2009 nonetheless began with hope and optimism even in the midst of the continuing financial meltdowns. No matter your political affiliations you had to be touched and inspired by this great country which has become color blind after a history of injustices. You could understand the tears streaming down the upturned faces alit with hope and optimism when Obama was sworn in.
And yet Obama has turned into a fun house illusion. It is part arrogance and part inexperience and the combination has resulted in a multitude of errors. Perhaps the greatest is that he simply has yet to become the President. Oh he may sit in the Oval Office but he does so as a usurper. He still is playing the roles he knows best – Community Organizer, lawyer, Chicago politician, Ivy League alumni and always the mantle of being black in America lies across his shoulders instead of the mantle of the presidency.
The surprising thing is that this man, who can inspire with his speeches, has actually turned out to be cold and distant without his teleprompter. It feels as if he is treating this country as some lawyerly experiment; setting up new policies giving untold power to the government in the supposed goals of helping the citizens. And yet has any of this truly helped? What has his stimulus package stimulated other than more work for the bureaucrats but none for the people?
Somehow Obama has managed to offend both the left (Guantanamo Bay still holds prisoners, increased action in Afghanistan) and the right (health care, stimulus packages) and everyone in between with the handouts to the financial giants. Time and time again he misjudges situations – siding with his friend and calling the police stupid, going to plug Chicago for the Olympics, going to the climate convention which ended in complete failure by the participants to agree with anything measurable, not going to the memorials for WWII etc. etc.
There was an overall undercurrent of disgust and anger running through the citizenry this year. People were appalled by the ACORN debacle when up and down the Eastern coast employees of the ACORN organization showed their lack of respect for the law with their disgraceful and disgusting fawning over the alleged pimp and Madame who were trying to purchase a house for illegal underage prostitution.
After watching the inept Congress try to destroy the democracy this country was founded on people finally rose up and said “Enough!” The Tea Parties, ignored for the most part by the main stream, were a true phenomenon harking back to earlier times of rebellion by the people, of the people and for the people. Average citizens had reached the tipping point and their anger and frustration had evolved into action.
Yet Congress continues to blindly push through their agendas. In their arrogance they justify their actions with the rationalization that they know what is best for the country even if it is at odds with what the majority believe. And the politician who dares to question this is both threatened and bribed by Reid or Pelosi who are willing to do whatever it takes to pass their bills. And yet they wonder why 65% disapprove the job Congress is doing.
The year began with the US President refusing to use the word terrorist or even concede that we are at war. Absurdly, he even won a Nobel Peace Prize for no explicable reason. Obama was to be the start of a glorious new era, an anti-Bush era, where everyone now loved America because we had a President who cared and could feel their pain, so to speak. The only problem is that no one told the terrorists that they no longer existed and that there was no war.
We end the year with what an increase in terror attacks for it doesn’t seem as if these fanatics got the word. They didn’t realize that Bush was gone and Obama, a man who once lived in a Muslim country, was now America’s President. In fact, world leaders didn’t seem to understand that in Obama, the U.S. now had a President who, unlike the warmongering Bush, was willing to let bygones be bygones. Or perhaps they did. For recently the head of Iran and China and Russia and Venezuela and oh so many other countries are giving us more troubles and simply aren’t playing nice even though we are led by a man who told them that he wants to be friends.
For someone who has always been able to see the silver lining in any situation, I must admit to being hard pressed to find even a silver thread in this past year. Perhaps the best I can do is to say that the best thing about 2009 is that it is now over!