Wednesday, January 27, 2010


In 2008 I got swept up in Obama's rhetoric for change and hope. I wasn't for Obama initially, because I thought he was too inexperienced, but I came around as the campaign progressed.

He's intellectual and he speaks so well! Complex problems, you would suppose, demand complex solutions. He could do that.

Then I said hello to some Tea Party types on the Mall. Tea Baggers. When I was a cop, we talked about dirt baggers. These particular tea baggers quickly offered to stick their "Don't Tread On Me" flagpole up my, well... . Ehh, not too intellectual, that bunch.

Anyway, a year later, where are we except a year recovered from the Decider? (Thank goodness.)

Back to re-set, I think. If Obama was my laptop, I'd turn it off, remove the battery for ten seconds, then put it back in and restart it.

An African-American President, an idealist, a Democrat, a brilliant guy. Which former president is Obama most like? Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK?

It hit me. He's like Woodrow Wilson. An idealist, a Democrat, winner of the nobel peace prize, a war president, a brilliant guy. He expounded the Fourteen Points upon which to end WWI, that would lead to world harmony. (Go ahead, name even one of the Fourteen Points.)

The French leader Georges Clemenceau privately complained that even God Almighty only espoused ten principles. The Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles ending WWI, and the League of Nations failed.

Wilson had potential but got nothing done. An historical non-entity.


Danielle said...

If I recall, you were an Edwards fan like me (aren't we lucky he didn't win the nomination?)

It is indeed discouraging and I like your analogy to Wilson, but Obama will never be a historical non-entity simply because his election was historic. Now, I'd like to see him actually get somewhere with those lofty ideals too. As someone else noted, he has spent all this political capital with nothing to show for it - Bush wasn't even that ineffective.

Kungpow12 said...

Progress, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Wilson wasn't particularly effective after the League of Nations sputtered. But he did:

-Pass the Federal Reserve Act of 1913
- Sign the first child labor laws into existence (although they were deemed unconstitutional later)
- Continue TR's anti-trust movement by creating the FTC.
- Lower tariffs and enact income taxation.

Many people, including Tea Party folks, would argue that many of these things weren't progress, but if anything, these accomplishments strengthen your analogy between Obama and Wilson in my mind.

Wilson is one of those POTUS's that you learn about, but never realize all they did.

Black Knight said...

Interesting point of view.

Just_because_today said...

difficult to rebuild from ashes in such little time.