Shawn Mitchell

Editor's note: This column contains satire. This fact is noted for all the liberals that may be reading. That is all.

President Obama’s aggressive agenda for his second term might have been controversial, if it weren’t for his spectacular first term successes.

The president’s expansive vision of federally driven, universal government education of children too young for grade school, his complex plan for a network of federal “hubs” to resuscitate American manufacturing, his aggressive action plan against polluting industries to correct earth’s climate, all could have provoked strong opposition, perhaps even media skepticism.

He also courageously signaled that Congress’s bad faith and groundless resistance to his reform agenda might force him to assert executive power in novel, untested ways. That too, might have triggered resistance and hostile news coverage. But it didn’t.

The president’s track record of keeping campaign promises, solving problems, and improving the lot of average Americans dictated a different result. A historically successful first term garnered political capital and national good will that smoothed the way for bold experimentation in term two.

Consider jobs and employment. From recent historic highs in joblessness, the president turned things around. In just a few years, America reclaimed its historic average of 5.8% unemployed. Similarly, economic growth bounced back, and by 2011 was hitting its healthy norm of 3.5% annual growth.

A major bright spot powering the stunning resurgence is green energy. The president boosted green potential in his campaign. True to his word, Obama’s DOE shrewdly awarded strategic grants and incentives to help breakthrough companies add power to the grid, increase efficiency, and reduce costs for renewable energy. America’s economy garnered billions in robust return from the administration’s savvy seed capital. The future potential for more of the same is virtually infinite.

The improved jobs situation mirrors the president’s success at getting the national deficit under control. As he promised, by the end of his first term, deficit spending was slashed to a half of the deficit he inherited from that economic arsonist, George Bush.  Obama’s hapless challenger in the last election tried to make an issue of fiscal policy, but with the credibility of success and promises kept, the president spiked the attacks like well set volleyballs.

Similarly, under the president’s leadership, the long struggling Post Office claimed a new lease on life, and finally looks on the path to sustainability. It’s even considering expanding to offer Sunday service.

But the crowning jewel of Obama’s domestic credibility is his long-needed reform of America’s health care system. From the clear and reasonable explanations in Congressional debate that were broadcast into living rooms on CSPAN—(check off another campaign promise!) to the already-declining insurance rates the president confidently promised, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  is a stunning success: a textbook example of the long ball: well thrown, well caught, and a touchdown richly and deservedly celebrated.

Critics absurdly argued the law would raise rates; would drive employers to drop coverage; would force millions onto the frayed public safety net; was impractical and underfunded; would strain bulging state Medicaid rolls; and especially, would give a raw deal to healthy young people.

Critics are eating crow. The media is making sure of that. The new law is having an orderly implementation, reducing costs of care and coverage, and having no adverse effect on job benefits or hiring.

But Obama’s success reaches beyond sea to shining sea as he lifts America’s stock in the near and far abroad. A shrewd gambit in Mexico, the Fast and Furious program, helped corner and decapitate major drug cartels and drivers of Mexican corruption and cross border violence. Close oversight and meticulous implementation of the risky program, that pumped thousands of untracked guns into Mexico, are credited with its stunning success.

Similarly, Obama’s outreach to the Middle East and Muslim world are strengthening America’s bonds with hopeful friends around the globe who wanted only to know they were understood and respected.

So, conservatives, libertarians, and other advocates for constitutional limits on government find themselves in an awkward place as the triumphant president embarks on his second term. With such a record of fulfillment, success, and improvement, that president’s credibility is at historic highs.

Americans have no reason to question his ability to surgically crack down on industry to save earth’s climate while protecting GDP, jobs, and the economy. They have no basis for skepticism about his administration’s skill to create “hubs” to drive a resurgence in American manufacturing.

Americans have every reason to believe their preschoolers will be in good hands. We are dazzled by the progress of the last four years. It stands to reason we’ll be positively staggered by what he can show the next generation.

And if Americans in general are disarmed, their guardians of the press are positively rhapsodic. What questions could need asking? What proposals might bear vetting? None!

It is the best of times. It is the boldest of times. We have nothing to fear but farce, itself, played out in real life.


Shawn Mitchell

Shawn Mitchell was elected to Senate District 23 in the Colorado General Assembly in November of 2004. Shawn is an attorney at private practice in Denver and Adams County.
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