Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for Obama, sort of, more or less

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 3:39 PM

Unlike some of my progressive friends and acquaintances, I can understand the humongous bailout of Wall Street initiated by the Bush administration and continued by Obama. Nearly all economists agree that we would be in a new version of the Great Depression if the government hadn’t stepped in. That doesn’t mean we have to like it, but it does seem to have been necessary.

The management of the bailout money, however – including simply keeping track of who got what and what they did with it – has been abysmal. And we’re still waiting for any of Goldman Sachs’ or AIG’s irresponsible managers to stand trial for nearly bringing down the entire world economy.

Health care reform has moved along at a snail’s pace, and the president has been less than aggressive then we’d like in pursuing his top domestic priority, but hey, it’s getting done, even though we still don’t know the final form the legislation will take.

The new administration has made some good moves in shoring up the government’s regulatory role, particularly on environmental issues, but only a little progress has been made on bolstering anti-terrorism protection for the nation’s lethally dangerous chemical plants, an issue George “War on Terror” Bush never seriously considered.

Now it looks like Obama is going to send around 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan even though polls show that American voters think the war isn’t worth fighting, and despite the fact that even the administration says there are no more than 100 members of al-Qaeda operating there. As someone who had doubts about Obama at first, then warmed up to him, and finally campaigned for him and drove people to the polls to vote for him, my well-earned reaction to this Afghan news is simple: Well, isn’t that just friggin great?

Now, one more straw has been added to our camel’s back. The Obama administration announced that it will not sign the international treaty (already signed by our NATO allies and many other nations) to ban landmines. Again, well, isn’t that just friggin great? Progressives, for once, stick together and elect their candidate, and the guy can't even ban landmines?

But you know what? I’m still thankful it’s Obama in the White House and not John McCain. The first and foremost reason is that if McCain had won, we’d have a pinhead ignoramus VisionWorks model one proverbial heartbeat away from being president. No thanks -- eight years with the last dimwit was plenty. Other reasons? With McCain, there would be no health care reform, environmental criminals would still have free rein to blow up the Appalachians for coal and pollute our skies and waters. And you can bet your, er, savings that with McCain, we’d already be in up to our necks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and probably Iran as well.

So, happy with Obama so far? No, not really. But thankful he’s in office and not the odd couple he ran against? You bet. And with that, Happy Thanksgiving!

Be thankful for what you've got . . . and for what we didn't get
  • Be thankful for what you've got . . . and for what we didn't get

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