From Vanity Fair:
Todd S. Purdum of Vanity Fair: Thank you, man.
Obama Is Suffering Because of His Achievements, Not Despite Them
With this weekend’s decisive Senate repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for gay service members, can anyone seriously doubt Barack Obama’s patient willingness to play the long game? Or his remarkable success in doing so? In less than two years in office—often against the odds and the smart money’s predictions at any given moment—Obama has managed to achieve a landmark overhaul of the nation’s health insurance system; the most sweeping change in the financial regulatory system since the Great Depression; the stabilization of the domestic auto industry; and the repeal of a once well-intended policy that even the military itself had come to see as unnecessary and unfair.
So why isn’t his political standing higher?
Precisely because of the raft of legislative victories he’s achieved. Obama has pushed through large and complicated new government initiatives at a time of record-low public trust in government (and in institutions of any sort, for that matter), and he has suffered not because he hasn’t “done” anything but because he’s done so much—way, way too much in the eyes of his most conservative critics. With each victory, Obama’s opponents grow more frustrated, filling the airwaves and what passes for political discourse with fulminations about some supposed sin or another. Is it any wonder the guy is bleeding a bit? For his part, Obama resists the pugilistic impulse. To him, the merit of all these programs has been self-evident, and he has been the first to acknowledge that he has not always done all he could to explain them, sensibly and simply, to the American public.
Rachel Maddow sums up the President’s Accomplishments.
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