THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Congratulations, President Obama

Once again, positive news on the domestic front has awakened the crazies. Oh, I'm not suggesting that there shouldn't be debate regarding Obama's worthiness for the Nobel Peace Prize. I, like many, was stunned to learn that he'd been given the honor. He's certainly a well-intentioned man but the Nobel Peace Prize? Seems very premature. We still have no idea how he will fare in the long run. And thus far, even many level-headed Americans are waiting for the Obama we saw during the campaign to show up.

All that said, I find it maddening how quickly the wolves came out. Similar to any policy move that will actually benefit Americans and our standing in the world, the right-wing goes ballistic. You know, like with health care. Aside from industry insiders, health care reform, in some form, should be supported by 99% of the country. Like closing of Guantanamo Bay. Americans seriously fear that the terrorists shouldn't be housed on American soil due to their threat in a maximum security prison in Montana? Yikes. Equal rights for gays? When will some people (or in the case of many in the republican party, closeted people) stop fearing those different than them? Rescinding the tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans? Errr, that'd pay for health care right there.

Barack Obama has had a few wins since taking office in January, but he's a far cry from the monumental sacrifices in the name of peace and humanity from folks such as Martin Luther King Jr., Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. These selfless people fought for those in need and ultimately helped shape policy that gave voice or care to millions. Nevertheless, Barack Obama stepped into office in the wake of arguably the most disgraceful presidency in American history. Torture. WMDs. Ignoring climate change. Guantanamo. Civil liberties stripped. Tax cuts. Axis of Evil. My hand is starting to get tired. Obama's accomplishments may be minimal, but he has worked to reverse some of the most egregious policies this country has ever seen, and for that alone, he does deserve a lot of credit.

The major issues before the Obama presidency lie ahead and will ultimately serve as the basis for how he serves. The economy, health care reform, Iraq, Afghanistan, unemployment, climate change and a host of other issues will determine the Obama presidency. But as much as the right wants everyone to forget his predecessor's catastrophic mistakes, the Obama administration is forced to deal with them every minute of every day. And his efforts on many of these fronts should not be discounted.

Let's hope that this is just the beginning. Congratulations, Mr. President.

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