Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stay Skeptical

Barack Obama will be sworn is as President of the United States today, and the endless coverage of this event has been a gushing tribute. The media is reveling in the cult of personality Obama established in his run for the presidency.

People are planning where they will watch this historic event, gushing about missing work or finding a way to steal away from their jobs to watch Obama take his oath of office and endure the kingly pomp and circumstance I’m convinced would have sickened George Washington.

While many of my friends and coworkers plan to celebrate, I cannot help but remain skeptical. We are saying good bye to a bought and paid for Republican President who had no idea what he was doing and saying hello to a bought and paid for Democratic President who knows what he is doing but isn’t going to do the right thing either.

I expect that I will experience a lot of schadenfreude over the next four years as people realize they were sold a false bill of goods. Few seem to notice that he went back on his word regarding public campaign financing, domestic spying, offshore oil drilling, and withdrawing troops from Iraq—and that was just during the campaign. His positions in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants (which he’s basically shelved for the time being, apparently) and his vacillation on the Second Amendment (not to mention the Fourth Amendment) made me unable to vote for him, but I can see why people did. After eight years of disaster, it was more of a gamble to go with McCain. And people see in Obama what they want to see.

Obama really is no better than any other politician. He’s not any worse, and it will be a relief to have a President who can speak well and not act like a buffoon. But he raised approximately $687 million during his campaign, and the bulk of that money did not come from small donors as his supporters would have you believe. Sadly, that kind of money talks louder than the Constitution, the needs of working Americans, or any gaggle of bloggers.

If we learned anything over the last eight years, it is that blind trust and praise in leaders during a time of crisis can be disastrous. So it was with Bush, so will it be with Obama. Don’t for one minute think that because we have a smarter president we can let our guard down. It’s never a bad time to stay skeptical.


czar said...

Points all well made and well taken.

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