I hate it when I’m right.
Way back in 2005, before anyone thought we’d elect an African American to the highest office in the land, folks were convinced that Hillary Rodham Clinton would the forty-fourth president. And I said then, in a glib, off-hand post, that that was a terrible idea.
The reason I thought Hillary Clinton in 2008 was a terrible idea was not because I have anything against the woman. I’m fairly ambivalent about her as a politician, truth be told. The reason I thought it was a terrible idea was actually because I have a fair amount of respect for her. I knew that whoever got elected in 2008 would be inheriting a political and economic mess of gargantuan proportions. I was short on specifics in that post, but I talked about the economic mess, about two wars, about global crises, and, most importantly, how the spin doctors and talking heads in the media are so wrapped up in the Now that they have no sense of history or causality. Americans in general are so consumed with the present that they blithely ignore how it is that we got into this mess in the first place, and they seem to want to pin all their hopes, all their fears, all their blame on whomever happens to be sitting in the Oval Office regardless of who’s fault this disaster actually is.
When then-candidate Obama came into my sphere of awareness, I knew that he’d be just as screwed as anyone if he won. But I had hoped that he would be able, through sheer will-power or political tenacity, to rise above my dire predictions and the pundits and actually overcome the rhetoric. I had hoped that — whatever failings he may have as a president, whatever he may not be able to accomplish, whatever compromises that he would inevitably have to make — I had hoped that I would be wrong.
I don’t know what to do about that. I don’t know what Pres. Obama or the Democratic party can do to win back disenfranchised voters on either side of the aisle. With one exception of course — jobs. Short of magically giving every American a job without simultaneously appearing to create a larger government thus pissing of all the crazy people wearing Revolutionary-era, three-cornered hats out there, I don’t know. All I do know is that I hope that they’re able to turn this sinking ship around in the next year or two and nudge it, however minimally, in a better direction.
In other news, rain. And lots of it. And with no end in sight. Despite the fact that I got a new office last week (this one with a window!), I am still feeling a serious lack of vitamin D around here which is, undoubtedly, contributing to a generally dour mood. Expect more dour posts in this space in the days ahead — really sorry about that — but I do hope to find some joy in the weeks ahead. And if I do, you can bet your bottom dollar that’ll I’ll share it with you, my loyal readers.