Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Great Expectations!

Last Tuesday night one commentator said, "Tonight change walked on stage in Chicago." We are expecting so much of a President Obama - more perhaps than he can possibly deliver. Certainly not in the 100 days usually aimed for. I heard today that 67% of the American public, Democrats and Republicans", believe that Barack Obama with be a great president. I'm one of those who have high hopes for him, but I'm also well aware that the task ahead is beyond awesome.

Hard as the campaigning may have been, that was surely the easy part by comparison to what is ahead. He's entering a hornet's nest of firmly entrenched interests, ideology, lobbyists, special interests, think tanks and pundits who believe they have all the answers. And that's not to even mention the firmly entrenched military industrial security complex, bloated beyond belief and what many believe to be untouchable. The intelligence system alone has more than eighteen agencies. As we speak, Hank Paulson is adding innumerable employees to administer the 700 billion dollar bailout, which just today he said had gone awry and is already under revision.

How will President Obama ever be able to get rid of the crony corporations that have pitched their tents and taken control of all the privatization that has occurred - here and especially in Iraq and Afghanistan? I know he'll never be able to do it on his own - or even with the many new members of his Cabinet and a sympathetic Congress. I believe he will need the support of all those who voted for him. We're going to have to speak out loud and clear to our congressional representatives. They're going to have to be made aware of what the American people are thinking on every issue. This is no time for complacency and permitting President Obama and the Congress to do their work in isolation. We're going to have to "Stand Up! Stand Up!" for what we believe to be the right course. We've got to keep those letters and phone calls coming, folks!

Today I read an article by Paul Waldman of Media Matters: "Goodbye and Good Riddance", in which he said:

“This presidency is finally over. We can say goodbye to an administration whose misdeeds have piled so high that the size of the mountain no longer shocks us. In our lifetimes, we will see administrations of varying degrees of competence and integrity, some we'll agree with and some we won't. But we will probably never see another quite like the one now finally reaching its end, so mind-boggling a parade of incompetence and malice, dishonesty, and immorality. So at last -- at long, long last -- we can say goodbye. “;jsessionid=a4DOT9jymED_agX9s2?article=goodbye_and_good_riddance

Unfortunately he'd not gone yet; it's not yet time to say goodbye. We do not have a new president until January 20th. However, on the economy and related problems, it does seem that this President has essentially checked out. We have an economy floundering, a Secretary of the Treasury who admittedly doesn’t have a clue about what to do with the 700 billion dollars that has been allocated to try to solve the economic woes of the country, an auto industry on the brink of bankruptcy, and no one who knows what to do about it. The trillion dollars that has thus far been allocated to bail out the economy is charged to our children and grandchildren’s VISA cards. They will have to one day pay the bill. We should right now hold Congress accountable for being sure that the money is well spent – not used for bonuses for incompetent managers of banks, AIG, and auto industry.
More loans to the auto industry? For what? If I were going to give out any loans, it would be so that people can get loans to buy cars, not for administrative costs of the auto industry or the AIG's or the banks. Stimulate the economy in that way. As a condition of loans, if I were running the store, I would furlough the incompetents and bring in the best and brightest, most experienced businesspeople to run the show. How about a Steve Jobs, who could probably have an I-car on the roads by 2010! Or a Google type. As Tom Friedman so eloquently said, "Invent, baby, invent!"

No one's minding the store! Hank Paulson doesn't seem to have a coherent plan yet. He and Bernanke seem to be lurching from one thing to another, with no leadership coming from President Bush, who seems to be thinking about his move back to Texas. And who could blame him. His staff is busy putting together last minute signing statements and regulations, and pardons to be considered by President Bush in the waning days of his Presidency. The Republican party is meeting as we speak, mulling over ideas of ways to put a monkeywrench into President Obama's plans so the GOP will have a better chance of being elected in 2010. What a mess! And as President-Elect Obama says, "One President at a time!" He just has to bide his time, putting together his administration, revising his plans based on the probable situation "on the ground" come January 20th. We have great expectations for him...and for us. I'm praying we won't be disappointed. We have too much at stake.
In the meantime...