A couple of stories in the news this week—combined with the passing of Obama’s first 100 days in office earlier this month—have led me to ponder how his administration has been doing since his historic election. The first such story was the upholding of Prop 8 by the Californian high court—it seems we still have a fair way to go before all forms of discrimination have been removed from the legal system. (I’m sorry to say that Australia is no better in this respect—as a Christian, our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is against gay marriage as well, even though he is fairly progressive otherwise, and he did give more legal rights to gay couples.) In fairness, even though Prop 8 was passed during the Presidential election, it doesn’t really have anything to do with Obama’s administration as such. Nevertheless, it did lead me to think about how things have been going since January 20, along with another story in the news which I was very happy about indeed—the fact that Washington is finally telling Israel what they should have done all along: no more settlements, period. It’s ridiculous that even though this is a fundamental requirement of the road map to peace, Israel has been allowed to completely ignore it without the US government saying or doing anything. It finally looks as though we might be seeing the start of a fair and evenhanded approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I’m wondering what my readers think of how well Obama has been doing (please note that I’m after genuine answers to this question, not unsubstantiated political propaganda). Given the cold, harsh political realities, I personally think he’s been doing about as well as can reasonably be expected, given that he is facing what must surely be the most difficult circumstances any President has had to deal with since World War II—it’s really quite ridiculous how much things deteriorated from the time George W. Bush came into office until he left. He’s left poor Obama one hell of a big mess to fix.