The “Obamameter” is the St. Petersburg Times new tool for following President Obama’s progress on completing his campaign promises. It’s very cute and handy, but is it any more reliable than the president?
While checking in to the site this afternoon, I came across this in the “Promise Kept” section: “No. 125: Direct military leaders to end war in Iraq.” Needless to say, my jaw dropped. Did I miss something super important when I compiled my daily casualty report this morning? Should I run out and pick up a hard copy of the newspaper in hopes of seeing “IRAQ WAR ENDS” as the headline? Or should I just dig into this “promise kept” a little bit further?
As evidence of a kept promise, the paper quoted Obama as saying, “on my first day in office, I would give the military a new mission: ending this war” and re-ran a story on Obama’s historic meeting with military officials. Okay, so that is vaguely true, but is it what the public was hoping for? A meeting that, even a month later, has given us no new, concrete plans? President Bush undercut that promise anyway, when gave us the SOFA agreement that forces U.S. combat troops out by the end of 2011. I was expecting more at this point in the administration. Heck, the Obama hasn’t even bothered to get a new Defense Secretary yet.
Obama in the same op-ed piece wrote, “[we] can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months.” That particular sentence, I believe, is what lured many voters to pull Obama’s knob in the voter’s booth. But, as of this morning, he is still considering a 23-month timelineâ€”and the drawdown in Iraq would be mostly to feed the Afghanistan surge instead of ending U.S. warmongering.
Thankfully, the Times has the 16-month timeline as their next campaign promise, but if you are looking just in the “Promises Kept” section, you get the phony impression that Obama has done something to speed up the end of the war. At least that’s what I thought at first. I don’t know if the Obamameter’s editors meant to be intellectually dishonest â€” I actually don’t think so â€” but we have to stay on top the media and the President if this endless is ever to actually end.
Unfortunately, President Obama has also apparently kept the following promise: “No. 134: Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan.”
We have to do something about that too.