Can You Imagine?

obama-press-conferenceCan you imagine the pickle we’d be in if George Bush still occupied the White House? Or if we had a McCain-Palin administration making the problems facing America today that much worse?

That thought kept crossing my mind as I listened to Barack Obama’s press conference on my drive home from work this evening.

America’s fortunes have suddenly gone decidedly south, taking much of the world with us. And the problems I hear discussed on the nightly drive home—the eight or 10 problems confronting Obama’s team, not the usual two or three most incoming president’s face—aren’t distant ones anymore, just affecting Detroit autoworkers, or Wall Street bankers, or the poor.

No, they’re right here at home with all of us. At my work, we’ve already done what businesses do in these situations, terminating all the contractors, leaving open positions unfilled, cutting travel and training to the bone—and we know that won’t be the end of it, not by a long shot. Long-time colleagues are disappearing from Sharon’s workplace, too.

Like so many of us, our 401Ks look more like 101Ks now, and the properties we thought would help us glide to early retirements don’t look like such smart bets anymore. And we’re still among the lucky ones who have such things to lose.

So why do I feel such hope as I hear President Obama discuss his administration’s accomplishments during its first 100 days and describe the difficult road ahead?

It isn’t because I agree with everything Obama and his team have done. Our job here at the LA Progressive is to help hold this administration and the Democratic Congress accountable. On our pages you’ll find criticisms Obama’s too cautious ending of the Iraq and Afghanistan adventuring and his failure to support marriage equality. We’re not crazy abut his catering to fat cat financiers ahead of regular working stiffs or his desire to hide Bush administration crimes quietly in the past. And we’ll keep on encouraging our writers to apply pressure where it’s needed.

dick-price.gifBut that overwhelming sense of hope springs forth because, for the first time in many years, it’s clear we have someone in the White House who’s up to the job, who has his head screwed on straight, who isn’t chased by his inner demons, who’s big enough to listen to divergent opinion yet strong enough to say finally how it needs to be.

Listen to these videos and see if you don’t agree.

Dick Price
Editor, LA Progressive


Published by the LA Progressive on April 30, 2009
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About Dick Price

Dick Price is Editor of the LA Progressive. With his wife Sharon, he publishes several other print and online newsletters on political and social justice issues. He has worked in publishing as a writer, editor, and publisher for a quarter century. In earlier releases, he was a cab driver, bartender, construction worker, soldier, and farmhand, and for many years helped operate a nonprofit halfway house for homeless alcoholics and addicts. To contact him, please use the form on the Contact Us page.

Comments

  1. Yeah, how is that working out for you now? Man sure glad Obama is here to save us (with a strong hint of sarcasm). LOL

  2. Liz — I don’t know if your comments offended anyone. I was glad you posted such a lengthy response. Getting feedback is one of the reasons we launched this site. Your comments are welcomed. thank you,

  3. I was pleased that you put it on in its entirety and listened to some parts twice before posting. I hope that nobody was offended by my sending my own perspective; that was not the intention. I correspond regularly with friends in Kansas, Idaho, NJ and NO and we are always fascinated by the different perspectives across the Atlantic – and sometimes what we don’t know about our own countries, as well as one another’s.

  4. Thank you for posting comments. This helps us to know if we are offering information that is engaging — regardless of the position you take on the issues. Special thanks to Hal for letting me (Sharon) know that you watched the Press Conference video. I debated as to whether I should post it in it’s entirety because I thought there was a possibility no one would watch it. Instead, I went with my first gut feeling which was to post it. Turns out, that was a good decision.

  5. Tom’s comment surprises me, but I do not purport to be any sort of expert in financial reality, particularly in the United States. But surely Obama’s moving in the right direction with the Recovery Act and his stated future plans?

    His comments about “…we can’t go back to an economy that’s built on a pile of sand” certainly ring true here in Britain. We too are suffering from the effects of “inlated home prices and maxed out credit cards” – I personally can attest to that. I live in an area where we have lost all our major industries – coal mining, tyre making, iron and steel production and finally the pottery industry, including such major names as Royal Doulton and Wedgwood. The value of my home seems to be getting closer to putting me in negative equity, at a time when I need to sell as I can no longer afford my mortgage. Many here would consider our financial troubles to have their roots in America under the previous administration.

    Phrases such as “It’s just a start… I’m proud of what we’ve achieved… but I’m not satisfied… the government is still not as efficient as it needs to be” followed by the lengthy list of “the work left to do” are surely realistic and forward looking? His plans concerning renewable energy and improvements in healthcare fill me with hope, both as a “green Citizen of the World” and one who feels concern that some people living in such a wealthy country can be denied treatment that may make the difference between life and death.

    I await the next hundred days with more hope than I’ve felt since the day when the news of his election was announced. What happens in your country has an effect all over the world and it is many years since I heard a Spaniard hurl the worse abuse he could think of at a foreign (Scottish) tourist: “Americano!”

  6. Hal Hurst says:

    Thank you for posting this- I’ve been looking for a way to see this press conference. Suprisingly, I was unable to find a link before you published this one.

    Hal

  7. Tom Dennen says:

    This guy is more out of touch with financial reality than anyone ever in the position of POTUS.

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