In a pointed essay about how wrong some libertarian bloggers masquerading as progressives can be, Booman Tribune (@booMan23) outlines a very good summary of just  some of the major progressive achievements of the Obama adminstration.  Despite the incessant and destructive doom and gloom whining of a professional left that profits from all the hysteria they manufacture, and the general ineffectualness of a progressive movement that now seems to have been far more interested in bumper sticker slogans that made them feel good,rather than in the long,hard slog we needed to make real political change, the Obama administration has gotten far more accomplished than any of these do-nothing idealogues really want you to know about.  

Why it that? Because the more you know, the more likely you are to vote.  And that means Obama would easily win reelection, and that's just something they cannot stomach because he's not "just not progressive enough" to suit their suspiciously juvenile expectations or tastes.

Whether they actually feel that way, as so many irrelevant socialists, anarchists, and nihlists have always felt in our nation's history, or they are being well-paid by the right wing to appear as if they feel that way, is really irrelevant in the current shadow of an impending Right wing takeover of the White House and Senate. Their glum, disappointed, despiriting voices and screeds deface the pages of countless newspaper, broadcast, and blogging  accounts so often, the apathy and despair in the electorate is palpable, and probably far greater than is being reflected in Obama's low approval numbers.  

Those numbers always take a plunge after the latest "Caver in Chief" memes get planted by the Hamshers, Greenwalds, Uygurs, Schultzes, Moores, Ratigans, Daous, and the rest of the perpetually petulant rich people gambling with America's future so they can look important to the 7% of democrats who will never be happy with any Democratic president.  These memes get traction not because they are true, but because these people get more traction in the main stream media than do all the other voices who actually lay out the facts without all the ruinously simplistic distortions and polemical firebombs designed to get them high-fives from their friends and sympathetic media hosts, and generally advance their career profiles and products, no matter how much they posture otherwise. Whether they really want to destroy the Obama presidency is secondary to the fact that they actually are.  So why are they so culturally suicidal with so much at risk for our society?  Ask them. They will spin you up a nice lie, replete with just enough pseudo-progressive blither blather that you might actually confuse them with sincere progressives.  They're not.

But enough preamble. Here is Booman's list, mostly reformatted and marginally reworded to suit this purpose, and with just enough of his lead-in retained to provide some context:

On many of the issues that most concern [Glenn] Greenwald, the two parties are frighteningly alike. How do we get these assholes to stop the insane War on Drugs? How can we ever shrink the Pentagon down to a reasonable size? Is there any end to the expansion of the surveillance state? It seems like neither party has any interest in budging on any of these questions, and it's appalling.

But how about the areas where they do differ?

  • Obama has overhauled the food safety system
  • Advanced women's rights in the work place
  • Ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) in our military
  • Stopped defending DOMA in court.
  • Passed the Hate Crimes bill.
  • Appointed two pro-choice women to the Supreme Court.
  • Expanded access to medical care and provided subsidies for people who can't afford it.
  • Expanded the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Fixed the preexisting conditions travesty [and rescissions] in health insurance.
  • Invested in clean energy.
  • Overhauled the credit card industry, making it much more consumer-friendly.
  • While Dodd-Frank bill was weak in many respects, it was still an extremely worthwhile start at re-regulating the financial sector.
  • He created a Elizabeth Warren's dream agency: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • He's done a lot for veterans
  • He got help for people whose health was injured during the clean-up after the 9/11 attacks. 

None of these things were priorities for Republicans. They actively opposed, directly or indirectly through obstruction, every single item on this list. In fact, they succeeded in killing a Cap & Trade bill in the Senate after it had passed through the House.

All of these things are improvements that would not have occurred under a McCain-Palin administration. Moreover, a McCain-Palin administration would have moved in the other direction on most of these issues, or come up with even worse compromises.

Booman then concludes with:

The president has achieved a tremendous amount under the circumstances. And it matters greatly that he not be replaced by Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, or Michele Bachmann. Or even Ron Paul.

Thank you, Boo. It needed to be said. 

Moreover, it needs to be repeated to everyone. Please use the Retweet button below and help do that. Thanks.

Note:  :Last  year, a team I assembled produced a far more extensive list and published it at  We are about to start updating it to include some of what can be found above, and certainly all of what is found in Milt Shook's much later effort, which you can read here:



We're a Crowd making a list

As the midterm elections approach, there is a need for a list of Obama Achievements that progressives can use for voter and media education efforts. The administration has had far more significant accomplishments than the media have given much notice to, and better information can and will help to motivate and educate voters.

Media perception of the administration has been obscured by an unprecedented number of national disasters and crises, all of which were inherited from the prior administration, or related to 30 years of conservative Republican policy decisions. Despite a hyper-partisan and nearly dysfunctional political climate in one of the most critical time-lines in our history, the administration has still forged an impressive record of positive and progressive legislation and direction. 

This project will document those achievements in a crowd-sourced public list built solely with volunteer collaborators.  It will be authoritative, and not just limited to only  laws and executive orders. It will also include the initiatives and intangible gains the administration has made in changing the tone, substance, and effectiveness of the presidency on behalf of all the American People, and not just the richest 1%.

The list will assist politicians, analysts, strategists, campaign mangers, GOTV workers, and volunteers in their many efforts from now until the November elections—and beyond to 2012. With strong wins in an always challenging midterm, we can work to move the Obama administration toward a more productive second half that isn't crippled by a contentious Republican majority in the house.

How you can help

Give us just 10 minutes a week for the next month, making just one edit (or citation source) for just one entry. This alone is a huge help. And if 20 others do one or more, we get the work down quickly, and with an economy of effort for everyone (except the project admins).

Just visit the public landing page here:

Once you're granted access to the Google group  (you'll be notified by email) to both the Wiki site and our authoring document (on GoogleDocs), you can help anywhere you choose.


List example

The actual list (in a Google document) is not yet public, but here's a preview of a single category from it. Notice we try to keep it simple and readable, with any sources appended via short, simple Ref links. In this example, many entries still need rewriting, and the all important source. That's were you come in.

     Banking & Financial Reform

  1. Troubled Asset Relief Plan (TARP) —  a program to purchase assets and equity from financial institutions to strengthen its financial sector. Ref
     *  Banks have already repaid 75% of Federal TARP Loans (a.k.a. Bailout), bringing cost down to only $89 billion by April, 2010   Ref
  2. Closed offshore tax safe havens Ref
  3. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals
  4. Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back
  5. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry's predatory practices



* A primary source is a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written, created or otherwise produced during the time under study. Primary sources offer an inside view of a particular event. In this case, a good primary source would be a speech written by Obama or a piece of legislation. By traditional definition, newspaper articles if written at the time of study are considered primary sources, but for our purposes they are 2nd choice sources because they are not from the horse's mouth so-to-speak. Even so, they are acceptable here.  In many cases, citing both types of Ref is ideal, but never required.