfortunately rightwing) friend Jim left a comment on one of my recent posts asking if any Obama supporters who read my blog could list any accomplishments of Obama’s, who Jim is convinced has never accomplished anything, as opposed to McCain, who he is obviously convinced has.
Obama has co-sponsored many bills in Congress, and unlike Hilary has never offered a bill sponsored only by himself, and has had Republican co-sponsors for many he has put forth. You can go to the Congressional Record and get the details.
Same for the Illinois Senate, where he was known, and is still being supported, by many of the Republicans in state government as someone who not only reached across the aisle but worked consciously to secure as much bi-partisan support as possible for measures he backed.
And then there’s his record as a community organizer, which has been questioned even by some further to the left, but which is still clearly more than most people, and almost all politicians have ever done, get down on the street level and organize for improvements in the lives of people mostly forgotten by politicians and governments and the media.
But his greatest accomplishment is simply his run for the presidency and his doing so well at it, because he has inspired so many young and new voters, as well as independent and even Republican voters, to believe in his message of a better way of doing business in Washington.
Maybe if he’s elected he’ll turn out to be like all the rest, but his campaign hasn’t been like all the rest, which is partly why it’s been so successful despite the obvious bias in the media and in a minority of voters toward anyone who speaks so idealistically and often eloquently about not the usual deliberately distracting side issues like flag lapel pins and guilt by association, but instead talks about moving this country beyond the old arguments and straw men and into the future which will not just look more like him than Hilary or McCain, but which will need to rise from the wreckage of the past several decades of partisan feuding that has led to more destruction and dismay than to constructive solutions for our problems and hope that together we can make those solutions happen.
McCain meanwhile has been responsible for some of the most mind-boggling position switches outside of Mitt Romney’s. And as far as I’m concerned his biggest and most despicable accomplishment this year was helping to defeat a G. I. Bill that would have provided Iraqi War veterans with the financial and educational and health benefits given to WWII and Cold War vets (like me) and which they so rightly deserve.
Anyone who says McCain’s talking straight when he votes against bills to benefit his fellow veterans who don’t come from the wealth he does or marry into, as he has (and CNN had the nerve to run a chart showing which candidates were financially best off putting McCain BEHIND Obama because they only counted McCain’s Senate salary and personal income and not his wife’s 100 million dollar plus fortune!).
Obama is still our best hope for changing not just the way politics is practiced in campaigns and in government, but for finally getting us past the arguments of the 1960s (which my friend Jim replays constantly in his comments, intentionally or not, as do his inspirations Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, et. al.).
And speaking of accomplishments, Obama, as has been pointed out again and again though not in the mass media, has almost exactly the same record as Abraham Lincoln did when he ran for president the first time. Republicans should be falling over themselves to vote for him, if it weren’t for the dirty truth that they love to haul old Honest Abe out as a symbol for their not being as mean spirited as their actions prove they have been (from Nixon through Reagan to Junior) but if old Abe were running today, they’d probably vote for Hilary.