Can 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.
But 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.
Editor, LA Progressive