(The following is my latest Daily Kos blog.)
I finally had some quiet time for reflection last night with the 2012 presidential election in the books. Barack Obama’s resounding and unexpected win made me assess a Democratic president’s accomplishments.
-Upon assuming the presidency, he continued to be battered by opponents linking him with all of the alleged evils committed by supporters from his home state.
-He had to follow a presidency that included a deadly sneak attack on this country- one which forever robbed us of the feeling of security that the United States has always offered.
-It took this president to do something his predecessor was unable to- completely bring an end to a war that has killed thousands of our young soldiers. And the end of our enemy came in an abrupt, violent fashion.
-One of his first priorities after taking the oath of office was to make sure that those who could not afford health care would be able to receive it. This had been attempted unsuccessfully by those who came before him. And he tried it despite heavily organized opposition from solidly entrenched special interests.
-Despite those who said the United States was not ready for such a major social upheaval, the president, ignoring rabid opposition, finally made it possible for soldiers to be fully accepted and allowed to serve this country without having to stay in the background and pretend they are something they are not.
-He was re-elected when only a short time before, no one thought he would be.
With those kinds of accomplishments, I have no doubt that when they review this presidency, historians will rank this Democratic president near the top.
In fact, he already is ranked near the top in most surveys of historians for his decisive actions in dealing with situations that might have caused other presidents to form committees, pass them off to their successors, or simply ignore the issues and pretend they do not exist.
I am proud to live in the Show-Me State, the state where the president I have been writing about, Harry S Truman, was born.
We could sure use another Harry Truman.