Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Leadership & Restraint

I've been watching events transpire since the "shellacking" the Democrats took in November 2010 mostly in horror and sometimes with unreasonable hope. I've watched the Tea Party inspired Republicans go about the business of ruthlessly stripping the middle class workforce of hard won rights, the redistribution of wealth upward in a way not totally unprecedented way and the framing of the economics of our time in a way that the fault is being set at the feet of hard working, law abiding, tax paying people while the wealthiest families continue to consolidate their wealth and power while accruing even more tax breaks for themselves, their investments and businesses. It isn't the Democrats that have been waging the class war but those that accuse them of doing so.

We now have a party in charge of the national purse strings that finds its interest in only representing these wealthy families because to do otherwise would be to acknowledge that President Obama's limited and timid steps towards fixing this mess have had a measureable positive effect in the recovery of some parts of our economy. Understand this - the Tea Party has been blinded by the wealthiest to believe that the wealthy and Republican Party care about the small business people. They do not. There have been no real steps taken by House Speaker Boehner and his minions to create any new jobs - just a constant flow of negativity and nonsensical tweets and sound bites about how President Obama is either a facist, socialist, Kenyan and/or Moslem.

Today I view what is going on around our country with hope as the sleeping middle class giant may be finally shaking the cobwebs from its collective brain after the pummeling its been taking since the days of President Reagan. The notice of what is happening in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and New Jersey makes me believe that a broad movement is afoot. One in which our national priorities can begin to be readdressed without fear and violence. I believe that this is the beginning of a return to fairness but that the road may be long and the journey at times unpleasant.

What gives me hope is that I had the opportunity to listen to Rep. Dennis Kucinich's address to the people in Madison Wisconsin. Finally, a person with a large national stature that isn't timidly addressing the issues of today. Take 15 minutes to view it here: . I'm not promoting Mr. Kucinich for anything - in fact he has already stated that he will not run against President Obama in 2012, but I do wish he'd reconsider.

I have been giving our 44th President some thought during this same period. I have found myself running hot and cold about his performance. I have no great insight nor can I point to a single situation that I feel was the final straw. I know that he was the right choice given what Senator McCain and the quitter Sarah Palin represented in 2008. However, I sometimes think that we asked this man to do more than he should have been called on to do.

In his efforts to rebuild America he has come up against the institutionalized racism that cannot be swepted away in just a few generations. He has been rebuffed by the less than loyal opposition whenever he has extended his hand or asked for bipartisan support for policies good for America. He has opened the door to the White House for anyone other than a white American male. He has done good things for which he'll never get full credit.

Despite all that is good - he has not been great. In a time where we are looking around for strong leadership he is not stepping up. We look at pundits, former Secretaries of past administrations, celebrities, disgraced former politicians for vision and leadership - I hope its coming soon.

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