Obama May Not Be the President Progressives Hoped For, But He’s Still Getting Lots Done

Steven Rosenfeld in AlterNet:

Barack_obama_cornel_westWhat a difference six years makes! When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, people were literally dancing in the streets—as was the case in Philadelphia. Today, as Obama appears to be finding new muscles to flex in office, a great many of his earliest enthusiasts, who have been disappointed for years, are wondering if the candidate they believed in is coming to life. “High office shouldn’t be about putting points on the electoral scoreboard, it should be about changing the country for the better,” wrote economist Paul Krugman in Rolling Stone,in a high-profile piece reconsidering and defending Obama's presidency. “Has Obama done that? Do his achievements look likely to endure? The answer to both questions is yes.” Krugman’s judgment came before Obama announced sweeping executive actions on immigration, protecting from deportation 40 percent of undocumented immigrants and single-handedly overturning five decades of anti-Cuba policy. Other positive assessments have ensued, causing speculation about a new and more powerful Obama.Obama seized the agenda, saw his initiative dominating the front pages and television news discussions and sent Republicans in Congress scrambling,” wrote the Washington Post’s Paul Waldman, about the Cuba initiative. “This could well be the template for much of the next two years.”

While many pundits are focusing on the future, a more pressing question arises. Have progressives been missing the boat on Obama’s accomplishments in office?

More here.