Sunday, February 22, 2009

The countdown to impeachment

People need to be comfortable with idea that there will come a time, perhaps soon, that the mighty mighty O will be very unpopular. Every other day in the news I see some new poll telling us that Obama is "slipping" or "sliding," despite the fact that he's still hugely popular. Whenever the economy is going badly, the President is always blamed, no matter how long he's been in office. And it looks like he's going to have to, in the words of Nas, "destroy and rebuild," the financial sector, which is just one of many big changes we need. It's always more popular to talk about change than to actually make change. And on top of everything else, he's a brother. America has a long-standing HR policy concerning Negroes: last hired, first fired.

The media has had to restrain themselves while Obama's poll numbers have been high, but once he drops below a certain level, the gloves are coming off. The disgrace left by the former president set an awful precedent about the (low) esteem with which we should hold for the presidency. Few presidents have done more to expand the scope of presidential power, while at the same time diminishing the stature of the office itself. Think about this: the elected(?) president of the United States had shoes thrown at him, and his own country laughed, loud. There was a time when that would have been unthinkable.

Expect Obama to come under more scrutiny than any president in history. With the continual focus on polls numbers, you can already see the media trying to enter the second part of its messiah narrative for our fearless leader. But I'm actually okay with that. Contrary to popular belief, the inauguration wasn't just a celebration of something achieved. It was also a preparation for the challenges we have yet to face. Soul food, if you will.

When times get tough at my school, I think back to how hopeful my students and I were on inauguration day. That memory is something special that can't be taken back, no matter how many cartoon chimpanzees they kill. We just got to be ready for the long haul. The only way real change ever occurs is through strife and struggle. It's about to get real. And that could be a really good thing*.

*As long as I can still pay my rent.

1 comment:

Jackson Brown said...

I would say it's like basketball, but apparently Obama's pretty good at that, so I'll use an example a woman I know relayed to me once and say it's like soccer.

She said that whenever she plays with a group of guys, the first time they kick her the ball, she has to make a move with it; otherwise, they'll never pass her the ball again.

A month into his presidency, the time when our former president was back on his Texas ranch cutting wood and making excuses to the press for not being in Washington, Obama is already expected to have scored a goal. If he turns over the ball on this massive economic recovery, a lot of critics will feel justified in labeling him as inept.

As for the media, maybe they've decided that the countdown to the 2010 congressional elections has already begun. That's when, given enough disenchantment on the part the electorate with Obama's vision of change, the stark flip side of Obama's initiatives could really begin: massive rollbacks in the national regulation of business and levying of taxes; bidding wars between states for corporate development contracts; the lowering/dissolution of workplace condition standards, workers' ability to unionize, and (gasp) the minimum wage--not to mention massive cuts in funding to various state programs. After all, Secretary Cinton did recently say to the Chinese premier that the issue of human rights should not “get in the way” of dealing with the economic recovery.

Not likely? Perhaps. But in these times, it’s not hard for me to envision the political pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other within a couple of years.