After my post of couple of days ago, I got a couple of responses of the Meet the New Boss variety. Aside from that being a depressingly cynical outlook on politics, let's just take a look at the new president's first month (month!)
From Rachel Maddow:
- Announced strict new rules for lobbyists
- Paycaps for White House staff
- Hilllary Clinton confirmed Secretary of State
- Signed an Executive Order closing Gitmo and Secret CIA Prisons Overseas
- Named George Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke Special Envoys to the Middle East
- Made first visit to the State Dept, symbolically reviving diplomacy
- Appeared on Arab TV network
- Signed Lily Ledbetter Act
- Eric "waterboarding IS torture" Holder confirmed
- Signed S-ChIP legislation
- Canceled 77 land leases around Arches National Park
- Signed the Stimulus Bill
- Announced home forclosure prevention plan
- Took first foreign trip
- Banned budget gimmicks, like emergency funding for Iraq
- Met with mayors
- Signed Executve ORder for Office of Gulf Coast Recovery
"Meet the new boss" is empirically, evidentiarily untrue. That much is obvious within a month.
I don't want to be obtuse, though. These cynics aren't saying that Obama=Bush. I think they're saying that politicians are inherently untrustworthy and smart people don't put any faith in them. Let me be clear here: Barack Obama is not Jesus. He will not make the world perfect. He will screw up and disappoint us. Shoot, he already has! But, by and large, he's showing signs of being the guy who can lead us out of this morass and back into our normal state of fuck-up-edness.
And politics, dammit, are too important for us to descend into unadulterated cynicism.
In the inimitable words of the late, lamented Molly Ivins:
Your entire life—the warp and woof of your life—is going to be bounded by political decisions made in city halls and state capitals and the White House, and the Capitol in Washington. How deep you will be buried when you die, the qualifications of the people who prescribe your eyeglasses, whether or not the dye you use on your hair will cause cancer. All of those, and many, many more things that touch your life everyday in a thousand ways. Whether or not your car is safe when you get into it, all of these things are affected by government. You are involved, whether you like the picture or not. And if you don't like it, you really have an obligation to change it.