With the drama queens in our state capitol captivating the nation's attention it's been easy to do two things: (1) focus on the Republicans in Madison because, well, they simply suffer from so much rectal-cranial inversion that they're hard to ignore and (2) forget what's happening in Washington, such as the audacity of Barack Obama to seek another term as our president. I mean, folks, we thought there couldn't be anyone as inept as George W. Bush. What we proved is that P.T. Barnum was right.
On a winter's day in December 2007 I was visiting a friend in an Iowa nursing home just before the Iowa caucuses would kick off the presidential campaign season. Iowans are not afraid to share their opinions with you and these old folks were true to form except that the typical support for the GOP in those parts wasn't even on the radar. It's the economy that bothered them and there was a feeling among these elder WASP's that there really was a need for change and Obama should be given a chance.
Let's remember that George W. Bush wasn't exactly a rocket scientist but 2004 was his year. After all, we were at war and in the post-9/11 United States there was no inclination to change commanders. Of course the Democrats didn't help matters. Instead of the best and the brightest they gave us John Kerry, a man with virtually no accomplishments in his two decades in the United States Senate. In short, they gave us a candidate more inept than Bush.
The 2008 presidential election was supposed to be a wake up call from America to Washington: fix the economy and get out of this war. The buzz saw that cut down the GOP was dramatic. You'd think the Democrats would have figured out that this was 1992 all over again when daddy Bush got the boot because he was insensitive about the economy.
So Barack Obama came on the scene full of a mandate for hope and change but, in the end, we have little hope and any change was for the worse. We're still in a war. American troops are still dying in the Mideast. Our economy has yet to recover. And the voters, fed up with the fact the Democrats squandered their chance to fix things, went red and now the Republicans think they have a mandate for their ideology.
Wrong. Only people who are inside the Beltway can't figure out that it's the economy, stupid.
With gas prices shooting over $4 per gallon, our incompetent president has been sitting on his hands and his few supporters have been trying to defect any blame, saying it's the speculators.
Well, in part, they have a point. In part. Prices shot up due to instability in the middle east where, guess what, we still have troops on the ground. Where is the outrage against the Obama team for not bringing our troops home and getting us mired deeper into an unwinnable war against an enemy that doesn't care?
In short, Obama failed us, just as Bush did. But George W. never promised hope and change.
The sad part is that there is really nobody on the bubble up to the challenge of fixing things and the voices of reason and common sense have all but been silenced. But for all his ineptness and indifference, Obama may in the end have little to worry about -- especially if the Republicans put up Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann against him.