In December 2014, I wrote up a list of “Lame Duck” President Obama’s accomplishments after Democrats lost the Senate to Republicans in the 2014 midterms. Liberals already know how awesome he is, and it validates us when facts back up our opinion of the president.
Some of these are directly Pres. Obama’s accomplishments, while some are progressive accomplishments that occurred during his presidency. History will reflect these as accomplishments that occurred under Pres. Obama’s watch, and rightly so: progress was made largely because of the progressive policies and hard work of his administration.
Here are some of the awesome things that have happened since the 2014 midterms.
- Relations with Cuba normalized. (SOURCE)
- Signed a climate deal with China. (SOURCE)
- Issued new EPA ozone rules limiting ozone emissions. (SOURCE)
- Announced support for net neutrality rules and pressured the FCC to act. (SOURCE)
- Issued new power plant regulations. (SOURCE)
- Issued an executive order on immigration, protecting millions of undocumented immigrants from being deported. (SOURCE)
- Got fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and seems poised to pass it. (SOURCE)
- Signed a nuclear deal with Iran on the basis of peace, not conflict. (SOURCE)
- Won yet another Supreme Court case keeping Obamacare intact. (SOURCE)
- Brought health care uninsured rate to a six-year low thanks to Obamacare. (SOURCE)
- Updated labor standards that will increase the number of managers who will now qualify for overtime pay. (SOURCE)
- Extended Social Security benefits to all married same-sex couples. (SOURCE)
- Grew jobs by 6,371,000 in fourth quarter 2014, making 2014 the best year for employment growth in 15 years. (SOURCE)
- Enjoyed the fruits of the hard work he and others put into Obamacare as enrollment numbers continue to exceed expectations. (SOURCE)
- Saw gas prices drop to $2 per gallon. What educated liberals know, of course, is that gas prices are driven largely by the market (not the president!), but the GOP would certainly blame him if gas were $4 per gallon, so we’re going to make sure this is on the list of accomplishments. (SOURCE)
- A continuously falling unemployment rate. (SOURCE)
- To be precise, the unemployment rate is below the historical median. (SOURCE)
- Percentage of long-term unemployed continues to drop below what it was when Obama took office. (SOURCE)
- Business establishment startups have increased by 20 percent. (SOURCE)
- Number of job openings higher in more than 14 years. (SOURCE)
- Number of businesses that shut down permanently are down by over 20 percent. (SOURCE)
- U.S. oil production up 94 percent. (SOURCE)
- Corporate profits continue to soar and smash all prior records. (SOURCE)
- Average weekly earnings for all workers up 2.6 percent since Obama took office. (SOURCE)
- Wind and solar power are up 252 percent. (SOURCE)
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average more than doubled during Obama’s tenure. (SOURCE)
- NASDAQ tripled. (SOURCE)
- Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was up 157 percent. (SOURCE)
- U.S. dependency on foreign oil is down to the lowest point since the 1970s. (SOURCE)
- Percentage of foreigners who view the U.S. favorably is up in all countries surveyed except Russia and Jordan. This includes Israel — up 3 points at a whopping 81 percent since last surveyed. (SOURCE)
- Made history by getting Loretta Lynch confirmed. Lynch is the first black woman Attorney General in U.S. History. (SOURCE)
- Got many of his other nominees confirmed, thanks to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) grandstanding. (SOURCE)
- Pushed for Western financial sanctions that did considerable damage to Vladimir Putin’s imploding Russian economy. (SOURCE)
- Saw the Fair Housing Act of 1968 upheld by the Supreme Court. (SOURCE)
- Extended federal benefits — including veterans spousal benefits — to all married same-sex couples. (SOURCE)
- Celebrated the long-fought victory for same-sex couples and their right to marry. (SOURCE)
- Made the GOP look as stupid as they are with this comment: “I’ve lost count of how many Republicans are running for this job. They’ve have enough for an actual Hunger Games,” Obama said. “That is an interesting bunch.” (SOURCE)
Perhaps Pres. Obama’s most important accomplishment is laying the groundwork for his successor. From Mother Jones:
“What’s particularly striking is how many of these major moves have been embraced by likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and have been opposed by the 2016 GOP presidential candidates.” In other words, Obama’s late-term actions will provide much of the contrast between the likely Democratic and Republican nominees next year.
That’s partly because Clinton is reconstituting the Obama coalition of millennials, minorities, and socially liberal, college educated whites, who are more likely to support (and care about) action to combat climate change, immigration reform, relaxing relations with Cuba, active government to expand health coverage, and so forth. It’s also partly because the Clinton camp genuinely sees these issue contrasts as useful to the broader mission of painting the GOP as trapped in the past. It’s possible the Clinton team thinks it can pull off a balancing act in which she signals she’d take the presidency in her own direction while vowing to make progress on Obama’s major initiatives and excoriating Republicans for wanting to re-litigate them and roll them back.
I’m proud of our president. He does NOT like to lose and he hasn’t let the disastrous midterm election slow him down. He’s cementing his legacy, and House and Senate republicans can’t stand in his way. He will go down as one of the greatest presidents in history.