Let me finish tonight with President Obama and what he’s done. I say the following because no one else, including the president, has. It is the hard structure of reality that in the current cacophony so often is overlooked. This president came into office facing the worst economic outlook since the 1930s. He took action, bold action, the action prescribed by the best economic minds - following the best thinking there is in economics “since” the 1930s. First, even before taking office, he backed up his predecessor in preventing a major collapse of the financial industry. Everyone involved said it “had” to be done to avoid catastrophe - the destruction of our country’s financial spine. Second, he took the action - again boldly - to powerfully offset the white-knuckle drop in consumer spending and business investment. If he hadn’t, no one - including his worst critics - would have any idea what would have befallen us. We can argue about the name it was given - the stimulus bill - but the creation of this great boost in economic demand for goods and services as critical break on what was widely seen as an economic free-fall. It’s easy to stand on the sidelines voting against everything, rooting against everything, and deride that bold action for the simple reason that nobody will ever remember if you had a seriously, reliably better alternative. Third, the president achieved what so many presidents from FDR on have said needed to be done: end this humiliating dependency of tens of millions of Americans on the emergency room as their only way of getting medical attention. He said our society had a responsibility to look out for its members’ health, that individuals should be required to do what they can personally to provide for their care. For the first time in our country’s history we are no longer the hold-out in the modern world against broadly-available, accessible health insurance. It is no time for political high-fiving, for bragging. We know that. The economy is down and people are hurting. But I wonder who’s good it does for the president and those who wish him well to overlook the simple, bold, impressive, gutsy facts of what he’s got done only now approaching two years in office. Someone needs to say it.
More Like This
Best of MSNBC
Matthews asks: Why overlook Obama's accomplishments?