Obama will go down as a consequential president: According to Dylan Matthews, presidents and their legacies can usually be divided into two camps: “the mildly good or bad but ultimately forgettable (Clinton, Carter, Taft, Harrison) and the hugely consequential for good or ill (FDR, Lincoln, Nixon, Andrew Johnson).”
Matthews argues that the favorable SCOTUS rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage have firmly set President Obama in the latter camp. Think about that for a second.
It’s simply amazing that we are even having this conversation. Throughout his presidency, I have heard many liberals (including myself) express so much anger and frustration over Obama’s lack of gumption or his professorial indifference to those that loathed him. And yet, here we are: six years into his presidency and Obama’s legacy is starting to look pretty damn good. Today is a day that Democrats should cherish forever. UC Berkley’s Paul Pierson sums it up best by saying:
I don’t think there is any doubt: On domestic issues Obama is the most consequential and successful Democratic president since LBJ. It isn’t close.
And Matthews is quick to add:
And LBJ’s presidency was so marred by the Vietnam War that he declined to seek a second term — there is no similar stain on Obama’s record.
While Matthews waited until after these SCOTUS decisions to “make the call” on Obama’s legacy, Paul Krugman predicted such a legacy last year. Here’s his prescient analysis (which, at the time, went against the prevailing pundit narrative):
Despite bitter opposition, despite having come close to self-inflicted disaster, Obama has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history. His health reform is imperfect but still a huge step forward – and it’s working better than anyone expected. Financial reform fell far short of what should have happened, but it’s much more effective than you’d think. Economic management has been half-crippled by Republican obstruction, but has nonetheless been much better than in other advanced countries. And environmental policy is starting to look like it could be a major legacy.
Scalia is a poor loser: I would be remiss if I did not provide some of the dumbest quotes provided by Antonin Scalia’s bumbling dissent. Take a look at this doozy:
“The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality,'” he quoted from the majority opinion before adding, “Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie.
Poor guy. I can see how it would be scary to see such rapid progress as a conservative. You can see his dated 1960’s viewpoints shine through with that hippie comment. My only hope is that he’ll still be alive for the legalization of marijuana. Hopefully he cities hippies then, too.
Washington’s population is growing: As of April 2015, the Evergreen State has over 7 million people living in its borders. All but two counties grew this year, with three quarters of the population growth occurring in Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties.