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Does Obama Have A Grand Plan?

At long last, Barack Obama has finally called out the Republicans for exactly what they are in this so-called “budget battle” — shills for rich Americans with no concern or compassion for the poor or the middle class.  Of course, what still puzzles anyone with an IQ higher than that of a rutabaga is why we are even having this debate over the debt.  The vast majority of economists insist that the economy and unemployment rates are by far and away the more significant problem.  Yes, long-term the debt does pose a problem, but if you fix the economy, that in and of itself will take care of the majority of the debt problem, leaving only some minor tweaking to be done. And to their credit, the huge majority of Americans even seem to understand this, as poll after poll shows that most Americans rank jobs as the number one problem, with the debt far behind.  Yet no one in Congress or the White House is even talking about the economic problems.

And thus, even after Obama spoke out against the Republican debt-reduction plan, many progressives are still taking him to task because even he is still not addressing the Number One problem the country faces.  However, if you stop to think about it and consider the big picture, maybe we shouldn’t be quite so harsh on Obama.  You have to keep in mind the clusterf*ck that Obama inherited.  Before George Bush was elected in 2000, we had 20 years of Republican Reaganomics that had pushed this country to the edge of the cliff.  Then Bush and Cheney pushed it over the cliff, leaving it shattered in a thousand pieces.  This total wreck that the country was in was almost 30 years in the making when Obama took over.  Even if everything went right, it was going to take who knows how long to fix all the damage and return the country to prosperity for everyone and restore some semblance of democracy.

So here’s the problem that Obama faced — he had won just a four-year term, but had 10+ years of hard work ahead of him.  And after four years, he would have to win re-election or else everything that would have been accomplished over the first four years would have been for naught.  And even if he did get re-elected in 2012, he would still need to ensure that a Democrat would get elected in 2016 in order to hopefully finish the job.  So the plan for the first four years had to be (a) lay the basic groundwork for rebuilding the country, (b) hopefully make at least some progress on the reconstruction, but at the same time (c) keep the Republicans at bay.  And such a plan necessarily is going to demand a lot of compromising and at least pretending to play along with the other side.  Which is pretty much what Obama has done over the first two plus years of his administration.  And all things considered, he does seem to have at least begun the long process of lifting the country out of the ditch and getting it in a position where the hard work of mending it can now begin.

For anyone complaining about Obama, I have to ask — where do you think we would be today with a McCain-Palin White House?  We would be referring to The Great Depression as the “good old days”.  And then think about the names that are being tossed around for the Republican nomination in 2012 — they actually make John McCain look reasonable.

So if you have any sense of decency and compassion, about all you can do is keep the faith, and hope Obama does in fact have a grand plan here, and that the plan will work out in the long term.  It can be painful at times, but I think it’s important to remember just what a disaster we were in just two short years ago, and just how far we have to go to restore this country to where it once was.