Of course I thought the picture was terrific, I "liked" their status, saved the picture as part of my slideshow screensaver and thought that was that.
Not long afterward, I got a message from one of the two friends who had posted the picture. She was asking for my help (apparently as the verbose, loudmouth politiphile that I am) to defend it from some attacks she'd been getting from folks on the "Right". I assumed that she'd been receiving IMs and e-mail messages from people who took exception to the sentiments in the photo, so I offered my help in any way that I could (helping to write, simple editing, research, etc.) and also, I suggested that she could just provide them with the address of a site which has DOCUMENTED information about the things that the Obama administration has accomplished since taking office a year and a half ago, so they could educate themselves.
The site in question, http://obamaachievements.com/ describes their mission as follows: "We’re proud of what this Congress and this Administration has done to put our country back on solid footing. There is still much to be done, but there are well over 400 significant documented achievements here already, and many more to come over the next two years of this very formidable administration."
I had assumed that I would hear back from her if she needed further help, so I thought I'd just leave it at that till I heard otherwise. Well, I ran into that same friend last night and she asked me to please leave a comment on her Facebook status with the picture in question, as that's where the folks from the "Right" were going after her. So this morning, I took a look at some of the comments she'd received and decided to write a response. This is how it came out:
"Personally, I absolutely LOVED the picture! The Bush years were utterly disastrous for almost everyone (except the uber-rich...lucky them, and the oil industry...and we're CLEARLY seeing where his oil deregulation took us...ask the folks in the Gulf region), which is why Obama was carried into office on such a wave. Because the people understood all that Bush, and those that think like him, had done wrong...two misguided wars, the drowning of a major city (while the president publicly congratulated the individual managing the failure), a completely collapsing economy (let us NOT forget that the first of the bailouts came from the BUSH administration, not the Obama), etc. The mess that Obama walked into was astonishing.
But he's tried to do the best that he can, with staggering obstruction! The American people wanted us out of Iraq, he's done that. The American people demanded a reworked health care system, he's done that (though it was not the way he and the Left WANTED it, thanks to the obstructionists on the Right, so I can't really speak to what the plan they've left us with will ultimately turn out as, but I'm hopeful), and the American people also wanted to NOT have our economy collapse completely, which it was WELL on its way to by the September prior to Obama even being elected. The first of the stimulus plans (actually, the ones I disagree with the MOST...AIG and the financial institutions who were "too big to fail") were set up during Bush's time...prior to Obama even being inaugurated.
And now, as much as the Right is trying to pretend that the economy isn't slowly rebounding, it IS. I can see it, others that I know can see it. Is it slow? Of course...it HAS to be, these things don't happen overnight. Recovery takes time, but we ARE recovering. The auto industry has rebounded and is paying back the money the government loaned them ahead of schedule (so much for the lies from the Right about how Obama wanted the government to "run" the car companies).
When Obama took office, our economy was bleeding over 750,000 jobs a month, now we're adding around 100,000 a month. Things ARE improving, and I believe that they would continue to improve, barring further obstruction...but I don't expect that will be allowed to happen.
The strategy of the Right seems to be to make him SEEM like a total failure by demanding a Filibuster-proof majority for EVERY single decision so that nothing passes. Then you can claim he didn't do what he promised. All the while also demonizing him with utterly ridiculous lies (he was born in Kenya, he's a Muslim, he's a racist, he's a communist, etc.). Actually, it all seems really familiar to me...it's what the right DOES when they're out power, because it's how they trick the people into giving them the power back. Just like in 1994...now that they've assassinated the character of the president they personally hate, they take back power in Congress and then spend the rest of the term with senseless "investigations" to further gridlock things. They hope to trick the people into essentially "firing" the President who wants to actually help THEM and not only the top segment of the population (they were SO shocked when it didn't work with Clinton...time to dust it off and give it another shot, I guess). Because what the Right ultimately believes in is essentially Oligarchy, and anyone who's NOT rich themselves that helps them to achieve it, deserves what they get.
Unlike them, I don't."
Once my fingers finished flying with what I wanted to say, or at least most of it, (as I was writing I actually THOUGHT I was being concise...again...verbose, loudmouth politiphile) I read over what I had written and realized it was FAR too long to be a simple comment on someones Facebook wall. So I decided to put it here instead (I'll post just a link to her wall instead of a diatribe). ;)
However, since I'm doing it here and therefore don't need to be as concise for the sake of my friend's wall space, I've decided to further comment on some of the specifics of what was said. Of course, I'll just be answering specifics, not taking them apart line by line as that's too labor-intensive, even for me (NOTE: My responses in bold italic)...
"If this is the hope and change we've been waiting for, let's repeal the 22nd Amendment and give W and Cheney a third go at things. They can't do any worse than we are right now!" Um...NO, over my dead body will the moron and the evil one get any more time to further damage my country. LITERALLY over my dead body. This is one cause for which I would be more than willing to "lock and load", to quote a TP hero.
"I would give anything for the Bush years to be back." Yeah? Well...I waited eight long, miserable years for them to be over, so I guess now it's YOUR turn.
"I miss the economy of the Bush years, as imperfect as it was." Imperfect? LMAO...if that's what you call merely "imperfect" clearly your judgement is skewed. Try catastrophic, it's a much more apt word.
"Average unemployment levels were lower, government deficits were lower," Yes, overall unemployment levels were lower, but during the Bush years is when the hemorrhaging of jobs started...as much as your side would like to blame it on Obama. As far as "deficits were lower," um, have you FORGOTTEN that when Bush took office there was a surplus?? (But then he gave the uber-rich a tax cut, launched two wars and bailed out the financial industry that his deregulation allowed to get "too big to fail"...so much for the surplus.)
"Obama's in power with a Democrat majority in the House and Senate. For better AND for worse, everything that's going on today is *ALL* Democrat." Um...no...the "party of no" and their obstructionist game is causing the need for a Filibuster-proof majority for EVERYTHING including even things the GOP should be supporting (like tax cuts for the middle class and small businesses, etc.). Back during the Bush years (before the country got fed up with things like Katrina, Shaivo, etc. and gave the majority back to the Left) the Republican leadership was going so far as LOCKING THE DOORS to committee meetings and not allowing Democrats to even attend, threatening to have them arrested for refusing to leave after being locked out and, worst of all, threatening the "Nuclear Option" of taking AWAY the Filibuster if the Democratic minority dared to even THREATEN to use it! The Teabagging nuts may have chosen to forget that treatment. I didn't. I was appalled at the time that such a thing could even be considered, but now I almost wish they HAD done it, because they would be the powerless now, and things would actually be getting DONE. (My saying that, however, does NOT mean that when the Right regains control, folks can say that "a liberal they know supports them actually taking it away," as I'm sure the Right will threaten again if the Left minority gets too "uppity".)
"We Republicans haven't held legislative power since the 2006 elections and we haven't held legislative or executive power since 2008." Um...the Democratic majority didn't take over until January 2007, not 2006 and Barack Obama was sworn into the presidency in January 2009, not 2008. The year of ELECTION isn't when power changes hands it's the following January.
"I cannot name one single thing that Obama has done for America but I can name a lot that he has ruined!!" But then when this person was given the site that lists documented accomplishments, rather than actually LOOKING at it and penning a cogent comment, the same person simply said "I still would not believe it because he takes credit for things others have done that he hasn't done." So clearly, there's no point in even TRYING to reason with someone like that, as they're admitting that they wouldn't believe documented facts anyway.
"Our unemployment is not getting better," Yes, it is...we've stopped LOSING over 750,000 jobs a month as we were in the late months of the Bush administration...although some people may refuse to see that as improvement, I do. Of course there is a lot more to do, and I hope that we'll be able to do it, but I'm sure the republican roadblock, empowered by the insanity of the Teabaggers, will do all that it can to make sure that nothing gets done so that, come November, they can influence the voters into believing that the economic disaster is all the fault of the Left, so that they can take back control of Congress, and then...gods help us!
President Obama is going to address the nation about the economy on Tuesday night from the Oval Office, I know I'll be watching to see what he has to say...
I'm reasonably sure the bulk of the haters won't be watching. But I'm also sure they'll have plenty to say based on the soundbites that Faux News chooses to air and what the Right wing squawking heads TELL them that he said, as well as their warped interpretation of it "means".