Monday, February 9, 2009

The Winter of our Hardship

I watched President Obama's press conference the other night. I think it's the first presidential press conference I have watched in its entirety since the Carter Administration.  I was impressed.  He was articulate and familiar with the issues. It was a treat to watch an intelligent, articulate and truthful president, after the last eight years of bumbling around and the eight years before that of dissembling and the eight years before that of ignoring the questions altogether. I thought the president did a good job under terrible circumstances.

He underscored the fact that he inherited this mess. He did not create it.   To his credit, he also emphasized it is his job to fix it, regardless of how on earth we got here.  I like that attitude: never mind how we got here.  We move forward from where we are.

I like the fact that he has a plan, which is flexible and (hopefully) responsive to the actual situation. 

Despite being a sort of wacko social bleeding-heart liberal, I'm kind of a fiscal conservative who believes that government should not bail out private companies that get themselves into a crack because of their own greed and internal corruption.  A part of me would like to reject the stimulus plan for that reason alone.  Daughter Dear was here the whole time.  She agrees with the president that the time is now for the government to act boldly. I can't bring myself to disagree, mainly because I hope that something will turn things around. I have my doubts about the effectiveness of the bailout plan.  I think the Mystery of the Market will have its way, regardless of what the federal government does.

I thought President Carter was right when he said there was a "crisis of confidence in America" in 1979.  He paid dearly for that speech. I thought President Obama was right when he referred to this as the "Winter of our Hardship."  I hope the repercussions for him are not so dire. 

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