“Politicians are always making promises, but they never keep them.”
I don’t have a lot of use for political cynicism. I said so four years ago.
Obama isn’t perfect. He’s progress.
Obama and his policies are progress that we desperately need right now. Every moderate to liberal politician we send to D.C. with him is forward motion. Each step we take in pushing those politicians to enact his platform is one step out of the mire.
No, the candidates were not the same then. They’re certainly not the same now.
Another one of those cynical political tropes that pisses me off is the idea that it doesn’t matter what a politician says because they all lie. They just tell us whatever we want to hear, doncha know. The problem with that theory is that they don’t.
Sure, most politicians paint pictures for our collective futures that rely on events beyond their direct control. They talk in generalizations and abstracts. Most of them, however, also share specific plans. They have to. They have demanding constituencies they have to satisfy in order to get an endorsement.
We can also keep track of these promises, which Politifact did for Obama.
Our scorecard shows Obama kept 37 percent of his promises. He brought the war in Iraq to a close and finally achieved the Democratic dream of a universal health care program. When the United States had Osama bin Laden in its sights, Obama issued the order to kill.
Sixteen percent are rated Broken, often because they hit a brick wall in Congress. Global warming legislation passed the House but died in the Senate. He didn’t even push for comprehensive immigration reform. His program to help homeowners facing foreclosure didn’t even meet its own benchmarks. (PolitiFact rates campaign promises based on outcomes, not intentions.)
Click on the categories in the excerpt to see ratings on the individual promises. Looking at the chart, however, you can see that orange (broken or stalled promises) is a distinct minority. It is dwarfed by dark green (promises kept outright). Promises kept and compromises made together make up more than half the chart.
There is nothing about being a politician that makes a person unable to keep all their promises. Some? Yes, but not all. The promises a politician makes matter. Pay attention to them.