According to Congressional Quarterly, in terms of winning Congressional votes on issues he took a stand on, Obama had the most successful Presidential first year in generations (based upon more than five decades of CQ keeping records).
“His success was 96.7 percent on all the votes where we said he had a clear position in both the House and the Senate. That’s an extraordinary number,” Cranford says.
The previous high scores were held by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, with 93 percent, and Dwight Eisenhower, who scored 89 percent in 1953. Cranford notes that George W. Bush’s score hit the high 80s in 2001, the year of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But Obama surpassed them all, Cranford says.
While the road gets tougher moving forward (due to members of Congress preparing for their own campaigns/re-election efforts in the 2010 mid-terms and the likely subsequent loss of seats in both House and Senate), Obama has made his first year historic by yet another measure.
Speaking of historic measures, Obama has made clear that he wants the repeal of DADT to be included in the 2010 defense authorization bill. Obama made the repeal of DADT a part of his 2008 campaign, and many have decried his lack of action on the issue since his election. The repeal would make great strides towards furthering equality and would also be another ‘promise kept’ from the campaign trail. There is surely to be heated debate on the repeal’s inclusion in the defense authorization bill, but I am hopeful that we will soon see DADT entering text books as an unfortunate phase in our military history.
Another campaign promise that appears to soon be fulfilled is the passage of Health Care Reform. While there are still battles to be fought till final passage, all hopes are that it will be signed, sealed and delivered to Obama’s desk by the time of his State of the Union Speech. For all the gnashing of teeth that ‘Obamacare’ goes too far that is so prominently touted by our ‘out for ratings’ media, the latest poll on the subject shows that the majority of Americans don’t think the bill goes far enough. When it comes to regulating health insurance companies, only 27% felt it “goes too far,” while 43% felt it goes “not far enough.” Eighteen percent were as Goldilocks and found it to be “just right.”
I don’t know, honestly, how much sway such a poll has at this late hour..but, I would hope that those seated at the negotiations table pay heed. At this point, no matter what gets passed, it is only the foundation of what Health Care will be in this country as we move forward. Even though it is just the foundation, the stronger we can make it now, the easier the fight to build upon it in the future. Count me as one who feels that HCR, as we are about to pass it, is greatly flawed….however, it is infinitely better than doing nothing at all. So, get the bloody thing passed, and we can begin working towards improving upon it.
Something else that caught my eye today was a seemingly little noted occurrence in CA. For the first time in U.S history a legislative committee voted on a proposal to make marijuana taxed and regulated. Yup, a legislative vote to legalize marijuana after 96 years of ‘prohibition’. Awesome. Better yet….it passed.
Now, it was just a vote by the California Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, and it is likely to die before being brought to a full Assembly vote (there is a Friday deadline for it to be voted on by the Health Committee before it can proceed further), but it is a first step. A rather large one, imo.
This week also saw NJ become the 14th state to legalize Medical marijuana. They have taken the most strict approach to it, allowing prescription only for terminal illness, but they add themselves to a list that is sure to grow.
It truly is no longer a question of ‘if’ the U.S. will legalize marijuana, but of ‘when.’
Last but not least, I bring you the latest from the Wingnut Brigade. In what is being touted as the ‘
Teabagger’s Tea Party’s Anthem,’ Ray Stevens (yeah, that dude that sings about a squirrel on late night infomercials) croons about the ills of Obamacare and the ‘uprising’ of ‘the people’ (thankfully, ‘the people’ he seems to be on about are surprisingly few in number, and not so surprisingly high in ignorance). For your viewing pleasure: