Friday, June 3, 2016

Thanks, Obama?

Here’s an example of what drives me nuts about partisan politics.  A meme of sorts floating around on Facebook begins by mocking the misinformed right-wing fear from 2008 that Obama would “take away our guns,” then goes on to credit Obama for lowering the unemployment rate, providing insurance coverage for millions, & making marriage equality the law of the land.  All this strikes me as a bit of a non-sequitur, yes, but more importantly, disingenuous considering that 1) a Supreme Court ruling brought about marriage equality, not Obama, who, at best, offered only lip service & even then, only after a change of heart to match the shift in public sentiment; 2) the ACA (aka “a marketplace for healthcare”) leaves millions more uninsured as well, & the exorbitant deductibles on mandatory insurance--insurance, let’s not forget, doesn’t equal coverage, much less healthcare--make them impractical & uneconomical for many who are forced to pay for the policies nevertheless.  I won't mention that Obama deemed single-payer too disruptive to consider during the healthcare reform debacle--oh, wait! I just did; 3) unemployment rates were actually higher during Obama’s presidency than during the Bush administration.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the following unemployment rates:

2001
4.7
2002
5.8
2003
6.0
2004
5.5
2005
5.1
2006
4.6
2007
4.6
2008
5.8
2009
9.3
2010
9.6
2011
8.9
2012
8.1
2013
7.4
2014
6.2
2015
5.3

This isn’t to suggest that the policies of Dubya (average unemployment rate a little over 5%) were better than the policies adopted by Obama (average unemployment rate almost 8%), for unemployment figures are often misleading, but rather to point out that austerity measures, supported by the Republican Bush & continued & appended by the Democrat Obama, don’t benefit the working class.  The aforementioned meme ends on the gleeful note that “I still have my guns.”  It’s true—Obama signed zero legislation strengthening or enacting new gun control laws.  However, aren’t “liberals” supposed to favor tougher gun laws?  If so, why celebrate Obama’s inability to do anything about gun violence in America?  Isn’t that one of his failures as a president, after he promised after Sandy Hook to do something about it?  Before I’m falsely accused of being a Republican, let me assure you that I’m far from such a despicable, fucked-up thing.  My point is that we should hold all our representatives, regardless of party, to the same standards.

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