According to Vox, since November 26, the Obama administration put forward new anti-smog regulations that should prevent thousands of premature deaths and heart attacks every year. Also, Obama’s appointees at the Federal Reserve implemented new rules curbing reckless borrowing by giant banks that will reduce profits and shareholder earnings but increase the safety of the financial system. He also normalized relations with Cuba after decades and created a plan to protect millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation. Also, on Saturday, Democrats broke a congressional logjam and got many nominees confirmed.
Vox: “It has been, in short, a very busy and extremely consequential lame-duck session. One whose significance is made all the more striking by the fact that it follows an electoral catastrophe for Obama’s party. And that is the Obama era in a microcosm.
“Democrats’ overwhelming electoral win in 2008 did not prove to be a ‘realigning’ election that handed the party enduring political dominance. Quite the opposite. But it did touch off a wave of domestic policymaking whose scale makes Obama a major historical figure in the way his two predecessors won’t be.”
Vox continues: “It’s old hat at this point, but given the mixture of conservative rage and liberal disappointment that Obama generally inspires, it’s worth emphasizing that his first term offered legislation on a truly historic scale. The Affordable Care Act and related measures an expansion of the welfare state rivaled by only the New Deal and the Great Society.
“The tendency of today’s slow-as-molasses Congress to work via megabills means that consequential measures like new rules mandating calorie labeling at chain restaurants stand as mere provisions of Obamacare rather than counting as substantial measures on their own.”