Fish left such a thoughtful comment to my last post that I had to take the time to address in an illustrious fashion.
You smell like a three-day-left-in-the-sun-real-world-version-of-your-online-avatar.
No, no. that’s not what I really meant to say. As far as I know Mr. Fish (who should really pal around with Mr. Chips) is a paragon of hygiene and Body Shop botanical splendor, the mental images of sub par dentistry and grimy fingernails his less than genteel online manor suggests notwithstanding. A serious statement (or as close to one as Fish seems capable of tapping out with a solitary finger) deserves serious response.
What did then Candidate Obama mean –and his supporters hope for—when promising change? That would be Change from the worst economy produced by any two term president in modern history? (And no, this is not the Obama recession any more than the first two years of the Gipper’s Administration are called the Reagan Recession.) This is not the verdict of left wing hippy type intellectuals. Check out former Bush speech writer David Frum’s comments last week in which he pointed out:
In terms of income growth and poverty reduction, Bush performed worse than any two-term president of the modern era. Even in the best year of his presidency, 2007, the typical American household still earned less after inflation than in the year 2000. The next year, 2008, American households suffered the worst income drop since record-keeping began six decades ago.
Or maybe it’s change from a litany of some of the biggest mistakes made by any modern administration as summarized by Craig Newmark, a list which includes:
• Going to war on false premises;
• The greatest disaster relief failure in American history;
• Controversial (and, one might add, potentially dangerous and often unconstitutional assertions of Executive Power;
• Becoming the first administration in modern US history to overtly condone torture;
• Unprecedented politicization of the departments of the Executive Branch (can you say Justice) and political patronage appointments of demonstrably incompetents (see number 2 above) ;
• Fiddling while Wall Street burned and then putting out the fire with a trillion dollars in public money; and
• Gutting environmental policy while exposing millions of Americans to increased health and quality of life risks.
Or how about change in simply ending what an overwhelming numbers of professional historians (more than any other president at this point in the post-presidency) call one of the worst administrations in history.
Of course my own personal favorite bit of change: having a president who can now use the language of Shakespeare without making the Bard want to switch to French.
Fish, read a book. Read history. Read SOMETHING other than right wing blogs perused while listening to right wing talk radio. Obama is not the best thing since sliced bread. He is not the Messiah. He is making plenty of what I consider to be significant mistakes which all into question his ability to produce the change his supporters hoped for. But by any objective standard he is so far performing better than his predecessor. That is a good thing. Democracy worked. The people spoke and maybe things improve.
So Fish, I sign off with YAJSCIIYLKJARRWTIJWTDYIMY.EHOC.*
(*You are just so cute in your little knee-jerk and rude reactionary ways that I just want to dip you in my coffee. Extra hot, of course.)