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Saturday, January 24, 2009

POST-INAUGURAL EUPHORIA

President Obama hasn't even been in office a full week yet, but he's already earned his first year's salary as far as I'm concerned. This bold, determined man of action has already signed an executive order to close our notorious prison/torture complex at Guantanamo, has established strict new controls on lobbyist access to the White House, has met with Republican opposition leaders to actually listen to their concerns, has met with his economic team to lay the groundwork for an economic recovery plan, has met with top military brass concerning Iraq and Afghanistan, has declared an end to torture, and has issued an important Middle East pronouncement reaffirming Israel's right to existence and to defend herself, yet also recognizing publicly the injustices she has wrought on the Palestinian people. This whirlwind of decisive leadership and proaction has made his predecessor's mode of action seem as if it were an immobilized marble statue. Had Bush even attempted to achieve this much, it would have surely exhausted him and led to a 3 month vacation somewhere! This week has been a damn fine beginning to what I believe will be a remarkably good and effective presidency.

Obama's critics have already begun their chorus of dischordant catcalls, however. The ever-enlightening and genteel ass Rush Limbaugh has already publicly stated he hopes Obama will fail (now THAT'S patriotic and pro-American!); Bill O'Reilly has already vowed to "watch" Obama (as though he were an escaped criminal or burglar); prehistoric John Boehner has already voiced suspicious concern that Obama's economic stimulus plan may be too costly (as if we can afford to let the economy collapse altogether); Mitch McConnell, while praising Obama's inclusiveness and approach overall, has nonetheless echoed Boehner's concerns and has kept his cards close to the vest, the reliably molten-mouthed Ann Coulter has already snidely attacked the new President, referring to him as "B. Hussein Obama", declaring his inauguration address to be non-substantive, and mocking his inaugurational ceremony itself in her January 21 column; and some on the left have criticized Obama for an economic plan they believe may not be big enough, and for letting right-wing Pastor Rick Warren speak at the inauguration. So much for the long, extended political honeymoon. But I am not worried. For the first time in 8 years, my political stress level has taken a nosedive. I know our Supreme Court will no longer drift rightward and will thus not become more anti-Bill of Rights, anti-labor, pro-business, or pro-executive power. I also know that, at long last, we have an administration that will work for the benefit of the common man instead of only concentrated capital. It will also be an administration far more transparent than its predecessor, and one that will conduct itself legally and honorably throughout the world and will engage in dialogue and multilateralism instead of engaging in unilateral pre-emptive war and torture.

Nothing is ever certain in politics or diplomacy. There are a huge number of vitally pressing and complicated situations which demand rapid attention and solution. But for the first time in 8 years, I believe we have an administration and a President with the brainpower, vision, and energy needed to see us through. And that is why I am feeling this bit of post-inaugural euphoria. I hope and pray it will continue for a long time to come!

7 comments:

Michael Hew said...

Amen to that, Jack.

Tim Fleming said...

Jack--

While I share your enthusiasm and optimism, it is tinged with caution. We both remember all too well what happened to the last president who started acting like a real president.

My wife asked me a discomforting question the other night: Who screens and vets the Secret Service agents who protect Obama? I'll never forget Abraham Bolden's stunning remark, "The Secret Service agents assigned to the presidential detail in 1963 hated JFK. They used to joke that if anyone ever shot at him, they would get out of the way." Bolden was the SS agent who quit the JFK detail because he was so disgusted with his fellow agents.

Tim Fleming
author,"Murder of an American Nazi"
www.eloquentbooks.com
http://leftlooking.blgospot.com

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Michael, and thank you, too, Tim, for sharing your thoughts. We can only hope for the very best, and pray that Obama will be able to serve a long, uninterrupted, and highly successful time in office. I guess the main thing we have riding in our favor this time is that Obama has less enemies than did JFK (at least so far). Our country cannot afford another 1963. What happened then was totally devastating and has adversely affected us to this very day. So, if you're a religious man, say your prayers. If not, keep your hopes up and your eyes open!

Jessican said...

Hey, Jack, thanks for stopping by the bloggie.

I have to agree that I have been pleased with our new president thus far. I knew he would get to work right away, but his accomplishments in the first week are quite impressive (not to mention the polled approval ratings of his actions).

I, too, have found a great improvement in my mood since the election. I have a lot less anger and a lot more tolerance for folks like Rush, Coulter, Hannity, etc. I think just knowing that America voted against their idea of America reduced my stress level. I tell ya, living for 8 year in a country that elected Bush twice was making my blood pressure sky rocket (totally serious on this. I had to go on medication and I'm not even 30 yet!).

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks, Jessican! You're a very good American to care as deeply as you obviously do about our country. Like you, I now regard Coulter and crew more as obnoxious mosquitoes than as the killer bees they once seemed. I hope your blood pressure stays in check. Please visit again soon. :)

Yellow Dog said...

The new president has come so close to actually exceeding my high expectations that I'm still finding it difficult to believe he really is the president.

I am even more encouraged, however, by the ability of progressives - excuse me, liberals - to applaud President Obama's accomplishments while still holding his feet to the fire on what he still needs to do.

Always remember what FDR told the group of activists demanding he take action:

"You're right. I should do that. I want to do that. Now make me do it."

Obama can't do what we want and need him to do unless we make him do it.

Jack Jodell said...

Great point, Yellow Dog! Americans think their political duty and responsibility ends after they leave the voting booth, but it only BEGINS there!