Feet on the ground – head in the clouds.

Some of Barack Obama’s accomplishments (UPDATED 09.09.08)

with 4 comments

The most interesting thing of this breakdown, for me, is the idea of anyone purchasing firearms to meet with a law enforcement officer. On one hand I would think many gun owners and certainly those who make gun owner’s rights a key voting issue are not opposed to law enforcement. Those who tote guns and hate authority aren’t always voting, I presume. I could be wrong.

At the same time the Founding Fathers’ intent with the 2nd Amendment truly was to protect us from the government. In fact, the entire Bill of Rights is comprised of protections from the government. Many Americans confuse this to mean it also protects them from private citizens. I can certainly put a metal detector in the front of my building to prevent people from carrying in firearms, I can limit your freedom of speech by cutting you off on my privately-owned radio station. There are many times I find citizens confusing the Bill of Rights to be a list of protections from everyone.

  • He has also worked on death penalty reform in Illinois, for example the mandatory recording of all interrogations of suspects in capital crimes. Requiring recordings when the death penalty on the line is always going to be in the best interest of justice.
  • After all Senator McCain’s years in the Senate fighting lobbyists and standing up against earmarks, it was Senator Obama, along with Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to reform ethics and lobbying in Washington. I respect Senator McCain’s efforts, but this proves criticisms that Barack Obama hasn’t reached across the aisle or worked on any landmark legislation are blatantly false. In an election season where even the Republicans claim to be selling change, ethics reform and limiting lobbyists’ access to legislators are a major action for positive change.
  • Another part of the bipartisan effort with Sen. Coburn would create an internet database of federal spending. This is a great step for transparency and true accountability in government. I don’t know how anyone could really be against such a thing, especially in an age when the amount of pork-barrel spending nationally is estimated to be $29 billion.  Senator McCain is lying through his teeth when he says Obama has not reached across the aisle, as McCain was also a co-sponsor of the Obama-Coburn bill.  [Gov. Palin says this would be a great idea, which explains how she could be ignoring Obama’s bi-partisan efforts.  It would Governor, something like usaspending.gov perhaps?  $223 million of which was sent to Alaska to build a ramp to an aborted Bridge to Nowhere.  When you say “thanks, but no thanks” you should also give the money back.]
  • Washington State for Obama 08 also has a great pdf flyer available for download here, it details his work during his years in the state and federal government. Rather than spin and punditry, here’s what he’s worked for and gotten accomplished.

During his time in the United States Senate, Obama has co-authored two landmark pieces of legislation.  One of Obama’s major credits is a bipartisan ethics reform bill.  Oddly enough he’s running to change Washington’s lack of ethics and respect for the American people.  His critics say he hasn’t worked across the aisle, and that his views of changing Washington are a “fairy tale” and yet his record speaks for itself.

If this election is going to be about reform and change, you *could* look at Senator McCain as a reformer and a maverick. This is what I saw in him back in 2000 when I helped campaign for him in Kansas. But I’ve also paid attention the last five years or so when John McCain obliterated his maverick reputation by voting with the Bush administration and cronies 90% of the time. But in “only 2 years” as the Republicans are quick to point out about Obama, he has passed bi-partisan ethics reform and worked to secure loose nukes. If John McCain had sponsored the loose nukes bill, we’d have heard all about how it was part of his strength in the War on Terror. Instead you have every conservative pundit with access screaming that he hasn’t worked across the aisle, calling the two instances of his bi-partisan efforts “insignificant“. When America sees Washington as corrupt and broken, it’s going to be hard to brush aside an ethics reform bill.

OpenCongress has a great comparison site of the current legislative projects of each candidate.  There are other sites tracking the legislative accomplishments of Senator Obama.  They make an interesting point to say that this does not include anything prior to elected office, where recent statements by the faux-maverick extremist VP nominee have spotlighted one of America’s best traditions.  Community organizers are probably the selfless example of people working to improve the lives of others we can find in American society.  What has Sarah Palin ever done to help the lives of struggling Americans in the communities hardest hit by the Republican “you’re on your own” economy? And what does she have against the Civil Rights Movement?

The Nation has a great article on his community organizing years, when I think he proved and shaped himself all at once. At 24, a recent Columbia grad headed to a community devastated by steel-mill closings to make a difference in people’s lives. There’s no way on earth you could accuse him of making the decision based on money and yet people seem to treat this experience much like I’ve found people treat teachers. When was the last time you heard “oh, he’s just a lawyer” or “she’s just a doctor”, but somehow “just a teacher” is a pretty common phrase even among people speaking directly to teachers. Community organizing is as noble as any other service profession, and all of them should be more respected in our society. There’s not much admirable about a stock broker, especially in these tough days.

Perhaps Barack Obama’s greatest accomplishment of all was having the insight and willingness to face the harsh criticism as he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. Cite the surge all you want, it wouldn’t have been necessary to further drain American blood and treasure in the first place had it not been for the unjust war.  He was correct that it would divert our attention from the real enemy. He was correct that it was based on false assumptions and Bush administration propaganda.

Here is Obama’s Blueprint for Change, direct from the campaign. Or check out Barack Obama’s positions, issue by issue.

The War in Iraq
The Job Market
Health Care
Foreign Policy
Technology & Innovation
Women’s Rights
Veteran’s Issues
The Environment
Latino Issues


4 Responses

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  1. Nice post. Thanks for the information. I would really like to link to this.


    September 15, 2008 at 11:46 am

  2. […] Obama Accomplishments […]

  3. Go for it! I’ve gathered the info, but most of the leg-work was done by others in this case, so feel free to link here or to the original stories as much as is necessary to save the American people from 4 more years of Bush economic policies that would devastate many a hardworking family in this country.


    September 15, 2008 at 11:53 am

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