I somehow failed to blog on what will be a political landmark in my own lifetime: Obama will be the first blackberry wielding President in the White House (joke copyright of Merlin Froyd).
I watched the inauguration, then didn't hear anything all last week because I have no newspaper around me and don't watch the news. I guess I should make a habit out of checking the news on the Internet. Seems wise. Anyways...
The headlines today are about Obama calling Congress to "put aside politics" while working on his stimulus plan. Sounds like lofty rhetoric at the onset, but when you think about it, it is kind of ludicrous. "Hey, never mind if you believe this plan is bad, we need to do something now, so get behind it!" Of course there are some practices in politics that probably aren't beneficial to the general public, like earmarks and the such. But part of the reason it takes legislation so long to pass is the fact that there are two or more sides to the issue that feel passionately about it. Telling them to "put that aside" in the name of getting work done could have disastrous results.
On a somewhat unrelated note, I think Obama's move to let states govern auto emissions was a significantly bad idea. It doesn't make fiscal sense for automakers to design cars to meet different emission benchmarks, so they will have to produce models that meet the highest benchmark (which will probably be California.) This cost will be delivered to consumers, who won't buy cars because they don't have any money.
I am not an Obama basher. Every administration has called for politics to be put aside, and the emissions deal might work out. However, I fear that the national and international community have put far too great expectations on Obama and his administration. If by 2010 all Americans are employed, the wars are all over, cars run on water and "the American dream," and the ice caps re-freeze, then most will be satisfied. However, I think many people are expecting more than any administration can accomplish in four years and will be let down. I hope I am wrong. I think it is good to a degree that Obama is not afraid to make big decisions early on; I hope they turn out to be beneficial.
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