Huffington Post | By Tina Issa
There is one year left in Obama’s second term. He has left no doubt that he is one of the most consequential Presidents we have ever had. The 47-year-old Illinois Senator from the South Side of Chicago had his work cut out for him in January 2009. He walked into destruction and chaos that had previously only been seen in the Great Depression. Add to that two out-of-control wars, then throw in a very obstructive Congress and you have an impossible situation.
Obama more than rose to the occasion. He slayed it.
He is undersold and underappreciated by our media. They are obsessed with reporting on the shock jock fest going on in the GOP presidential campaign. The things that matter don’t get reported on, and if you don’t do hard research you won’t know what amazing things the president has done. Obama’s opponents across the aisle not only don’t acknowledge his accomplishments, but they blame the actions of his predecessor George W. Bush on him.
But you can’t keep a good man down.
I found hundreds of major achievements that this president has done, very little if anything written on them. Below are his legacies. Yes, there is more than one.
Here’s what some of that hope and change looks like:
Obama walks in with an economy that is categorized as the worst since the Great Depression, some categorized it as worse than that. An economy hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of jobs per month. By the end of his first year as president, Obama’s economy had created over 2 million jobs. Obama created more jobs in his first year than George W. Bush did in eight years. George W. Bush doubled unemployment, Obama cut it in half. Obama is leaving with the strongest economy in 15 years.
That’s hope going to change. Thanks Mr. President!
The Affordable Care Act is almost miraculous. Talk about achieving what no other president could. The uninsured rate was 18 percent before the ACA it is now at 11.4 percent. Quite a drop. 16.4 million have gained coverage. It is estimated that over 50,000 lives have been saved so far. The cost of this? Over $12 billion in hospital costs SAVED by Obamacare. Not only that, Federal healthcare spending has decreased by $600 billion Obamacare was implemented.
It saves lives, insures millions and cuts costs. Genius in motion.
And Joe Biden was right, it is a big f’ing deal!
Obama’s record on LBGT rights is just as impressive. Yet another legacy. Obama ended “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. After 17 years this discriminatory policy was done. He ended the legal defense of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). He passed a historic LBGT hate crimes prevention act, extending Federal hate crime laws to cover crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It was major change in policies, to the chagrin of many conservatives who fought him tooth and nail. The list of other protections given to the LBGT community by Obama goes on and it can be seen here.
“Every single American, gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, every single American deserves to be treated equally in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of our society. It’s a pretty simple proposition,” President Obama said.
Yes, they do Mr. President, and thanks for being the only president to not only see that but to do something about it.
Obama is a diplomat like no other president. This too will be his legacy. In the first six months of his presidency he visited more leaders around the world than the last five presidents. It seemed as though almost instantaneously Obama repaired a totally broken down foreign relations nightmare George W. Bush left behind.
He used this to his advantage in his dealings with Iran. The Iran peace deal was executed with political professionalism that will be looked back on in history as one of Obama’s greatest accomplishments. The GOP Congress fought for a war with Iran like nobody’s business. Complete with an unprecedented letter to Iran’s leaders, going directly over the president, looking to destroy diplomacy. But Iran answered back and humiliated the Congressmen calling their actions illegal.
When prompted by Tom Cotton to read the translation of the letter:
Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Zariff’s response once and for all knocked down the chip off of our Congressman’s shoulder:
Asked about the open letter of 47 US Senators to Iranian leaders, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, responded that “in our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy. It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history. This indicates that like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content.
Zarif expressed astonishment that some members of US Congress find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own President and administration. He pointed out that from reading the open letter, it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy.
Foreign Minister Zarif added that “I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfil the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations.
The Iranian Foreign Minister added that “Change of administration does not in any way relieve the next administration from international obligations undertaken by its predecessor in a possible agreement about Iran`s peaceful nuclear program.” He continued “I wish to enlighten the authors that if the next administration revokes any agreement with the stroke of a pen, as they boast, it will have simply committed a blatant violation of international law.
He emphasized that if the current negotiation with P5+1 result in a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, it will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the US, but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.
Zarif expressed the hope that his comments “may enrich the knowledge of the authors to recognize that according to international law, Congress may not modify the terms of the agreement at any time as they claim, and if Congress adopts any measure to impede its implementation, it will have committed a material breach of US obligations.
The Foreign Minister also informed the authors that majority of US international agreements in recent decades are in fact what the signatories describe as “mere executive agreements” and not treaties ratified by the Senate.
He reminded them that “their letter in fact undermines the credibility of thousands of such mere executive agreements that have been or will be entered into by the US with various other governments.
Zarif concluded by stating that “the Islamic Republic of Iran has entered these negotiations in good faith and with the political will to reach an agreement, and it is imperative for our counterparts to prove similar good faith and political will in order to make an agreement possible.”
This drumbeat to war also consisted of a visit to Congress by Netanyahu that also did not include the president. A very hard sell of war and disrespect of our Commander in Chief.
Obama did not let them win, despite these shots at trying to undermine his authority. He pressed on with the grit and determination that comes with the now familiar smile. His administration brokered a deal with Iran, averted war and made Iran Nuclear free. Without one loss of life.
That’s how it is done. This was the moment that elevated Obama to a diplomatic class of his own.
He didn’t stop there. Relations with Cuba have been restored. The American flag flies over an Embassy in Cuba for the first time in 54 years.
Several presidents couldn’t do what Obama did with class, dignity and most importantly without bombs and a war.
Yes, he did. That’s more hope and change. He made it look easy.
Yes, Obama is the president who fought for Veterans. If you doubt that, please read about all the Veteran’s Bills blocked by the GOP right here. History will show that Obama has done more for veterans than any president in modern times. And most of it was done by Executive Order because of an uncooperative Congress.
- By Executive Order — 19 Executive Orders — to expand mental healthcare and quality healthcare for veterans and their families
- By Executive Order — New online system for the VA
- By Executive Order — Initiative to end Veteran Homelessness
- Signs historic VA reform and restructuring Bill into law.
- Ended Bush Era Stop Loss which forces Soldiers to serve beyond their enlistment date
- Gave troops in Afghanistan/Iraq the body armor they didn’t have under Bush
- Ended 18 year photo/news ban coverage on returning fallen soldiers. Those who pay the ultimate price for their nation deserve the honor, respect and reflection. Obama gave that back to them.
- Expanded the Veterans Transition Assistance Program for the first time in 20 years
- Small Business help for veterans
- Green jobs initiatives for veterans
- Online tools to help veterans find jobs. Veteran unemployment is at 3.9 percent
The list goes on, and can be seen here. Obama since day one has worked to provide veterans with the care and benefits they deserve. This is historic, it is a legacy and it should be appreciated and recognized.
Obama rebuilt this nation, under the most difficult of political situations, with unprecedented obstruction. Hope and Change happened. His legacies are remarkable. They should be celebrated. He is loved by his contemporaries and supporters and envied by his opponents for his likability, charisma, finesse and ability to do what he sets out to. The GOP tried to take him down. They made it their goal, vowing to do everything to stop him from being reelected. They disrespected him and tried to undermine his authority.
They failed. He soared. He is the definition of a leader. He will be missed.
Thank you Mr. President.
Follow Tina Issa on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TinaIssa
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