He's been using that metaphor since 2008, though he extended it a bit here. And it's why I'm not disappointed with Barack Obama as President. Because he's right, and that's what he's been doing, as well as setting an agenda and providing a framework for the future with what he chooses to talk about and what he says. And he's been pretty consistent in those areas, too.
Sometimes the change comes pretty quickly. Though the Affordable Care Act isn't ever going to fix the US healthcare system entirely, it's made a crucial difference for many, many people, and has beat most projections for coverage and cost containment. That's a strong precedent as well as a "people eat everyday" reform.
article about solar power this week.
I'm not saying people can't criticize this or that, or that I agree with everything, especially in the murky NSA/CIA areas. And I'm in a pretty constant state of dismay over the politics in Washington and the reversion of an entire political party to barbarism, while the other party has it seamy sides as well. But I can't think of any area where what Obama says contravenes important facts as I know them. Of course, I can be like WTF host Marc Maron who admitted that he's had periods where he's tried to run the country from his couch. "A lot of people do," Obama replied. But I try to maintain a little humility about what I know and what I don't know.
But here's something I know. There were a lot of stories today (Thursday) about how Obama had such a great day and great week because Obamacare didn't get dismantled by the Supreme Court, and after much politics on the Hill, he got the essentials of his trade package going. At least one story said that these were two of the three remaining mainstays of his "legacy." The third is a deal with Iran on its nuclear program.
That's wrong. The achievement that will be just as important, and finally much more important that these, is a global deal on carbon and other efforts to address the causes of the climate crisis, and maybe even some framework for organizing responses to the effects.
That test will come finally in December. Right now there is an unprecedented global momentum consciously being built, a maybe last ditch effort to get this done. The encyclical by Pope Francis is a major part of that, and the support for it from leaders of institutions both within the Catholic Church and representing other denominations is part of that effort.
As the year goes on, the do or die focus will intensify, hopefully so strongly that the media can't doze through it, their attention continually flickering away to the latest bright object.
President Obama already has the most significant legacy on the climate crisis of any President, but this is the big one. As he is clearly aware, this is the most important issue for his youngest constituents, who will live on a planet that we hesitate to imagine. That's the reality of legacy.