Halfway through his first (and, we hope, last) term, Barack Obama’s presidency has been a disaster: staggering deficits, the health care fiasco, a moribund economy. But being natural optimists, we try finding a silver lining in every dark cloud. Here are the Top 10 Good Things About Obama’s Presidency:
1. Gitmo remains open: He wants to close it, he tried to close it, but President Obama just can’t find a way to close the facility holding terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Because it was such a symbol of shame to the progressive Left, Obama signed an order on his first day in office to have Gitmo closed within a year. His failure to follow through proves that conservatives were right all along in the ugly battle the Left waged against a much-needed facility.
2. Helped GOP retake House: Who would have thought after the 2008 election that the Republican Party would come roaring back two years later, making historic gains while retaking the House? Conservatives have President Obama and the unpopularity of his agenda to thank for that unlikely happening.
3. Bush tax cuts extended: It must have been a bitter pill to swallow for a President who wants to spread the wealth around, but Obama agreed to a tax cut for the rich (his terminology), a cardinal sin in the liberal orthodoxy.
4. Rise of the Tea Party: Without Barack Obama, there would likely be no Tea Party. His big-government agenda inspired millions to become politically active and helped to reinvigorate the conservative movement in opposition to his policies.
5. Messiah myth punctured: Obama was presented to the people by the media as a Messiah figure. When his ineptitude in office became apparent, that myth was punctured. Let’s hope future generations will not fall for a slick-talking huckster pushing platitudes.
6. Iraq and Afghanistan were not abandoned: While there is much not to like about his war policy (like telling the enemy the withdrawal date), at least he didn’t cut and run as his campaign rhetoric indicated he might. He will try to take credit for Iraq edging closer to a functioning democracy, but that should go to President George W. Bush’s surge, which Obama opposed.
7. Progressives miffed: While conservatives believe Obama is leading America toward socialism, the progressive Left thinks he is a centrist and feels betrayed because he has failed to follow through on campaign promises that are so important to them, including a public health care option and taxing the rich (No. 3). Any time the progressives are disappointed, it’s something to cheer about.
8. Continues many of Bush’s anti-terror policies: Other than ending waterboarding, Obama’s anti-terror policy looks remarkably likes President Bush’s: indefinite detention of terrorists, renditions, Patriot Act surveillance, and unmanned Predators. During the 2008 campaign, Obama harshly attacked Bush for holding hard-core terrorists for years without charging them. Now his administration acknowledges that even if found not guilty in a trial, there are some detainees that can never be let loose.
9. Deportations of illegal immigrants: The Obama Administration’s misguided immigration policy includes attacking Arizona’s law, inadequate border security and pushing for amnesty. But at least the number of deportations of illegal immigrants has increased.
10. Rest and relaxation: His many vacations and golf games are a great help to husbands who need an excuse to hit the links or an employee wanting to take some days off. They can say they are following the example of the President of the United States. Besides, the more time he is on the golf course, the less time he has to mess things up.