Wednesday, January 20, 2010

That Was the Year That Was

It was one year ago today that we witnessed the miracle of Barack Obama's inauguration. We were full of hope and optimism. Deciminyan worked hard, campaigned in New Jersey and Florida, and got our wish - a smart, progressive, and compassionate leader who would rescue the country from the economic, political, and human damage that resulted from the appointment of George W. Bush and his eight years as our president.

The new president would erase the damage of Guantanamo, restore our rights which were usurped by the "Patriot" Act, unveil the cloak of secrecy that permeated our government, and eliminate the kowtowing to the Wall Streeters and the Medical-Industrial complex.

Boy were we wrong.

Somehow, the right wing, even in a minority, was able to drive the agenda. Of course, they had the help of Fox "News", one of the best propaganda organizations since the KGB. The right wing was unified in opposition to anything the young, new president proposed - and that vitriol spilled over to some of the Democrats-in-name-only like Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln. Obama's subsequent move to the right alienated his base, and as a result, this lack of momentum helped elect right-wingers in Virginia as well as the former true-blue states of New Jersey and Massachusetts. Even today, the right wing scored another victory with the withdrawl of the nomination of Erroll Southers, an eminently qualified candidate, as head of the TSA because he might be a bit too pro-labor for our right-wing friends.

The silver lining in all of this is quite thin. We do have a president who is conciliatory, and has not shut out the opposition party (could this be part of the problem?). We may somehow get a shitty health care bill passed - maybe a good start if we can somehow convince the voters that health care is in their best economic interest. But all-in-all, with things moving in the wrong direction, the decline of our democracy and its values will continue, albeit at a slower pace than if McCain/Palin were in charge today.

I am sad for our country.

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