Depressing to recall what soaring hopes we had four years ago
HOW DID the one formerly known as The One go for two? In his renomination acceptance speech here on Thursday night, he told us America’s problems were tougher to solve than he had originally thought.
And that’s why he has kindly agreed to give us more time.
Because, after all, it’s our fault.
“So you see, the election four years ago wasn’t about me,” President Barack Obama explained. “It was about you. My fellow citizens, you were the change.” We were the change! We were the change? Us? How on Earth could we have let so much of what we fought for slip away?
How did we allow Mitch McConnell, Karl Rove, the super political action committees (super PACs), the Tea Party, the lobbyists and the special interests take away our voice? “Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen,” the president chastised us. “Only you have the power to move us forward.”
We’re so lame. We were naive, brimming with confidence that we could slow the rise of the oceans, heal the planet, fix the cracks in the Capitol dome.
We never should have let the congressional Democrats run wild with their stimulus spending on pork that didn’t even create the right kinds of jobs.
It also took us too long to realise what the party of know-nothings and no-everything was up to. We should never have walked into that blind budget alley with John Boehner. We should have realised, after the first of three phone calls went unreturned, that even with a few more merlots under his belt, the speaker wouldn’t have the guts to tell us he couldn’t get a grand bargain through his Tea Party House.
We should never have delegated health care to Max Baucus and let him waste time trying to cut a deal with Senate Republicans who had no intention of going along even with ideas – like the individual mandate – that they backed first.
We should have listened to Joe Biden instead of getting rolled by the generals on Afghanistan.
We’re older, wiser and greyer now.
It’s depressing to look back and remember what soaring hopes we had for ourselves only four years ago. Did we overdo it with the Greek columns? Sheesh, a million people showed up for our inauguration. Now we brag when we break 10,000.
What a drag to realise Hillary was right: big rallies and pretty words don’t always get you where you want to go. Who knew that Eric Cantor wouldn’t instantly swoon at the sound of our voice or the sight of our smile? Our forbearing leader didn’t pander to us with that standard break-up line: “It’s not you, it’s me.” He gave it to us straight: “It’s not me, it’s you.”