What the average person hoped for was a better health care system. What they got was a better health care system but not as good as it should have been. Why? He compromised using a republican plan that still gives too much to a bloated and corrupt industry. There are too many examples around the world of better health care systems to ignore them and go for a solution that ultimately is a big boon to the health insurance industry. For example here in Australia we have a single payer system augmented by an individual mandate for those over a certain income level. This gives the government the power to control exploitative practices by the healthcare industry while still having a private healthcare and insurance option. This leads to better healthcare across the board by providing a baseline of coverage that everyone gets with the option for persons to still have higher level coverage and access to doctors of their choice.
What the average person hoped for was a change to the politics in Washington. What they got was the GOP stating that their number 1 goal was to make Obama a failure as a president by voting against him regardless of the benefit of the policies put forth. Even when he compromised and decided to go with a “republican plan” as with the A.C.A. the GOP would vote against it. If you think about it he could have pushed through a better health care plan but compromised with an opposition that didn’t want compromise. Fuck they didn’t even want their ideas. They just wanted Obama to fail.
What the average person wanted was some sensible gun regulation. What they got is a few speeches and a ton of people not only not willing to even listen to some sensible gun regulation but even a loosening of gun regulations in many cases. All backed by the straw-man argument that sensible gun regulations = take away all guns. Often using false dichotomy that if everyone didn’t have guns America would be a lawless land. Using a Historian's fallacy that the founding fathers thought everyone should be able to have any type of weapon they wanted and that they would think that the same combat tactics of the 1700s could be used today against a 21st century military.
What the average person wanted was corporations and those running them to be held accountable for their actions. What they got was more of the same privatization of profits but socialization of the risks. What they got was the words that corporations can be “too big to fail”. What they got was inaction by the DoJ to pursue criminal charges against executives who commit white collar crime that dwarfs blue collar crime by several orders of magnitude.
I could go on and on. But I ask what was the alternative? With Romney we probably would have got the A.C.A. at best and at worst a watered down A.C.A. where insurance companies could deny you coverage or cut you off when you got a major illness. We would have still been kicked out of Iraq by the government there because the people were sick of seeing innocent people be killed by US contractors with no repercussions. We probably would have seen social security get abolished and those funds used for more tax breaks for the highest end of the economic spectrum with the same flawed trickle down economic justification we’ve heard for the last 3+ decades. We would see more workers rights eroded away leading to more corporate welfare like the abolishment of minimum wage in the argument that it hurts the economy to pay someone enough that they can live without working 80+ hours a week leading to a shifting of the burden of those people from their employers onto the social program systems.
Was Obama against marriage equality? Historically no. We have his statements from over a decade before he ran where he was clear that he supported it. He then did a typical politician move and changed that position when he needed votes. He finally went back to that position when he needed the money from those that supported the position. So his moral convictions wavered, as most politicians convictions do, when faced with a population that doesn’t care about getting rid of a bigoted law.
I’ll leave it there. You can read more about my position, both positive and negative, with respect to President Obama in other posts on my blog.