POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Obama needs us; warm up your keyboards

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 8, 2009


The degree of difficulty in what Barack Obama is attempting to achieve rivals the complexity and ambition of the programs he is proposing. Obama seeks not only massive stimulus, but also massive reform. Today he was quite blunt in emphasizing the enormous irresponsibility of the financial markets, the governmental overseers, and many borrowers and investors, who pursued greedy ends without regard to the risks they incurred for all of us, including the innocent majority who did not participate.

Changing the culture that allowed this to happen is a huge undertaking; both Republicans and Democrats have a stake and bear responsibility for the excesses of the last decade. Obama is also trying to use the unprecedented funding of the stimulus package to address and restructure national priorities of energy, education, healthcare and infrastructure. The scope of his vision is breathtaking.

Congress, Democrats as well as Republicans, will be a huge obstacle. They are not used to working hard, nor to thinking as cogently and comprehensively as Obama will want and need. Obama’s chances for success, and the likelihood that our country will recover any time soon, will depend on how much pressure Obama is able to bring to motivate what will otherwise be a balky Congress.

His talk today was stern; he expects hard work and rapid action.

Will he get it? Conventional wisdom would answer “no way.” But Obama is as far from conventional as any politician we have ever known, and I expect to see him harness the same power he mobilized to win the election.

That means us.

That means ten million emails from every congressional district blowing away what will otherwise be the powerful forces of obfuscation, delay and special interests. Obama didn’t get elected by himself and he knows it. He has assembled a great team … and we are part of it.

President Obama will need us just as much as candidate Obama did. Warm up your keyboards.


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