Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I need a new crystal ball

What a difference a year makes. Heck, what a difference a week makes.

It's hard to describe my feelings upon President Obama's first full week in office. But then, I imagine I don't really have to. Like me, everyone reading this is probably feeling that same, unfamiliar mix of relief and elation at the flurry of positive, beneficial, forward-looking actions and decisions coming from the Oval Office on a near daily basis.

Ordering the closure of Guantanamo.

Formally banning torture.

Putting stringent restrictions on who can claim executive privilege in keeping presidential records secret, and when they can do it.

Reversing the "Mexico City Policy"

Letting the EPA, whose staff scientists all support the idea, move forward on granting California a waiver to set their own more stringent vehicle emission standards.

And the hits just keep on coming.

A year ago, we didn't know who was going to be president. We didn't even know who the Democratic Party nominee was going to be. The smart money, so we were all told, was on Hillary Clinton.

My personal pick, one year ago, was John Edwards. I loved his populist message. The fact that he was the only candidate brave enough to actually talk about the class warfare that conservatives have been conducting against middle and lower income Americans. I loved that he made his career fighting big corporations on behalf of ordinary people, and winning.

And while I liked Obama's message too, especially his message of hope and "yes we can," the truth is I just didn't think America was ready to elect a black man. I just didn't think he had a chance.

Of course, Edwards bowed out before Super Tuesday, dashing my hopes there, and then got taken down another few notches with that adultery scandal. Clinton ran such a shallowly reactive, focus-group-tested, insider-advisor-driven, and ultimately tone-deaf campaign that voters never had the chance to see the real person behind the image.

So we nominated Obama, and I'll be darned if he didn't walk away with the whole shebang.

The American people surprised me, in the best way possible. They showed me that they are not only ready to elect a non-white man to lead the nation, but that they were eager to do so.

For one shining moment in my memory of politics, the people woke up, smelled the coffee, and actually voted in their best interests rather than letting themselves be manipulated by wedge issues and hyper-partisan screeching about trivialities that don't amount to a hill of beans--nor, for that matter, to a plate of beans on the dinner table.

Unlike most talking head pundits who get to be on TV, I can admit when I'm wrong. And as the title of this post suggests, boy was I wrong. Happily, gleefully, and with immeasurable relief, wrong.

Thank you, America, for being better, smarter, wiser, and less gullible than I gave you credit for.

Thank you, Barack Obama, for being the most amazing, savvy, transformational person to step onto the public stage in the past 40 years.

And thank you, Mr. President, for giving us a week in office filled with rays of that hope you spoke of so often and so eloquently.

It feels wonderful. It is wonderful. And it shall yield a wonderful harvest in the years to come.


Blogger Cherubim said...

President-Elect Barack Obama has chosen, mostly, Wall Street promoters and corporate lawyers to be in his cabinet. He hasn’t included anyone who knows how to interact and relate with everyday American citizens, and then report back to him concerning: (1) what the people need, and (2) whether his administration’s new initiatives are working. During the Great Depression, Eleanor Roosevelt fulfilled this role for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. I nominate Senator John Edwards for this role. John Edwards would be a refreshing change. John Edwards, consistently spoke up for average Americans, i.e. Main Street, not Wall Street. During his “Road to One America Poverty Tour” John Edwards demonstrated that he is uniquely qualified for this role.
The video evidence follows:
He has walked with and comforted people whose homes were being foreclosed:

He has visited workers employed in the new renewal energy economy:

John Edwards is, also, the only candidate for President that actually went down to New Orleans on several occasions and worked along side those striving to try to bring back the areas that remain so devastated from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.

January 28, 2009 11:20 AM  

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