Why was this his worst year? Because of an IRS “scandal” Republicans pushed relentlessly until it the facts came out that showed it wasn’t just conservative groups being targeted? Oh, but you didn’t hear much about that part of the story in the media. Anger and fear sell much better than simple facts.
Or was it the Edward Snowden/NSA thing? Again, who didn’t assume this was going on to begin with? And for the record, the NSA surveillance program isn’t an “Obama thing.” The Patriot Act (you know the law that gave the NSA much more power than it already had before) was actually a bill built by Republicans. Though I find it quite ironic — now that this “news” has come to light, suddenly Republicans want to act appalled about it. As if they had nothing to do with it.
Perhaps it was the Benghazi thing? I mean, really? How many times will that story be debunked before it just goes away? Even most Republicans have given up on it. It only remains relevant to those on the far right (and a few others) who just seem unable to let it go. Oh, and they want to keep it somewhat of an issue in a desperate attempt to have something to use against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The government shutdown? Speaker of the House John Boehner (a Republican) refused to let the House vote on a clean version of the Senate’s continuing resolution, which would have passed the House and kept the government open. How exactly is that Obama’s fault? I’d love to know.
Oh, I know, it’s the rough start to the Affordable Care Act, right? Granted, the website was an absolute mess. That’s on President Obama because that was a complete embarrassment. I wouldn’t even try to defend it because it was indefensible. But now it’s working (for the most part) just fine — and suddenly Republicans no longer want to talk about it.
Then there was the “broken promise” about Americans being able to keep their old health insurance plans. So, let me get this straight. The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance companies to provide actual health insurance as opposed to just the illusion of coverage like many had been doing. Therefore, many of these substandard (and quite honestly “fake health care”) plans were cancelled by the health insurance companies and this is somehow President Obama’s fault. Oh, and that’s a bad thing?
I’m sorry if I don’t feel requiring health insurance companies to actually provide real health coverage is a “bad” thing. I do feel bad for those people who had their premiums go up, but were premiums going down before the Affordable Care Act? Besides, most of these companies are hiking premiums to keep their bloated profit margins at record highs. They’re simply using the Affordable Care Act as an excuse to do it.
But let’s look at what else has happened this year in this country:
- DOMA was struck down by the Supreme Court, opening the door for gay marriage to be legalized in the United States.
- Stock markets hit multiple record highs.
- We experienced our largest quarter of economic growth in five years.
- We experienced job growth in every single month of 2013 (assuming December will be positive for private sector jobs).
- Unemployment dropped to 7%.
- We eclipsed 8 million jobs created since 2010 under President Obama.
- Millions of Americans who didn’t have health insurance will now have access to it due to the Affordable Care Act.
- We got Syria to agree to surrender their chemical weapons without using our military.
- We took the first steps toward hopefully ending Iran’s nuclear program (though this is in its infancy for certain).
I’m going to go ahead and just stop there. There are more things that went on, but even with just that list, I’d say that seems like a pretty decent year to me. Sure, it wasn’t flawless and some of the issues I laid out earlier are real to many people. But it certainly wasn’t this “disastrous” year many Republicans are trying to paint it as.
I’ll put it this way: if the success we saw in 2013 equates to “Obama’s worst year,” I’ll take it.
Sure, you would rather some of the negative stuff not be there — even though much of it was media driven, like the IRS, NSA and Benghazi stories. But considering all of the good that happened this year in this country, if this is indeed “Obama’s worst year,” I think most presidents would gladly take that.