Friday, March 6, 2015

Not that much to complain about tonight

Positive steps on Gitmo, income inequality and climate change

Not that much to complain about tonight

I was dealing with three or four other things tonight... and also struggling with blog inspiration. Nothing to complain about? OK, that's a huge exaggeration -- I could sit here and come up with 20 or 30 things just stream of consciousness (starting with the Phillies, whom I'm watching out of one eye as I type...). But honestly, it's a more hopeful day than normal.

Last night, I wrote about my hope that President Obama is making the small but necessary baby steps toward reversing the errors of the Bush-Cheney years, such as closing Gitmo. Today, the city council in Seattle just voted to approve a $15 citywide minimum wage, a major step in attacking income inequality. Back at the White House, Obama just took the boldest step of his presidency to tackle climate change with a plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

I know you won't listen to me, but I'm sure you'll listen to Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman:

I’m liking Obama more and more as he slogs through his second term.

Of course you’re disappointed if you believed that soaring rhetoric could transform our political life, or if you believed that Obama could, by sheer force of will, turn crazy right-wingers into centrists. But I never bought into all of that. In fact, I was always exasperated by the inspiring speeches, which suggested to me that Obama didn’t understand what he was facing.

What mattered instead were concrete achievements, things that would shape America for the better over time. And in the end, Obama has delivered. Health reform is working, and the repeal crowd is slinking slowly away. And now, the environment.

The power-plant proposal isn’t enough, by itself, to save the planet; and like heath reform, it could be undone if enough justices on the Supreme Court decide that their partisan loyalty trumps the law and sound policy. But if the plan does go into effect, it could have huge implications. Climate diplomacy could resume; and if something like cap and trade is actually implemented, it will prove far cheaper than the doomsayers claim, undermining anti-environmentalists in much the way that the success of the ACA has undermined enemies of universal coverage.

Don't worry -- I'll be back to complaining tomorrow. Don't even get me started about fake progressive Andrew Cuomo....

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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