Professor lists Obama accomplishments: Over 244 and growing

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Florida Professor Robert P. Watson who teaches American Studies at Lynn University has compiled a list of 244 accomplishments by President Obama since he took office despite fanatical Republican opposition aimed at wrecking his presidency.

The list does not include Obama's decision to halt the tar sands pipeline that would have endangered the Oglalla aquifer in pumping 700,000 gallons daily of the world's dirtiest oil from western Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas.

Prof. Watson, whose specialty is presidential history, began preparing his list back in Nov. 2009 to counter the lies and disinformation spread by the corporate media and the Republican right.

"The misinformation and venom that passes for political reporting and civic debate is beyond description," Dr. Watson wrote. "There is a need to set the record straight." His list then contained 90 plus achievements which he has now updated to 244.

He praised Obama for pushing through measures vital to the national interest not through a "heavy-handed or top down approach" but through efforts to "reach across the aisle, encourage vigorous debate, and utilize town halls and panels of experts in the policy-making process."

On the list (a few have been added by this reporter):

  • Overhauled the food safety system;
  • Approved the Lily Ledbetter "Equal Pay" for women rule;
  • Ended "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" discrimination in the military;
  • Passed the Hate Crimes bill in Congress;
  • Appointed two progressive women to the U.S. Supreme Court including the first Latina;
  • Pushed through the Affordable Health Care Act, outlawing denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, extending until age 26 health care coverage of children under parent's plans, steps toward "Medicare for All;"
  • Expanded the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) health care for children;
  • Pushed through a $789 economic stimulus bill that saved or created 3 million jobs and began task of repairing the nation's infrastructure;
  • Overhauled the credit card industry, making it more consumer friendly;
  • Established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and used a recess appointment to keep it on track in the face of GOP attempts to derail it;
  • Also outmaneuvered GOP in naming two members of the National Labor Relations Board blocked by the Republicans in their attempt to shut down the NLRB;
  • Won two extensions of the debt ceiling and extensions of unemployment compensation in the face of Republican threats to shut down the U.S. government;
  • Pulled troops out of Iraq and began draw down of troops in Afghanistan.

Since he prepared the list, it has been posted and reposted on the Internet hundreds of times with scores of bloggers commenting on it and adding to the list.

Writing in Washington Monthly's Political Animal column, blogger Steve Benen, points out that many of Obama's achievements have been won through painful concessions he was forced to make with intransigent Republican obstructionists on Capitol Hill.

The tendency has been to focus on his concessions while ignoring what he won in return. Benen cites the lame duck session of Congress in December 2010 following the disastrous elections a month earlier in which the Democrats lost majority control of the House.

There were predictions that nothing would be achieved in that lame duck, Benen said. "But for all the grief he's gotten over this, its worth keeping in mind that Obama got a helluva lot.... In the end, he got a Food Safety bill, passage of the START Treaty, a stimulus package, repeal of ‘don't ask/don't tell' and a First Responder bill" that provided health coverage for firefighters, police officers and other workers injured during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Incredibly, the Republicans tried to block it.

Obama was forced to make the same concession just before Christmas, yielding on his repeated demands for termination of a trillion in tax cuts for the rich in order to win approval of an increase in the debt ceiling and extension of jobless benefits for five million unemployed workers.

Yielding on tax cuts for the rich hurt those fighting for tax justice. But there is little doubt that those hard pressed, if not desperate unemployed workers, viewed this as an "accomplishment" and Obama deserves full credit.

Under a headline, "Who is Washington's Most Effective Politician?" Benen scoffs at those who pick Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell's job was "easy," Benen writes. He twisted Senate rules to make himself "Obstructionist in Chief." No, he says, Obama is the most skillful, "perhaps the most effective politician since LBJ" for winning that long list of victories in the face of unprecedented obstruction, lies, and misinformation.

Plenty of voters are now preparing lists for themselves of Obama's accomplishments as they work to insure he wins a second term next Nov. 6.

Photo: Whitehouse.gov

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  • im looking for anything pre 2009 related to international peace and diplomacy if anybody knows of anything?

    Posted by roy arrowood, 11/25/2013 11:41pm (11 months ago)

  • Lets not forget it took eight years of Republican control of the White House for the mess to be created. Did anyone really think President Obama could get us back to the days when Clinton was in office? NO!!!

    Posted by victor, 10/22/2012 2:40am (2 years ago)

  • Mr. Obama's accomplishments/achievements must somehow be made manifest. The personal attack on Mr. Obama from Day 1 is offensive to me and unconscionable. The Republican propaganda machine will go to any length to destroy his credibility, his integrity, land the man himself. It must not be permitted.

    Posted by Virginia Carlson, 10/20/2012 12:47pm (2 years ago)

  • If Obama had the cooperation of the Conservatives in Congress. I think he would have been able to achieve even more than he has already achieved.

    Obama has been a skillful politican steering a course through an obstructionist do nothing Congrees. He has faced critics that have assulted his integrity with lies and misinformation. In my life time I have never seen a President attacked the way President Obama has been.

    Posted by Thomas Pierce, 10/02/2012 2:25am (2 years ago)

  • I finally have to admit, we are effectively two countries within one border. Every one of the "accomplishments" listed is a serious negative in my book. Polar opposites.

    Posted by SteveInSD, 09/15/2012 1:20am (2 years ago)

  • A lot more of my Republicans friends have been telling me that, while they're nervous about this president because the debt is still high, they are going to vote for him anyway because they don't like Romney. I think if Romney didn't appear so phony to so many people he might have a better chance of winning. It would also be helpful if he'd show his taxes. It just doesn't make any sense that he doesn't release them and it's making him look sketchy.

    Posted by Steve, 09/09/2012 12:24am (2 years ago)

  • He's been in office almost four years. There are 365 days a year. So how many days did he accomplish something?

    I dare you. To go see "2016"

    Posted by MaRge, 09/06/2012 11:43pm (2 years ago)

  • There is a professor in Florida with the same name who has been donating to Democratic politicians for years.

    So if this is the same guy, the headline should read, "Democratic activist/donor lists Obama accomplishments..."


    http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=FL&last=watson&first=robert

    Posted by Checking the records, 08/27/2012 6:53pm (2 years ago)

  • The President is certainly not perfect. However his accomplishments surely warrant his re-election.

    There are none so blind who will not see. The Presidents detractors will never admit that he has done anything good.

    Posted by Ronald Humphrey, 08/27/2012 9:28am (2 years ago)

  • It shoud be obvious that President Obamas economic policies have failed this country:

    1. Raising the debt ceiling has had catastrophic consquences on the dollar's value. Nobody wants to invest in the dollar anymore. A weak dollar has destroyed the infrustructure and causing commodoties (oil) to skyrocket. These negative effects have caused Americans to have less discretionary spending income.

    2. What about the promises Obama made in his inaugual address? What has happened?

    3. Why do liberals insist on living in the double standard? The liberals took over congress in 2006, and nobody is pointing the finger at them. Liberals are ok with this. If Bush is at fault, then so are the liberals who took over in 2006 (by the way, that is when gas prices started to skyrocket out of control). We should not mention this, because the liberals are too inmature to handle it.

    4. Obama did not end the war in Iraq. The pullout was a pre-determined date before he took office.

    5. Obama's economic policies are a complete disaster

    6. The republicans in congress are to blame as well. If they can accept the blame, then Barry O should as well.

    7. None of the health BS will take place unless he is elected to a second term. Many states already have CHIP in place before he got the idea. States have a program called Medicaid. The last things the states need is for the feds to come in and screw all that up.

    ***These are just a few. Take a note die hard libs....I am a moderate...who believes those that make money, should be able to keep alot of it. For those of you out there that are living off the government dime, take a good look in the mirror...you may be what is wrong with America.

    By the way....social security is not a ponzi scheme as one conservative governor described it. Those on SSI have paid into it, and therefore deserve a return.

    Posted by gg, 08/26/2012 10:03pm (2 years ago)

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