Obama recently was interviewed by Rolling Stone and he defends himself well against the teabaggers, Elefuggs, Blue Dogs, progressive outrage and firebaggers. He makes solid points throughout and doesn't come across condescending but confident. There seems to be a determined tone that his work is yet to be done. Now whether or not you agree with him is another thing (you can discuss in the comments of course), but this stood out to me:
What is true, and this is part of what can frustrate folks, is that over the past 20 months, we made a series of decisions that were focused on governance, and sometimes there was a conflict between governance and politics. So there were some areas where we could have picked a fight with Republicans that might have gotten our base feeling good, but would have resulted in us not getting legislation done.
I could have had a knock-down, drag-out fight on the public option that might have energized you and The Huffington Post, and we would not have health care legislation now. I could have taken certain positions on aspects of the financial regulatory bill, where we got 90 percent of what we set out to get, and I could have held out for that last 10 percent, and we wouldn't have a bill. You've got to make a set of decisions in terms of "What are we trying to do here? Are we trying to just keep everybody ginned up for the next election, or at some point do you try to win elections because you're actually trying to govern?" I made a decision early on in my presidency that if I had an opportunity to do things that would make a difference for years to come, I'm going to go ahead and take it.
I just made the announcement about Elizabeth Warren setting up our Consumer Finance Protection Bureau out in the Rose Garden, right before you came in. Here's an agency that has the potential to save consumers billions of dollars over the next 20 to 30 years — simple stuff like making sure that folks don't jack up your credit cards without you knowing about it, making sure that mortgage companies don't steer you to higher-rate mortgages because they're getting a kickback, making sure that payday loans aren't preying on poor people in ways that these folks don't understand. And you know what? That's what we say we stand for as progressives. If we can't take pleasure and satisfaction in concretely helping middle-class families and working-class families save money, get a college education, get health care — if that's not what we're about, then we shouldn't be in the business of politics. Then we're no better than the other side, because all we're thinking about is whether or not we're in power.
This is a man with a clear understanding of what legacy means. The choices he made throughout the processes of health care, financial reform and the stimulus were ones to effect not only the now, but future generations. He gets that. That is change, perhaps not the change some were sold, but it is certainly change I believe in.
With the upcoming election the importance of building on this legacy couldn't be more paramount. So, yeah perhaps Biden telling Democrats to stop whining isn't the spoon of sugar firebaggers want fed to them, but damnit get a grip. We have more to accomplish. Sitting on our laurels, letting Tea Party Candidates, WWE CEO's and Birthers wins seats across the nation can only set progress back.
We can settle the definition of "what is progressive" for a later date.
I am Frank Chow and I approved this message
Update: Steve Benen has more and man that rant by Obama is RAGETASTIC! (h/t Greenwalled)