9.30.2009

hope somebody puts this on obama's desk...

drew westen's "all the president's values".

an excerpt:
But even when [George W. Bush] was lying through his teeth, lying through somebody else's teeth (like Colin Powell's at the United Nations), or bombing the wrong country, you knew where he stood. He had beliefs. He had principles. He had values.

Mind you, I didn't agree with any of those beliefs, principles, or values. But once Bush took off the "compassionate conservative" Halloween costume he wore for the 2000 election, he generally told us what he believed in and pursued it as vigorously as he asserted it.

For example, Bush thought gay people like his vice president's daughter were a threat to civilization (okay, maybe he had a point about Liz Cheney), so he tried to sell a Constitutional amendment to make them the official lepers of the United States (since both he and Jeb still needed Hispanics, and we already had a national flower).

He believed abortion was murder and that premarital sex was a sin (once he was no longer premarital, of course), so he used the big stick of both U.S. aid abroad and the federal government at home to prevent everyone he could from getting an abortion, a condom, or accurate information about birth control.

He thought everyone should be able to carry an AK-47 into church, so he opened an office of faith-based initiatives and let the ban on assault weapons sunset.

And he believed that monopolies constitute a free market and that profits are good no matter how you get them, so he gave taxpayer subsidies to oil companies while gas was at $4.00 a gallon and handed the national car keys to Wall Street traders along with a fifth of Jack Daniels and a race track.

Okay, so he wasn't among, say, our top 43 presidents.

But I wouldn't mind hearing about values from our current president. And more importantly, I wouldn't mind seeing him act on them, whatever they are.

i know obama's in a nearly impossible position, and i think i understand what he's spent most of this first year trying to do, i.e., seeing how far he can get while stepping on as few toes as possible.

but precisely because he's in that impossible position, he's also going to have to take some risks.

the situation was pretty much fked when he got there.
there would have been challenges facing any president after dubya's mess.

but we need more. lots more.  and he's gonna have to get stepping on those toes so we can see what he's made of and act accordingly.

my heart still believes, and i've been saying since january 09 that we should give him at least a year before complaining too loudly.

well, that year's almost here.  and i'm not impressed.  yet.

step up, mr. president.  shut the haters down. 

2 comments:

doninkognito said...

Yup. And I have to add that I don't think he has to step on some toes just for the sake of "I stepped on some toes" credibility. I am most concerned that the President does the right thing. Unfortunately, to do the right thing(s) in such a perversely (and acceptably) evil and exploitative world means he's gonna have to step on a lot of people's toes; even some of the people who pat him on the back.

The President and his administration, have had a few lapses in "doing the right thing," so far, but I'm still optimistic that there are leaders who are still committed to such thankless but critical endeavors.

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

agreed.

the election and the lagging coming of "change" (altho i was only cautiously optimistic to begin with) combined with some local political snafus have left me wondering how i fit into the process.

sometimes i wonder if i should give up on voting altogether and instead throw some effort into helping actual people do real things to improve their lives.