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The Affordable Care Act is not much of an “accomplishment”

The NYTimes says that Michelle Obama is going to give the first significant (I won’t call it major) speech of the convention tonight. In it, she will be giving her husband’s version of his performance evaluation.  I guess David Axelrod thinks this is smart because any attack on Obama’s record will look like an attack on Michelle.

Let’s just get that out of the way.  I don’t give a rat’s ass what Michelle is wearing.  I can’t stand her accent where it sounds like she has a thick glob of postnasal ooze in the back of her nasal cavity that she has to stopper off with a kegelesque constriction of her uvula.  Michelle Obama chose to give working women the finger when she voluntarily assumed the mantle of stay at home mommy and wife who doesn’t really have an opinion about anything because someone *might* accuse her of being angry, thereby reinforcing the negative cultural stereotypes that keep women from succeeding in the workplace.  No, I judge her by the standards of my local upper middle class suburban environment.  Personally, I find women like her booooooooring as all get out.  That’s as far as my personal feelings for Michelle go.  She has mass and she takes up space and that’s about it.

Now, let’s get on to her husband’s “accomplishments”.

If I were Obama and were to put together a set of SMART goals for my performance evaluation and rate them, it would go something like this (with most important goals at the top):

In the next four years I will:

Goal                                                                          Timeframe                            Accomplished

1.) Improve the economy

– Tighten regulations on the finance industry      2010                                           Partial

– Account for TARP funds                                           2009-2012                               No

– Let Bush Tax Cuts expire                                          2010                                          No

– Prosecute bankers who threaten economy          2010                                           No

– Implement fiscal stimulus plan                              2009                                           Partial (Inadequate)

– Implement jobs program                                          2009                                            No

– Break up dangerously underfunded banks          2010                                             No

– Implement HOLC for Homeowners                     2009                                            No

(Comments: all of the above would have helped to jumpstart the economy and keep funding to social security at a manageable level, while replenishing treasury through tax revenue.)

2.) Health Care Reform

– Launch study of best practices                                2009                                             No

– Propose model based on study                                2009                                              No

– Work with providers to reduce costs                     2009                                             No

– Propose public option for ins co cooperation      2009                                           No

– Prohibit rescission for pre-existing conditions   2009                                            Yes

– Implement individual mandate                               2014                                      Pending

– Subsidize unemployed health care                  2009-2011                                  Finished

– Assure abortion and contraceptive coverage       2009                                      No, partial

3.) End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by 2012

– Begin drawdown of troops in Iraq                       2009                                           Unclear

– Begin drawdown of troops in Afghanistan       2009                                           Unclear

(Comments: Like I said, my brother is serving in Afghanistan and he’s been there a year *starting* in 2011, sooooo, I’d really have to say no to the second item.)

4.) Protect Civil Liberties

– Reinstitute Habeas Corpus                                   2009                                              No

– Close Gitmo                                                               2010                                              No

– Bring enemy combatants to trial                         2010                                             No

– Dismantle DHS                                                       2009                                              No

– Remove DADT                                                         2009                                              2010, 2011

5.) Promote equality and non-discrimination

– Protect gay families from financial hardship  2012                                              No

– Protect LGBT individuals from discrimination 2009-2012                               Mixed

– Lift non-discrimination clause in gov contracts 2012                                         No

– Eliminate the Bush Conscience Rule                 2009                                            Partially

– Protect children of illegal immigrants              2009                                             Unclear

– Defend abortion rights                                          2009-2012                                  No

– Defend Reproductive rights                                 2009-2012                                   Partially

– Ensure non hostile work env for women         2009-2012                                   No

– Promote the Equal Rights Amendment            2009-2012                                   No

(Comments: most of these items were not on his list anyway and female staffers report that the Obama White House should be considered a hostile work environment for women.)

6.) Move towards energy independence

No real plans here

7.) Improve public infrastructure (no real plans)

– Propose public transportation systems         2009-2012

– Encourage use of bicycling where possible      ???

– Invest in scientific research and public access 2009-2012                                Unclear

As Lambert says, “You can’t buff a turd”.  The people scoring this evaluation are not going to listen to excuses.  You wanna know why??  It’s because they’ve been subjected to this procedure at their own workplaces and they know that if you did a crappy job, it will be hard to hide it.  And if management wants to get rid of you, you could do everything right and still not escape the ax.  Of course, if you are a schmoozer who has been knifing your more productive colleagues and kissing the ass of the bonus class, you get a promotion.

That’s just the way it is.  Michelle could be tending her garden tonight for all of the difference her speech will make.

And Krugman’s argument that it could have been worse ignores the fact that half of the party was dragged, kicking and screaming to vote for a guy we didn’t think had the experience to handle the tidal wave of really bad mojo that was heading our way. We turned out to be right. We wanted the OTHER candidate.  You know, the one who did her homework and had all kinds of practical experience and a built in presidential mentor?

But instead of apologizing for screwing up and promising to address our problems, the  Democrats are saying, “Quitcherbitchin’, it could have been worse”. That is not a winning message to the 18000000 of us who are convinced that it could have been a lot better and that Barack Obama is not the best candidate the Democrats could be fielding right now.

The correct metaphor is the one that Katiebird came up with this morning.  The arsonists paid off the fire department to let the building burn to the ground.  They’re going to build something completely different in its place.