‘true to his word’

Newsweek: Note to critics: Read (or reread) his books. Obama is doing just what he said he would do.


….the president’s critics on the right deride him as a radical socialist seething with anti-American rage….to the left, Obama is a tragic failure who squandered his chance for dramatic change…. even at odds with his own principles….

….yet Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do. Perhaps the critics should read—or reread—the president’s own books.…. almost everything you need to know about Obama is there on the printed page…

….in contrast to the charges coming now from right and left, Obama is neither a rigid ideologue nor a spineless wimp. The Obama who wrote Dreams and Audacity stands in a long tradition of American reform, wary of absolutes and universals, and committed to a Christian tradition that prizes humility and social service over dogmatic statements of unbending principle…..

…throughout his career, Obama has refused to demonize his opponents. Instead, he has sought them out and listened to them. He has tried to understand how they think and why they see the world as they do. His mother encouraged this sense of empathy ….since January 2009, Obama has watched his efforts at reconciliation, experimentation, and consensus-building bounce off the hard surfaces of political self-interest and entrenched partisanship, but there is no reason to think he will abandon that strategy now….

…the shrill tone of Obama’s critics makes reading his books especially illuminating today. In Audacity, Obama explained why, because of our national traditions, the United States would never have a single-payer health-care system and would have to find a distinctively American hybrid relying on existing insurance plans. That’s what we have now. He explained why, although he favors regulation to protect against abuses, he rules out socialism and remains firmly committed to a market economy. His financial reforms follow that pattern….

…after almost two years as president, Obama has failed to satisfy the left for the same reason that he has antagonized the right. He does not share their self-righteous certainty. Neither his personal restraint nor the achievements of his administration should surprise anyone who has read his books….

…in November 2010, President Obama remains the man who wrote Dreams and Audacity, a resolute champion of moderation, experimentation, and deliberative, nondogmatic democracy. It’s just that the distorting mirrors of political commentary in America’s fun house can make it hard to recognize him….

Full article here (worth reading every word, it’s brilliant)

20 Responses to “‘true to his word’”

  1. 1 Tracy
    November 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Kloppenberg’s book, Reading Obama, is an excellent elaboration on the points in this article. He portrays him as a pragmatic progressive and situates him in a long American tradition of progressive thinkers. He highlights the president’s intellectual and moral integrity. A good read.

    • 2 Blackwaterdog
      November 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      Yep. He also suggest that there were very few such presidents In history, and if I rremember correctly – none in the last 50 years.

  2. November 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Really great article. Thanks for posting it Chipsticks.

    • 4 Hachikō
      November 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      Indeed. This especially resonated with me (and I see it did with Chipsticks as well): “He does not share their self-righteous certainty.”

  3. 5 graciouslady
    November 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    The Audacity of Hope is a book written by a Thinker. It is a book you just can’t rush through like a romance novel. It must be read carefully read and with an open mind as to how this man “Thinks”. There’s that word again “Think” which a lot of people in this country don’t know how to do. I doubt some Congress members, the average Teabagger, your average gun-toting militia would be able to understand this book. Our president is brilliant, articulate, genuine and “thinks” way above his critics. The operative word here is “Think” and “Think” for yourself.

    • 6 EDP4BHO
      November 18, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      So glad to know that you see him the way I do. A thinker. Yes, that word is alien to a majority of this nation. Just a look at the programming on TV lets you know where it is. Shame. God bless President Obama, a fine man indeed. And I periodically re-read his books, so I feel I understand him better than my circle of acquaintances. Therefore, I stand up to anyone who tries to berate him or his policies. They just don’t know.

  4. 7 Kelly
    November 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Absolutely. His books are the main factors that keep me optimistic because he has not wavered from anything he said way back then. Even his inauguration speech was pragmatic and never rhetoric. Shame that the one thing he asked the American people was to understand that change is not easy, and instead of standing with him “they” try to use the difficulty of change against him.

    *ie DADT, he stated it would be done with in his first term and instead of holding the blockers of change who always says NO accountable, gays, liberals, progressives and naysayers hate on the President. The one trying to make things better. Nobody cares that it has passed through the Senate already, which is a huge step. Did they lash out against Mr. Clinton when he made that dumb homophobic law, I don’t think so. Anyways I stand with this man forever.

    • 8 EDP4BHO
      November 18, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      I stand right along with you Kelly, in defiance of all the naysayers. I love my president because he is smart, honest, decent, persistent, kind, strong…..the list goes on.

  5. 9 Blackwaterdog
    November 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Everyone should read the book this guy just published: “Reading Obama”. It’s spectacular. You’ll be shocked by how far ahead of the country this president is. Amazingly evolved human being.

    • November 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm

      Just bought it on your recommendation BWD, it’s on my iPad, I start reading it tonight 😉 Thank you!

    • 11 ari
      November 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm

      i’m going out to buy it 2morrow, also with your reccomendation.

    • 12 Sue in Minnesota
      November 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      I am currently reading it, and I agree….President Obama is a very evolved human being, and will not yield to those who are constantly calling on him to be something other than who and what he is. I truly believe that we are in the hands of greatness….on the level of a Ghandi, or Martin Luther King Jr. As individuals, and collectively as Americans, we have much to learn by his examples, and much to gain by his leadership.
      God keep him strong.

    • 14 graciouslady
      November 19, 2010 at 1:55 am

      I just read the teaser they give you: a couple of chapters on Amazon.com. I will buy it. The man who writes this book is amazing. You are correct, Our President’s intellect is so far beyond the those unhinged Americans, until it ceases to be funny. Just reading the author’s analyses of who President Obama is gives you a snapshot of where this man is, intellectually. Our country is not at all ready for such a man. I think this is why there is such a divide in this country right now. America has long since been without this level of depth in a president. Former President Clinton was a Rhodes scholar but he is morally depraved. (I love and appreciated former President Clinton.)

      HP has a headline: re: half a Governor Sarah Palin trashing Mrs. Obama. Mrs. Palin is clueless and she might even become president. I just mentioned the level of intelligence of the masses have in this country. All that ignorance out there, she probably can be elected and it will not be because she knows anything, if she is elected, then what, duh?

      President Obama is right up there with Lincoln, and John Adams or the John Paine’s, “The Rights of Man” or Aristotle’s “Politics * Poetics” or a Machiavelli, the thinkers.

  6. 15 Thro67
    November 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I am constantly asking my family “who is this man”? Because he’s so extraordinary, that it’s hard to understand how he endures, when many of us are pulling out our hair, howling at the moon, and denouncing all of mankind on a weekly basis. He’s truly remarkable.

  7. 16 Anonymous
    November 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    So true. The Audacity of Hope, in particular, lays out pretty much everything Obama has done as president. Also his philosophy about bipartisanship.

  8. 17 Hachikō
    November 18, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    That’s always been my message to people complaining about the President: go read his books. In fact, I tell them they should have read his books before voting for him. If they had, they wouldn’t be complaining now.

  9. 19 Eleroy
    November 18, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    President Obama has not only been consistent, but completely true to his word and kept his promise to the American people.

    Along with his commitment and promise to do everything in his power to make ours a greater and better nation, he also cautioned that it would be difficult, met with great resistance and would be slow and painful.

    It appears that many people skipped right over these cautions and went straight to the I demand magic and miracles right now!!!

    President Obama ROCKS!!! This is a man to honor and behold!!!

  10. 20 Ruth
    November 19, 2010 at 11:44 am

    He is a good man indeed. Tuff as nails but soft as a bear.

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