Do we need to develop patience?

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”  —  Barack Obama

I know not everyone here — not even those who post and participate regularly — voted for Barack Obama last November.  Further, I know many have expressed disappointments in most or at least part of ‘how things are going’ since he won that election.

Another thing I know for sure is that you are all reasonable, well informed, educated Americans who love your country.  So let’s look at this time line I’m borrowing from a series of articles in the November 2, 2009, issue of Newsweek.  They call this series “YES HE CAN (but he sure hasn’t yet) A LIBERAL’S SURVIVAL GUIDE,” and publish several articles worth reading and pondering.  Here’s that time line:

  • Nov 4,2008 — Elected president of the United States
  • Dec 1, 2008 — Introduces national security team, including Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Robert Gates staying on as Secretary of Defense
  • Jan 5, 2009 — Chooses Leon Panetta to head CIA (in surprise pick)
  • Jan 13, 2009 — Threatens Democratic lawmakers with veto if they block second half of bail-out package
  • Jan 20, 2009 — Sworn in as president
  • Jan 21, 2009 — Freezes pay of senior white house staff who make more than $100,000 and imposes new ethics guidelines to diminish influence of lobbyists
  • Jan 22, 2009 — Signs order to close Guantanamo within one year and bans use of harsh interrogation techniques that some have called torture
  • Jan 23, 2009 — Resumes federal funding of international family planning groups that perform abortions and provide abortion-related services
  • Jan 26, 2009 — Gives first formal interview as president to an Arab TV network.  Moves to raise fuel-efficiency standards for 2011 cars and pushes for states t set tighter limits on auro emissions
  • Jan 29, 2009 — Signs into law first bill:  The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which gives victims of pay discrimination more time to file a lawsuit
  • Feb 17, 2009 — Signs into law the $787 billion stimulus bill.  Authorizes sending 17,000 additional troops to Afghanistan
  • Feb 27, 2009 — Announces intention to end U.S. combat in Iraq by Aug 31, 2010.  “Iraq’s future is now its own responsibility,” he says
  • Mar 2, 2009 — Chooses Kansas Gov Kathleen Sebelius to run Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • Mar 9, 2009 — Lifts ban on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research
  • Mar 30, 2009 — Rejects restructuring plans of auto giants GM and Chrysler and announces incentives for consumers to buy cars
  • Apr 12, 2009 — Orders Navy to kill Somali pirates holding captain hostage
  • Apr 13, 2009 — Lifts restrictions on Cuban-Americans traveling and sending money to Cuba; telecommunications firms can also do business there
  • April 16, 2009 — Instructs Justice Dept. to release torture memos that describe CIA interrogation techniques used under Bush.  Says he won’t prosecute those involved
  • Apr 22, 2009 — With Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, clears way for first offshore wind turbines along Atlantic coast
  • Apr 30, 2009 — Forces Chrysler into bankruptcy following failed negotiations between Treasury, Chrysler, creditors and union
  • May 15, 2009 — Announces reinstatement of military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees, but with more rights for defendants than under Bush
  • May 26, 2009 — Nominates Sonia Sotomayor for The Supreme Court
  • May 28, 2009 — Says Israel must halt construction is West bank in order to reach peace accord with Palestinians; emphasizes two-state solution
  • June 1, 2009 — Refuses to rescue General Motors, pushing it into bankruptcy in one of the largest industrial filings ever
  • June 4, 2009 — President delivers major speech on conflict between Muslims and The West; asks for cooperation to end violent extremism
  • June 23, 2009 — Publicly condemns government crackdown on demonstrators in Iran — after more than a week of protests
  • June 26, 2009 — Signs “Cash for Clunkers” bill,, which gives consumers up to $4,500 to trade old vehicles for more fuel-efficient cars and trucks
  • July 30, 2009 — Following arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. by Sgt. James Crowley of Cambridge Police, holds ‘beer summit’ with Gates, Crowley, and VP Biden
  • Sept 9, 2009 — Calls for health-care reform and advocates government insurance to compete with private sector
  • Sept 17, 2009 — Scraps plan for missile shield in Eastern Europe conceived by Bush Administration
  • Oct 18, 2009 — Delivers new guidelines on medical marijuana; suppliers and users won’t be arrested if they abide by state laws

Newsweek chose what to include in their timeline, but it points out the short time that has passed and asks us to remember not only what has happened but that although President Obama promised change, he didn’t promise it all at once.  The articles also ask us to consider these points:

  • Barack Obama campaigned as a Populist firebrand but governs like a cerebral consensus builder.  The Founding Fathers wouldn’t have it any other way!
  • If the American people want the president to be more like the Barack Obama they elected, perhaps they should start acting more like the voters who elected him!

For your reading pleasure, here are a couple of the articles that comprise “A LIBERAL’S SURVIVAL GUIDE”

Hope Springs Eternal by Anna Quindlen; The PDQ Presidency by  Jonathan Alter



Filed under Democratic Party, President Barack Obama

10 responses to “Do we need to develop patience?

  1. I encourage each of you to read the articles linked at the end of this post.

    “This is a country that often has transformational ambitions but is saddled with an incremental system, a nation built on revolution, then engineered so the revolutionary can rarely take hold.

    Checks and balances: that’s how we learn about it in social-studies class, and in theory it is meant to guard against a despotic executive, a wild-eyed legislature, an overweening judiciary. And it’s also meant to safeguard the rights of the individual; as James Madison, president and father of the Constitution, once said, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” But what our system has meant during the poisonous partisan civil war that has paralyzed Washington in recent years is that very little of the big stuff gets done. It simply can’t.

    Universal health care is the area in which the gap between what’s needed and what’s likely is most glaring, and the limitations of the president’s power most apparent. It is dispiriting to watch the cheerleaders of American exceptionalism pound their chests and insist that our citizens do not need the kind of system that virtually every other developed nation finds workable. (By the way, if you’re confused about the public option, just ask yourself this question: would you like to be eligible for Medicare at 40 rather than 65?) As elected officials posture and temporize, families are bankrupted by health-care costs and forgo treatment they can’t afford. Statistical measures of the national health, from life expectancy to infant mortality, continue to be substandard. And because we have that system of checks and balances, in which movement usually happens slowly and sporadically, a great need for sweeping reform may be met with a jury-rigged bill neither sufficiently deep nor broad, which perhaps someday will give way to a better one, and then eventually a truly good one.”

  2. lilacluvr

    But how can liberals discuss the checks and balances of how our government works when Social Conservative Republicans try to rewrite the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

    Just listen to these Social Conservatives and they will tell you their version of how American government was formed and how it should run and I swear not a single one of these people ever attended a government class – let alone graduate from a school that required such a credit.

    How many times have we heard that there is no separation of church and State from these Social Conservatives? How many times have we heard that all the Founding Fathers were Christians – when clearly they were not.

    I wonder, when these Evangelical Christians started homeschooling their kids – is that when the educational level of Republicans dropped? Do these people just not teach government any more?

    I know they must not teach any of the flag rules any more – because these very same Republicans who claim to love America and its flag so much are the very same people who are wearing the flag as inappropriate clothing. And, remember when George W. Bush and Laura Bush stood on the American Flag rug at the WTC? Our flag should never touch the ground but yet our president stood on it and not one single Republican said anything about it.

    • You know if you got me started on the many complaints I have against bush the lesser I would never have time to list them all! He is the reason our country was brought to the brink of ruin, he is the reason President Obama couldn’t hit the ground running on his agenda.

      • lilacluvr

        Amen to that sentiment.

        But isn’t it funny now to hear these ‘real’ Conservative Republicans trying to distance themselves from George W. Bush? To hear them tell it now, they were NEVER for Bush. If that is true – then how did Bush and Gang push through all that big government spending?

        Inquiring minds want to know…

  3. I see your points, Lilac. So we stand above the fray, we let them duke it out within their party on who is ‘conservative’ enough and all that stupidity of the rewriting of both the Bible and the Constitution.

    But their numbers are so small we can’t blame them for things not moving along and the inability to get meaningful legislation through Congress. We must shoulder that blame with the presidency being Democratic, a super majority in the Senate, and outnumbering House Reps by 256 to 177. What it boils down to, for me, is that too many in Congress of both major political parties are worthless. The only thing that means anything to them is their wallet / handbag and getting reelected.

    • lilacluvr

      Again, I agree with you.

      It seems like politics is so corrupt that people will spend millions to get a job that pays what $200,000 a year? So, obviously these people are not running for the job but just to get that pay – they are really running to gain all that access to the power and the BIG money.

      If I remember correctly,didn’t Todd Tiarht run on the promise of term limits? But, of course, we don’t see him high tailing it back to Kansas – do we?

      But I also remember Bob Dole saying that he would return home if he was to lose the presidency. Again, I don’t see Bob Dole’s name as a Kansas resident – do you?

      There is way too much money in the politics system and where there is too much money – there is too much temptation to be corrupt.

      The only things that makes it worse for me is when these politicians pretend to be such good Christians and still be as big a crook as the other ones.

      That is my biggest pet peeve – these phoney Christians. I would rather deal with the Devil that I know is the devil than some Devil pretending to be some Saint.

  4. Eco&EvoBio

    While I am perfectly able to understand how things like health care reform and economic recovery take time and patience, there are other issues that I feel could be taken care of swiftly and thoroughly. Like repealing DADT!

    • Welcome to Prairie P&Ps, Eco.

      Yeah, what is that excuse we hear again? A presidential decision vs. a legislative one could be overturned by the next president. Sounds a whole bunch like an excuse to me!

      • tosmarttobegop

        Not really Fnord he is correct in it needs to be the Congress that over turns it. It is that important and need a firm over turn.

        We need to keep such important thing more firm then at the whim of the President.

  5. tosmarttobegop

    LOL Liberals be patience? Things need done and it need done yesterday!

    It is the very definition of a Liberal that if it is wrong there is no reason to wait to fix it.
    Credit to them that they recognize the problem and have the will to not just accept it.
    Republicans recognize the problem too but then wait wonder if we fix it then what either will go wrong?
    I already covered Conservatives, they don’t want to think about the problem long enough to fix it.
    Doing anything will give the chance something will go wrong so do nothing!

    Health care is a good example, it is one of the most serious problems in this country.
    It deserved a time consuming thought process and in depth evaluation.
    Not a simple and clear sighted thing, we are seeing the outcome from the rush.
    Public option is a joke and mere words and little real outcome.
    Was that what we had in mind?