The Daily Need

What’s Obama done so far? New site tells you … colorfully

When Jon Stewart characterized the Obama administration’s agenda as “timid” in his interview with the president last week, the phrase seemed to capture a growing sense of disappointment among those voters who, just two years ago, had infused the Obama campaign with a seemingly limitless store of energy and enthusiasm.

Now, Obama voters seem not only unenthused, but downright detached. Most of those young people who, in 2008, organized phone banks on college campuses and rode buses to battleground states to knock on doors seem to have little to say about the Obama presidency so far. Many seem uninspired by, or even uninterested in, the details of his legislative plans.

Or, as Shavanna Miller, a recent college graduate who works in social media in Washington, D.C. put it, “I kept hearing, ‘WTF has Obama done so far?’”

She added: “It just seemed time to investigate a bit.”

That investigation led to the founding of a new, colorfully named website detailing Obama’s actions, WhatTheF___HasObamaDoneSoFar.com (You get the idea). Miller and two web developer friends, Richard Boenigk and Will Carlough, coded the site over the weekend and launched it this week, and have so far received a warm reception on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter (Questlove, drummer for the band The Roots, suggested that Obama make the page his “official website”).

The site takes a simple premise — the fact that few Obama supporters seem to be aware of the administration’s agenda — and provides a simple solution: A Twitter-sized factoid summarizing a domestic or foreign policy accomplishment and a button — with phrases like, “I’m unimpressed” or “That doesn’t affect me personally so who cares” — to click for more of the same. There’s also a link for user submissions, which have already arrived in a steady stream, according to the site’s creators.

The idea seems a tidy riposte, sized for the digital age, to conservatives and Tea Party activists who allege the Obama administration has done little if anything to pull the country back from the brink of the economic downturn. Democrats so far have struggled to craft an effective response to that argument; after only a few hours of work, Miller, Boenigk and Carlough seem to have succeeded where they failed.

But as the creators explained, the site isn’t just a response to Obama’s opponents, or even to those uber-aware liberals who manage to keep tabs on Obama and “would prefer to see dissertations instead of one-liners,” as Miller put it. Instead, she added, the site is simply a “morale boost” of sorts, “even if it only lasts for a 48-hour viral web cycle before everyone goes back to being defeatists.”

The site, of course, is unlikely to change minds, as even it’s founders admit.

“I think conservatives these days are actually more aware of Obama’s accomplishments than liberals are,” Boenigk said. “It’s strange that half the country can think he’s destroying America while the other half is underwhelmed that he’s not doing more. Liberals should be at least as happy with what Obama has done as conservatives are upset with it.”

But perhaps the site will at least reinvigorate some otherwise disaffected liberals, especially as the 2012 election approaches and Obama prepares to spar with Republican leaders over issues like tax cuts, education and health care.

Or maybe it will just restore the time-honored place of profanity in our politics.

“Making curse words more socially acceptable in political discourse” is how Carlough jokingly described the site’s mission. “I find that censor bleep so irritating.”

 
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Comments

  • Kip

    Obama is stepping in where FDR and Johnson and Clinton left off – Thank God. Obama’s path IS the right path, and all the resistance he meets from right wingers and those who would take us back to the dark ages as well as the time to correct the problems created by previous, especially REPUBLICAN administrations take a lot of time and work to correct. He has done A GREAT job so far, and he WILL win another election. Wait and See. Obama is A GREAT MAN.

  • mesias

    Apparently you have no idea about History. Obama is a Fabian socialist, just like all the “great” people you mentioned. If you want to change the USA and make it a European socialist nation, then i understand why you agree with him and progressives alike, regardless of party. The Tea Party movement is an intellectual movement that rejects increasing centralized control and encourages individual merit.

  • http://www.dotime.org William X

    As long as everyone has their own agenda no president will be able to please us all. Whether we are liberals or conservatives, each has their own wants. One of the concerns we all share is the love for our children and their future. At least that’s a starting point.

  • Shaiz

    Tea party is an intellectual movement?? Now Ive heard everything.

  • Guest 5

    The problem with this effort is that it needs to be there!? So thanks, but why do people need to be told?
    Do we know what the easiest and biggest savings are In the 2010/2011 Budget
    First, is the elimination of the taxcuts to the rich 2% $70bn pa unfunded deficit wise.
    Second, making sure the Obama/Gates ( a Republican) defense spending cuts go ahead as planned, and that the draw downs in Iraq and Afghanistan go ahead. I would also suggest cutting aid unless development or education targets and infrastructure projects proceed on time in Afghanistan.
    When will people get it that cutting so called discretionary Budgets is to use Republican terminology just another type of tax, and in the current environment will reduce employment not create it.
    There are hundreds more like that, but sorry “all this thinking makes my head hurt!”
    Hello main street America, do you realise what you just did, if not you soon will.
    The real joke is the Party of NO demanding Obama says YES to them all the time on taxes and health care, and if they are honest on stimulus they will have to back off hundreds of projects that have gone to Republican or soon to become republican states/governors… err I think big savings here are a joke and even if there are there will be damaging effects on employment.
    ” Getting it means what?” First forget party and ideology.
    It means Jobs jobs jobs and wages/salaries BECAUSE consumer spending is 65 % of GDP.
    If we all think the Republican strategy of Tax cut continuance to the rich, repealing health care, and stimulus and making sure Obama is one term President are what you voted for God bless you and America I am selling my business now while I can get a good price for it before I go bust ( no consumer demand) and emigrating to some imaginary communistic excessively socialistic country where ( being over 65) I dont have to worry about whether some mystical government guy or a private health insurer ( latter whose primary duty is to investors,profit generation, to give them a dividend growing annually) is effectively my death panel.
    Take your pick ( your choice) I will not be in US to have to make that choice. I can get guaranteed health care in most other developed counties for less than half the cost in America, to believe thats right ( double cost) you have to believe that the best is worth twice the price and never mind any of those who cannot afford it, but social legislation already says we pay the Hospitals/Doctors anyway.
    Reducing entitlement hurts who?? Those who cannot afford anyway. Now there’s a real death panel .
    Regards,
    Guest 5

  • Marie

    I would love to have forwarded this to more people, but unfortunately could not because of the F WORD.. It did not offend me, but it does some people. A teacher friend would have loved to have her freshman High school class read it, but there again, not possible with the F word in it.. Why not send this out without the F word. It would still be quite effective, if not more so, and reach a lot more people..

  • Eukaric

    LOL

  • http://twitter.com/Jmumenthaler Jeremy Mumenthaler

    fucking f word

  • E.Revie

    Hi There, Can we at least agree that we have to maintain constant vigilance on elected officials no matter what level of govt? No one can let their guard down against Special Interest groups (you can write in areas like, Corporation Farmers, Manufacture, Insurance, Banking, Corruption). Politicians are influenced in ways we may not like. If they know we watch and act on issues it may slow down corrupt power brokers!