Frankly, I don’t care how much past service or time in office any of our politicians may have. This is a new game, and yesterday’s “achievements” mean little or nothing in a Post-Bush world. Especially when, for a great number of our so-called leaders, those “achievements” can be directly tied to the place we find ourselves today. Sadly, most, if not all, of our elected officials are slow in realizing that we Americans were serious when we elected Barack Obama on a platform of change.


I for one no longer have any patience for those “esteemed” leaders like Diane Feinstein who make noise and gum up the works when they don’t get a “courtesy call” from Obama when he chooses someone for a cabinet position. Hey Feinstein…Obama is not required to ask your permission or check with you first about any nomination. Your job as Senator is to simply vote yes or no when the time comes for you to do so. Enough of this petty nonsense from people who are supposed to be adults. News flash for you politicians…you too could be looking for a new job if you don’t change your ways.


Call it a leap of faith, but for me, this presidential election was about more than just finally ending the disastrous course set by Bush and his criminal cronies. It was about bringing real change to our nation’s politics by ending the old way of doing things. Granted, I’ve been less than thrilled about the team Obama has been putting together-too many “old timers” in there for my taste, especially when the goal is to change the order of business. (I mean how much change can you expect to get from people who have spent decades mired in pay to play politics?) But for now, I’m still willing to believe that Obama will drive this ship in a new direction, and in order to avoid running aground, he decided to hire on a seasoned crew rather than a bunch of greenhorns. But so long as Obama is the one driving the ship and calling the shots, the names of those hoisting the sails and manning the jib is somewhat less important provided they follow the directions given to them and don’t fall into old habits that would sink their boss’s best intentions.


But does this hope for change we all signed up for stand any real chance of succeeding? We all know that a president can only do so much on his own, despite the disgusting trend crafted by the Bush-Cheney team. If Obama reverts to a more traditional interpretation of the office of President, then reliance on a rational, adult Congress is key to any success he may achieve for this country. Unfortunately, that’s not the Congress we gave him, or at least, it isn’t looking that way in the beginning. Obama is saying and trying to do all the right things to be able to hit the ground running. But the Congress continues its petty infighting, it’s unearned displays of individual grandeur, and it’s incessant partisanship. With leadership like that, Obama could be supernatural and still get stymied while playing by the inane rules of yesterday’s political playbook.


I am optimistic that Obama will have not only the vision, but the assistance he needs from a rationally behaving Congress to put America on more solid footing and towards a better tomorrow. Clearly the task is daunting. And as Obama has been saying, things will probably get worse before they take a better turn. But a better future is possible, if Americans really want it. Many of us may think that the battle for rational government has been won simply by electing Obama. It is a mistake to think that. The first skirmish was won, but the battle looms large ahead. We must all have the fortitude to stay engaged, to pressure petulant lawmakers to do better, to think beyond themselves, to behave like real leaders. If they do not, we must have the will to remove them from office. If WE do not, then the mess we lay in will be of our own making. Politicians will listen to people if we speak loudly enough. But if we simply sit back and pretend that our task is done because we got Obama into the White House, we will fail. And we will deserve to fail.


(cross posted at Bring It On!)