Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"The Honeymooners"

This iconic television series, recently made into a movie with an all-star, black cast, taught us a great deal about ourselves as Americans, our values, and how we interacted one with the other.

We have Ralph Kramden, always the wily schemer, drawing his perennial friend, dimwitted Ed Norton, into those schemes, just as Kingfish in Amos 'n' Andy often drew in his dimwitted sidekick, Andy.

In both shows, the Norton character and the Andy character often outwitted their supposedly more intelligent friends and overturned their machinations.

No this blog entry is not about The Honeymooners, nor Amos 'n' Andy, but it is about a honeymoon, and those "honeymooners" that now make up the new administration, and about the criticism that is now being leveled against President Obama's first sixty days in office, as he attempts to maximize his efforts for what will be, after all, a quickly passing four years, without assurances that he will have a second term.

From Republicans feeling a little dizzy from Obama's whirlwind pace, we hear: "You're moving too fast!"

The question of his moving too fast came up early for Obama and his new administration, actually after only his second full day in office.

Polls are mixed as to what pace the new president should set, ranging from 59% saying he's moving at the "right speed" to the 10% that says he's not "moving fast enough," with 25% saying that he's "moving too fast."

The polls wouldn't matter all that much, but for Republicans grousing of recent days urging President Obama to slow down and focus on the economy, an economy, by the way, that they believe shouldn't be focused on at all, but allowed to find its own way, to seek its own bottom, and to find "sea-level" without much government meddling.

“During the campaign we called him 'No Drama Obama' -- the picture of cool, running on his own timetable and refusing to be rushed or thrown off stride. He often seemed to have all the time in the world. But once the election was over, and especially since Inauguration Day, the same 47-year-old has been moving at the political equivalent of the speed of light. Now he seems to have not a moment to lose.

And if this was the extent of the criticism, I would have stopped writing at the last period, but what we hear echoing from "sea to shining sea" is the following:

"For those who reflect further, the question soon becomes one of cost. Can all these rescues be done as the economy weakens dramatically? Are we burdening ourselves and future generations with debts that will come back to beggar us?

"And for the more immediate present, is this any way to accomplish such a historically ambitious agenda?"

Obama has been urged: "One thing at a time, all in good time. Regular order. Slow and steady wins the race."

And for the record, he has summarily ignored his critics and have, through his bold (and some would say reckless) actions, seemingly channeling Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, who yelled, when disaster loomed, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

"Most of us would lean toward a more conventional approach. Tackle the most pressing problems first -- the credit system, the banks and the home mortgages that dragged them both down. Then perhaps more time could be devoted to a tax-cutting, job-creating stimulus plan and a budget that propped up demand while the consumer took a breather."

And some have observed: Obama's path might not be the best path to take in this crisis. Yet, if he doesn't multitask, he may lose the patient altogether, especially if he puts all his efforts into administering a blood transfusion, while disregarding the patient's need for oxygen.

"Solve the economy first? No, says Peter Orszag, the new budget director and another of the Obama wunderkinder. The single biggest obstacle to restarting the economy is the cost of health care, says he, and that means you can't do the one without the other."

So we have President Obama moving with a pace that would test the endurance of lesser men. If this was track, he would give Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt the run of his life, but this is politics, and we see the hurried pace of a president that seems on fire to find a way to put out the fire that he inherited from eight years of a Bush presidency, and six years of a congress dominated by Republicans.

"But once the election was over, and especially since Inauguration Day, the same 47-year-old has been moving at the political equivalent of the speed of light. Now he seems to have not a moment to lose. Deadlines close in from all directions. It is as though he can solve no problem unless he moves to solve them all at once."

Obama knows that the honeymoon won't last. Right now he's America's darling, and despite a little grumbling from the in-laws, he knows that lady politics is fickle, and will be looking elsewhere for a suitable replacement, if he fails in his bid to keep her happy.

He has her affections for the moment, but if he doesn't move quickly with his agenda for the nation, it may be too late, once his poll numbers begin to shift and decline.

If I had the president's ear, I'd tell him to run faster, do more, multitask, do whatever he believes is best for our nation with due haste and deliberation.

I would tell him to ignore his critics. They merely wish to delay his actions until the tide turns, to frustrate his efforts until fortune finds another suitor, and abandons him.

They believe that they can turn your failure into their success, and use your bones to build their monuments.

Don't let them.

"There is an old adage that if you want a job done you should give it to the busiest person available. Busy people tend to be more task-oriented, more efficient and effective. They invite responsibility because they respond to it. People with little to do and time on their hands may in fact have all they can handle.

"Right now this country has committed itself to testing the wisdom of that adage. And a great deal rides on the outcome."

Mr. President the Honeymoon is still in full swing. Your new bride is still blushing, and the Champagne is still chilled.

This is no time to let either go to waste.


GrannyStandingforTruth said...

I pray that he is not paying attention to his critics at all, which I don't think he is. They're just trying to figure out a way to rock his boat and overturn it.

President Obama will rise to the occasion. He is a brillant man and was prepared for such a day as this from the time he was in his mother's womb. I believe that.

Black Diaspora said...

I believe that.

And I believe it, too, Granny. Obama's a man on a mission, with a plan, and a way to execute that plan.

The Repubs believe that if they can frustrate his plans, delay their implementation until his poll numbers begin to drop, and his popularity wanes, then they they can attack him at will with little or no political blowback, all with an eye towards defeating him in 2012.

I don't think that that strategy will work, but I do believe they're going to commit themselves to it--their energy, and their resources.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

Yup, they are. Remember in the book of Ezra when the people were trying to rebuild the temple and the enemy kept trying to stop them. First he troubled them, Second, he they falsely accused them, Third, then he tried to frustrate them. But it didn't work.
That's how the enemy operates.

Those men that President Obama is dealing with are full of the devil and they operate in the same way.

Black Diaspora said...

So true, Granny.

I hear that some Repubs are planning to oust Michael Steele as chairman of the RNC with a vote of "no confidence."

I'm hearing that John McCain wants the job.

The party is in disarray. I'm not sure if it'll be organized enough to defeat Obama in four years.

I'm thinking its hard to support a party on ideological grounds knowing that your color is not welcomed, just your money and your vote.

GrannyStandingforTruth said...

"I'm thinking its hard to support a party on ideological grounds knowing that your color is not welcomed, just your money and your vote."

That is so true, noticed that they jumped on the band wagon to get rid of Michael Steele and ridicule him. He is a black man. What about Rush, Hannity, Coulter, O'Reilly, and Beck? Notice they overlook whatever they have to say and they are the worst ones. Makes me think about back in slavery days, they wanted to whip the black man for small things, petty stuff, and imagined stuff, but the white man they protect. Even in court cases involving them, the same thing protect the whites and condemn the blacks. Michael needs to wake up, because he means nothing to them and what they really think about him is not worth two dead flies.

Mis-Education of Negroes really needs to be revived, and so does a few other outdated books.

Black Diaspora said...

"Michael needs to wake up, because he means nothing to them and what they really think about him is not worth two dead flies."

Granny, I think he's always known that. Yet, somehow he's rationalized his importance to the party.

Just today I learned that Steele's pro-choice. Now, that's not going sit well with the base, and it might give Repubs the ammunition they need to finish him off.

Interesting days ahead for Steele and his party.