Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mary Pitt: "They Still Don't Get It"



Mary Pitt


Just three weeks after Barack Obama was sworn in, we are barraged with complaints because he has not yet wiped out all the vestiges of the Bush administration from the environs of Washington, D.C. We are daily confronted by newspaper items, editorials, and blogs telling us of his shortcomings and failure to correct all the bad Department of Justice decisions, all the illicit Executive Orders, the no-bid contractors, to withdraw all the troops from Iraq, and to restore our country to a state of peace. And yet, the polls show an unprecedented approval by the people!

This is, above all, a man who is measured and prudent in his thinking and has established his priorities for action. He has chosen first to put right our economic state, no insignificant or simple task. Believing in our tri-partate system of government, he allowed the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives to write the necessary legislation, to offer it for a vote, and send it to the Senate where it was amended, passed, and sent to Conference. It moved through the process in record time and is within his recommendations as to the amount of money involved.

This is the way it should be done, people! Are we all so accustomed to the Bush system of change that we expect the President to issue an order and both parties match in lockstep to issue a blank check as they did in his request for authority to "handle" the aftermath of September 11, 2001? Now, that really worked, didn't it?

In the meantime, behind the scenes, there is a small army of people working feverishly; going through records and subpoena-ing those that are lacking, compiling data, incovering facts, and putting information into presentation form that will be given his attention in the order of his pre-determined order of priorities. Buried in those piles of papers are things of which we, the people, have known nothing and we can expect to find several surprises there which President Obama will deal with as they arrive.

Meanwhile, the newly-appointed Secretary of State and the various Ambassadors are travelling all over the world, renewing acquaintances with foreign leaders and establishing bases for official talks to try to correct some iof the ills of the rest of the world. Shifts have been made in the accents on the tasks of our troops around the world and in the personnel involved in directing them. There is much yet to be done there and it will be done in due time.

So, what are all the complaints about? Some of the Cabinet choices had to be withdrawn before being confirmed. Has that never happened before? The Vice-President has a bit of a mouth problem, not much of a surprise and at least, he is not running a sub rosa spy program from his basement! Health care and Social Security problems have not yet been solved. Again, not a surprise inasmuch as several administrations have failed in that effort and the President determined that the economy, (the number one concern of the voters), was the most important thing to do first.

The largest and loudest complaint is that President Obama has been unresponsive to the demands for investigation of the previous adminitration for their many instances of illegal actions and violations of the Constitution. His answers have not been sufficiently decisive for those who feel that this should be done as soon as possible. Suspicions are voiced that the President is "in cahoots" with the "Bush criminals"! Yet we have no knowledge of the tasks that have been assigned to the Department of Justice other than the fact that we have been told that, if and when the necessary information reaches his desk, he will be ready to respond.

And yet, when the Congress began to lag in the passage of the economic stimulus bill, he turned to the people. Not just to any people and not just to Democratic strongholds where he would be assured of support but the states where he lost to his Republican opponent. The audience was not vetted and there was no "protest zone". It was come-one-come-all and the cheers were as supportive as those on his campaign trail. It may not have caused the bill to pass but it certainly did not hurt the effort when Congress was exposed on the evening news to the faces of their own suffering constituents as they voiced their pleas for relief.

This is a different kind of President. He is probably the most intelligent and, so far, appears to be the most thoughtful and mentally-organized person to hold the office in a very long time. He can carry the weight of all the troubles of the world on his shoulders and yet be able to "put it away" and enjoy a fast game of basketball, take the kids to the beach, and treat his wife to a romantic dinner for Valentine's Day, and then come back to work refreshed and ready for action. He may not be Super Man but he comes close.

The point that the complainers still just don't get is that Barack Obama was not elected to the presidency simply because we wanted to get rid of the Bushes by changing the person in the White House. The "revolution" was not only against George Bush; it was against the "business as usual" of the Washington culture. We sat through eight years of watching the Democrats in Congress roll over and act in a "spirit of bipartisanship" while Bush and Company raped our nation and destroyed much of the world. Retribution can wait. First, the welfare of the people must be restored and the working class put back on their feet so that our neglected infrastructure can be restored and we can, once again, be a proud nation and a leader of the free world.

Let us give the man time, stop carping and nit-picking, and give him a decent amount of time to show progress. It is a Herculean job that cannot be done overnight. It's the least we can do, considering what he is trying to do for us.

The author is a very "with-it" old lady who aspires to bring a bit of truth, justice, and common sense to a nation that has lost touch with its humanity in the search for "societal perfection".

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