Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Little Premature

"Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country."

It was less for those words spoken by President George W. Bush on 5/1/03 than for the huge banner reading "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED," which formed a backdrop for his statement, that Mr. Bush has been ridiculed for several years. Since then, 4,227 Americans have died in Iraq in what the Pentagon refers to as "post-combat ops." Still the war goes on, only one of many reasons to have considered Bush 43 a failed President.

But on that day in 2003- more than two years after he took office- Mr. Bush posed as a successful president with a shot at even greatness. His words that day stand as testimony to the foolishness of evaluating a presidency after so brief a time.

But not to famous liberal/progressive blogger Matt Yglesias, currently at Think Progress. In a post with the unintentionally ironic heading "Perspective," Yglesias wrote at 11:01 p.m., approximately 17 minutes after the House of Representatives approved health care reform

Now that it’s done, Barack Obama will go down in history as one of America’s finest presidents. It’s always possible of course that, like LBJ, he’ll get involved in some unrelated fiasco that mars his reputation. But fundamentally, he’s reshaped the policy landscape in a way that no progressive politician has done in decades.

Under the circumstances, it’s in some ways crazy to realize the scope of things still on the congress’ plate. The House has already passed major legislation dealing with climate change and financial regulation, and the president is also committed to significant reform of K-12 education and the immigration system.

Barack Obama has served little more than a year of what will be at least a 48-month presidency. We have little idea, at this stage, of the impact of health care reform. And then there are those pesky little issues of campaign finance, labor relations, financial industry reform, energy policy, response to climate change, the economy, defense policy, national security and civil liberties, foreign policy, and so many others.

Yet, Matt Yglesias knows Barack Obama "will go down in history as one of America's finest presidents." This is little different than the remarks of the guy who claims President Obama "is an unmitigated disaster no matter which way you slice it" and is "the most pro-abortion president in the history of the country.... a guy who believes in infanticide."

Barack Obama may become a great president, though it makes little sense so to claim for, oh, approximately 44 months. Alas, 44 months will not be long enough to remove Matt Yglesias' distinction as one of the most foolish bloggers in America's history.

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