B+

Obama’s self-assessment for his first year in office.

What grade would you give the President?

I’d go with a B-. Obama’s been part of no royal fuck-ups, but overall has proved unimpressive. Not Carter unimpressive. Carter, in fact, was impressively bad. But Obama’s been middling. If the healthcare bill passes, he’ll be impressive one way or…in the Carter way. But that’s yet to be seen.

Many have been frustrated with Obama for staying his hand at some small things that would not have required great exertion but made great differences. This grievence is especially prominent among LGBTple and allies, myself included. However, having had time to think things over, I understand his continued enforcement of DODT. For the purpose of managing two wars, Obama has to establish a certain credibility with Pentagon brass so he has the credibility to disagree with them on occasion. Refusing to implement one of their policies–even a destructive, stupid, foot-shooting one like DODT–an easy way to undo that trust.

Maybe I’m harsh, maybe I’m generous. I lean towards the latter. Obama still, after all, isn’t pursuing any real justice in bringing torturers to justice, and maintained the practice of extraordinary rendition. But after Bush–after Iraq–it would have been refreshing to have a merely bad president.

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