Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obama buyer's remorse?

We're going to have to get over our deep skepticism of the Executive branch long enough to give the guy a chance.

I think I got mental whiplash while listening to one of my favorite public radio stations yesterday.

Where the news from the week before was still basking in the heady afterglow of the Obama Election Orgasm (OEO), Monday was one dreary review after another criticizing Obama's administration picks... both real and imagined. Reporters and pundits were panning his selections for his transition group, in particular, including leaving Robert Gates in the Secretary of Defense position — a Bush pick (replacing Donny Rumsfield). Other Washington insiders that Obama is rumored to be eyeing have equally caught scorn from the left-wing. "Where's the change we can believe in?", someone growls. "The administration isn't diverse enough!", another warns. The reversal of lovefest to Bushesque disapproval was jarring.

Is this Obama buyer's remorse?

After thinking about this awhile, I have come to conclusion. We all need to shut the fuck up... for just a little while.

I know we've all become a bit wonkie lately. It seems like people have never been so engaged in politics. Since when did we start discussing Washington staff picks like Yankee trades? While generally his is a great thing, and this level of involvement may have help keep us all out of trouble in the past 8 years, we also need to strike a balance between star-struck fawning and healthy criticism.

We all picked Obama, and we don't want him to fuck it up. If he does turn out to be just another assembly line political hump, many will have their fragile new idealism crushed forever. But at the same time, we have to let the guy we picked to make the best choices to execute his plan.

In short... we need to trust our government. Ouch. That felt wrong to type, but it's true. We need to give him some time to figure out all the angles – political and personally – to set up a viable cabinet and staff. We may not like all these people. Some, like Gates, may have some history we don't care for. But there is a new person in the Big Chair. We put him there.

So let's protect that fragile sense of hope — and watch what Obama does carefully — without damning his Presidency 2 months before it even starts. There will be plenty of time to hold his feet to the fire.

After all that has gone before, giving Obama a chance to sink or swim may be the hardest thing we've ever done.

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