Bill Maher On Obama’s Legacy

“You sometimes hear people, even Democrats, say, ‘I’m tired of Obama because he didn’t live up to his promises.’ I say, ‘Are you sure about that? Maybe they just didn’t cover it on TMZ.’ Because Obama is slowly going down the list: Cuba, gay marriage and, I’m hoping before he leaves, pot. He’s trying to finish strong. Obama should be a better bragger. He needs to start acting like he won the last election instead of lost it. If the Republicans had his record, they’d be riding it like a fuckin’ wild bronco into the 2016 election. Their attitude would be, ‘Why even have an election? We’ve tripled the stock market, unemployment is below six percent, 10 million more people have health insurance, the auto industry is back on its feet.’ Oh, and he averted a depression.” – Bill Maher, speaking to Playboy Magazine.

  • TommyTune

    All true, but Obama’s style isn’t to strut – that was George W. Bush’s style, and as they say in Texas, that act was all hat and no cattle. Obama will be remembered as a great president because he accomplished great things despite unprecedented obstructionism. He doesn’t need to strut like Maher wants him to and he knows it – because he has style – one more reason I voted for him, and I have never regretted my vote. Obama follows Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” He does that beautifully.

    • oikos
      • TommyTune

        Good link! I’m going to bookmark that one.

    • cleos_mom

      I agree with Maher; modesty doesn’t have a place in politics when you have such vicious enemies, be it called style or anything else. For that matter, neither does wasting most of a first term trying to compromise and be reasonable with people who will have none of it. If more Democrats thought their style was to strut last fall, the results would have been different; instead they acted as if Obama had lost the election two years before; one wouldn’t even admit she voted for him.

      • TommyTune

        You’re conflating two completely different things. It was the job of the Democrats running for Congress to trumpet Democratic successes and run on them rather than away from them. The fact that they chose the latter approach wasn’t Obama’s fault, that was their fault. Give credit where it’s due and place the blame where it belongs.

        • Joseph Miceli

          I agree a bit, though, with Cleos_Mom. Obama really should be trumpeting his own successes. The bully pulpit is a powerful tool that he simply does not use enough. We saw it all through his presidency. F.D.R. knew how to use it to galvanize the nation. President Obama, who I am proud of and think is possibly one of the 5 best Presidents of this nation, would have presided over a more Democratic Congress if he had motivated the public by turning the nation’s ire on Republicans and marginalized them. He really did do too much appeasement for the first six years.

    • Gerry Fisher

      Well said. I’ve thought, “I can’t wait to see how history tells the story of this president” for both W. Bush and Obama, for very different reasons.

      • TommyTune

        History is written by the victors, so who knows what will be recorded for posterity.

    • Queequeg

      He does. He has been the best president of my lifetime. I don’t advocate bragging, but rather, pointing out his accomplishments to the public. I think that would help to get other Democrats elected.

    • GarySFBCN

      Presidents are remembered and measured by their accomplishments and failures, period. Those of us who are alive to witness the “obstructionism” will indeed remember it, but, outside of history junkies, nobody in the future will consider it when discussing Obama and his successes.

      Nixon’s failures is what we remember the most. But I think that apart from his failures, he accomplished more than Obama, and most of it was due to a Democratic congress.

      • Soren456

        “. . . due to a Democratic congress” is exactly right.

        Nixon’s “accomplishments,” every one of which he resisted (except China), were blunted, watered-down and weakened versions of much stronger measures created in Congress. Nixon recognized their inevitability; he did what he could to cripple them, but he couldn’t outright kill them.

        Further, Nixon’s “failures” were purely, exactly the essence of Nixon himself, and visible from day one of his miserable career. The “accomplishments” were the blips on the scope; the dishonesty was the constant.

        • GarySFBCN

          I believe that Nixon championed the American Indian Self Determination act, no?

          But my point remains – 50 years from now, people will see the EPA, OSHA, the Clean Air Act, China, the lunar landing, the war on cancer etc, and not really care that it was congress that pushed most of these things.

          Hopefully they will also see prolonging the war to win an election and the Watergate scandal as well.

          • Soren456

            Without notes, so purely from memory (and possibly wrong), Nixon mentioned self-determination favorably in an early State of the Union or in a message to Congress—indication that he wouldn’t oppose legislation already under way.

            Nixon had resigned by the time the legislation passed, and Ford signed it.

            (But remember that 20 years earlier, the Eisenhower/Nixon administration had carried out the termination policies, an opposite to self-determination. Nixon was in both camps.)

            I think that 50 years on, Nixon will be remembered—quite deservedly—for Watergate and his resignation. And for those things alone. The peace talks treason . . . I don’t know. If it’s not in the public mind by now, it’s not likely to be.

            Unlike Roosevelt’s permanent attachment to so many enduring policies and agencies in the public mind and folklore, Nixon’s attachment to “good” things is weak or plain unknown. Even the lunar landing is far more associated with Kennedy.

            So I don’t agree that EPA et al. will form much of Nixon’s public legacy—except perhaps as a sort of mistaken “if only” counterpoint to the scandals.

            But those are my opinions only. You may be right.

  • Gustav2

    All domestic issues and why the Republicans are messing with Foreign Policy now.

    • Joseph Miceli

      “Messing with” like a kid in a puddle, splashing mud everywhere.
      Hillary has foreign policy cred out the wazoo. Republitards are extremely vulnerable there.

      • bill weber

        She’s been wrong on pretty much every foreign issue for 20 years.

        • Joseph Miceli

          Thank you for your opinion.

  • bill weber

    1) Don’t forget killing lots of Muslims. Maher loves that.

    2) In 2008, Obama promised to protect whistleblowers and protect civil liberties. Well….

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/jun/13/barack-obama-surveillance-then-and-now/

    3) The health of the stock market doesn’t do SHIT for most people, especially POOR people.

    I could go on, but won’t.

    • TommyTune

      I could go on, but won’t.

      Good.

      • friendlynerd

        Usually that means “I’m out of things to go on about.”

        • bill weber

          It doesn’t. I feel bad enough wasting any posts on an O-bot echo chamber.

          Great comeback on civil liberties and whistleblowers too!

      • bill weber

        ooooooh sick burn, you old fossil

        • TommyTune

          That would be “Mr. Old Fossil” to you.

    • Todd20036

      3) The health of the stock market doesn’t do shit for most people who don’t have 401(k) plans to fund their retirement or IRAs to fund the same or college funds or other personal funds.
      Fixed it for you. No charge.

      • bill weber

        Wow, that is true Entitled Fag Elitism at its best. Congratulations. Could you have added “Fuck you, I’ve got mine”?

        I have a 401(k). I had to shave it down to the minimum contrib so I can fucking EAT.

    • Guest

      “I could go on, but I won’t”.

      Happy to see there’s atleast one idiot who knows when to shut the fuck up! Too bad the ones on facebook don’t!

    • Polterguest

      Go on. Some people need a reminder. Or an education.

    • Goodboy

      That’s quite the leap. Mahre has never encouraged violence. Only the opposite by speaking the truth.

  • robirob

    “If the Republicans had his record, they’d be riding it like a fuckin’ wild bronco into the 2016 election. ”

    The Republican Party would never work so hard for what Obama worked for. The only things the Republican Party would be proud of: Cutting social programs, giving all funds to the military, more war for oil, limiting women’s and minorities’ rights, expanding Christian “deeply held belief” rights, giving more power to the lobby system, giving their donors and supporters preferential treatment when it comes to business deals and insider trading, and censor the media (including the internet).

    • Joseph Miceli

      You left out “criminalizing homosexuality, marginalizing trans citizens and encouraging the torture of gay teens with so-called “reparative therapy.” Oh…and ending all higher life forms on Earth by making the planet into Venus’ twin.
      Because it doesn’t matter who you vote for. The parties are just the same. (sarcasm font STILL missing!)

    • rextrek1

      and yet BUMPKINS with barely 2 nickels to rub together vote for them……..its astounding!

      • Lawerence Collins

        There’s an pic for that.

  • Ninja0980

    He also helped to steer many of the district and circuit courts more towards the center.
    Such a shame he didn’t realize how important the courts were until five years in though.

  • Cosmo Tupper

    And he had to fight “tooth and nail” to get there but he overcame the racist legislature to succeed. Just think what could have been accomplished IF there was not so much veiled racism at play.

    • canoebum

      The racism is hardly veiled. You can hear it every time these GOP assholes open their mouths. “But, he’s black!. You do see that, right? We can’t let a black President succeed. We might get another one, and before you know it, even a Latino. Then they’d bring all their cousins and we’d be fucked!”

      Veiled, my ass!

      • Kissmagrits

        It’s evident the reconstruction era south never ended. So, maybe we should more properly call O – “the stealth president” – who seems to be as sneaky and brilliant as GWB was a vapid and treasonous frat boy.

  • Queequeg

    As usual, Maher is spot on. The worst problem the Democrats have is that they do not tout their achievements. If you read comments on Politico (which I need to stop doing) you’d think that President Obama has brought us to the brink of the apocalypse, and only a great leader, like Ted Cruz, can save us. It is astounding how ignorant many Americans are.

    • Chucktech

      Appalling is really more like it.

      • Queequeg

        You are correct.

    • Wilberforce

      No. The worst problem the democrats have is that they are lazy and self-satisfied. They don’t get involved in political groups. They don’t expect their leaders to make real arguments or create winning strategy or finance serious change. They sit around all day repeating talking points spoon fed to them by the corporate elite, such as they do here with the all religion is evil meme, taking no notice of their allies in liberal religion, or the it’s not Obama’s style meme, when it has nothing to do with style and everything to do with the dem elite’s plan to throw another election.
      We have arguments and strategy that would route our enemies in three seconds flat. But don’t bother with any of that. Quick get back to blaming the world’s problems on Christianity.

      • Eric in Oakland

        “…such as they do here with the all religion is evil meme, taking no notice of their allies in liberal religion…blaming the world’s problems on Christianity.”

        There are plenty of good religious people and good religious organisations. That doesn’t mean that religion itself is a positive thing. Religious thinking is irrational, magical, and authoritarian even at its best.

      • Nuff Said

        “We have arguments and strategy that would route our enemies in three seconds flat.”

        This explains how Obama won two terms as President!

  • BearEyes

    I realise Obama is not a braggard, but some advertising of accomplishments is warranted if only to remind people thsat good stuff did happen under his watch and set the stage for democrats going into 2016. And get dems on message in the process.

  • NMNative

    The republicans CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH. And even thinking of admitting that the country is so much better off than we were under the Bush, is, literally, painful for them. Besides, Obama’s way too cool to toot his own horn.

  • Gerry Fisher

    mmm-hmmm times 10!

  • goofy_joe

    I wanna have your babies. 😀

  • pablo

    Obama only threw his weight behind same sex marriage after several courts started ruling in its favor and the tide of public opinion was turning. In the beginning the Obama administration was worse than Bush on SSM. I don’t know if anyone at DOJ was ever punished for that terrible brief that compared homosexuality to beastiality and pedophilia.

    I’m not an Obama hater, but he’s been a disappointment. He has no leadership ability and squandered 2years of a favorable congress.
    Overall I give him a C+. It just looks like an A if you grade him on a curve with W.

  • bambinoitaliano

    Consider the repugnant party barely lift a finger and accomplished zero task. That should make Obama look like jeebus.

  • Steven Alan Taylor

    Guantanamo, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, ending partisan gridlock. Just three off the top of my head that he hasn’t accomplished. Accuse the other guy all you want, but even Truman knew that the buck stops at the president’s office.

    • Chucktech

      I f you have any suggestions for Obama on overcoming the intransigence of the Republicans on closing GITMO (among countless other issues they simply road-block), I’m sure he’d love to know.

  • Octavio

    Maher causes my fillings to ache. As for “averting depression”, I’m afraid that’s a glossing over of the truth. I know it’s popular to call the financial collapse and economic stagnation a “recession”, but no. It was a real depression for millions of people in the USA. And it still is. However, it’s true that under Obama the economy has slowly and steadily recovered. We can only hope the measured recovery is stable and won’t collapse because of other problems with the valuation of the economy. Time will tell.

  • bill weber

    Bill Maher is a habitual harasser of women, a bigot, a vaccine skeptic, and he voted for Bob Dole in ’96 as his “tribute to that generation.” So wow, awesome expert you’ve got there.

  • JCF

    While not a fan of Maher (cuz ‘He Hate Me’), I would sell tickets to see him locked in a room (and then cheer him on therein) w/ Illbay Erduepay.

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/tumblr_ljh0puClWT1qfkt17.gif

  • Ginger Snap

    I didn’t even know Playboy Magazine was still a thing.