Is the Nightmare Nearly Over?

Food for Thought

I have been on vacation the past week and the one question going through my mind as I sat on the beach has been: Is our eight-year-long national nightmare nearly over, or has it just begun? One thing is for sure, the Bush II era will end at noon EST on January 20, a massive failure by any standard of human history. The inheritor of the Bush Republicans’ terrible mess will be faced with the daunting task of pulling the country back from the precipice it has been driven to by the horrendous misjudgments of a shallow president, his deregulatory-feasting party of the wealthy elite, and international political theories of a small group of neocons led by a vice president who has hacked our Constitution and international treaties to bits in pursuit of empire and brutal, Roman-style dominance of the less powerful.

Our nation hasn’t been this dysfunctional since the election of 1932, when the American people wisely chose Franklin Roosevelt to guide the country back to stability. Capable of deep thought and surrounding himself with the best and brightest advisors then living, FDR was able to chart a course that brought America out of the Great Depression by devising the New Deal structure that served this country well until it began to be dismantled by Reagan Republicans—a process that continued under Bill Clinton and accelerated under Bush II.  The unbridled deregulator fervor of the past eight years that enriched the few came at the expense of the many ordinary Americans, creating a mirror of the 1920s and its similar concluding crash under Hoover Republicanism that was small potatoes compared to 2008’s plunge.

We are now faced with a stark future unless “We the People” grab hold of the Jeffersonian spirit of the Declaration of Independence and assert our constitutional democratic authority to reverse the political insanity carried on in our name by a few devilish usurpers of the people’s power. It is our solemn patriotic duty as citizens and followers of the nation’s Founding Fathers to bring widespread and decisive change to the government that is mandated to be “of and by” us as a whole, not just robber barons, banksters and neo-imperialists.

As in 1932, we citizens are faced with a choice of who is best able to provide leadership in a time of great national unhappiness and economic and political uncertainty at home and in the world. The 2008 ballot is long and packed with important candidates to elect and state and local issues to decide. None of it reaches the critical importance of selecting a new president. If we don’t get that right, the rest won’t matter. Continuing the policies that have brought misery to millions and violated the trust of the nation and world cannot be a viable option.

Fortunately, we have an opportunity to elect a president who, like FDR and a few of our greatest presidents, is capable of the type of deep, innovative thought and active leadership that we must have at this time if we are to survive and prosper as a nation. Whether Barack Obama will be able to live up to the model presidencies of Lincoln, FDR and JFK, remains to be seen, but at least he has the rare abilities that would allow him to become a great president.  I see no choice but for the American people to embrace his selection and give him a chance. We already know where the other road leads and the vast majority of us don’t want to go there.


  1. “Big Oil”, “Big Tobacco”, and “Big Pharma” were never a threat to this country.
    What worries me is “Big Koolaid”.

    Your model of government will be rife with robber barons, nepotism, and corruption.

  2. Let’s see here. We have a Democratic Congress and a Republican president conspiring to piss away over $700 billion [and counting] and nobody raises a fuss. All of which is because both parties, for their own shortsighted reasons, encouraged people who had no business being homeowners to take out shaky loans to buy houses that are too big and expensive. No matter who wins, taxes will be going up, spending’s through the roof. The presidential front-runner never met a budget-busting social program he didn’t like and spends time with preachers who believe the USA is the cause of the world’s problems. You think Bush was bad? This country’s misery has only just begun.

  3. All election issues whether national or local seem to be attracting more and more interesting sub debates,  For example, Barbara Marshmann, a big supporter of the insider group, AMERICAN LEADERSHIP FORUM, writes a editorial declaring the Mercury News will endorse Santa Clara candidates, and then declares the paper will back the Leadership Forum’s choice, Jamie McLeod.  Fascinating.

  4. 2 – I think you are wrong, but if you are correct, then everything will be the same as it has been the past 8 years.

  5. Student:

    It’s obvious that things will just get worse. See the following:

    “Barack Obama, who next to Dodd is Fannie and Freddie’s most-favored senator, is unlikely to change predatory government. After all, he’s the guy who raised $750 million in campaign cash in part by removing ordinary controls from his Web site donation system, such as a requirement that you provide your real name and address or your credit card won’t be accepted.

    Obama has made clear where his heart lies when it comes to conflicts between money and ethics: Predatory government works for Democrats. That’s enough for him.

    What happened to our economy is a scam, pure and simple. Somebody – in Washington and on Wall Street – should go to jail.

    But corporate cronies aren’t worried: Politicians are much cheaper and easier to own than real market share. Neither are powerful politicians: The media won’t expose a government controlled by Democrats in all three branches.”

    Bend over and take it like a man.

  6. It’s unfortunate so many people hold FDR’s “New Deal” economic policies in such high regard.

    All they did was turn an extremely diffucult economic time into a prolonged period we now know as the Great Depression.

  7. Jack,
    Not arguing with your Bush assessment at all.  Like his father, W was handed the keys to the big truck, he had both houses of Congress, could have tackled major problems facing this country, yet he pissed it all away and accomplished very little.

    Thanks to Bush never using a veto pen and the Tom Delay/fiscally drunk republicans we’ve come to the precipice all right. 

    A precipice that has us just about to see a socialist radical elected as President.

    But enough of that.

    Let’s change gears for a moment and lighten things up with a pop quiz.

    Name one thing that Obama has done that qualifies him to be President. 

    Here’s some clips of the Messiah to help you out with your assignment.

  8. We are in this financial mess because BOTH Democrats and Republicans (1 Party does not have votes )in Congress voted and President signed laws wasted trillions taxes rather than invest in new US jobs, infrastructure and medical care

    Now we find out the Banks are not using $1 trillion tax money to clean up mortgage mess they created and grossly profited from but are using taxes given to them by Congress to buy up other banks while cutting business and credit card credit

    US voters are responsible because we elect people who vote for their political careers and special interests

    Jack, again show very questionable naive opinion that new President can be effective in the existing political corrupt 2 political party Washington

    The only thing we as voters can do to clean up mess is Vote NO on all taxes and Vote all incumbent politicians out of office   All current elected officials and political parties have clearly proven by their actions – they are ineffective, not working for public interest, wasting trillions and can not be trusted

    Obama talks well but he has not shown any real leadership or management ability (McCain even less)

    We will know who he really is and if he has small chance of be effective or we were sold dream and will be ineffective like Carter when he selects his administration and staff since he will be dealing with same old Democrats and Republicans in Congress who voted us into this mess, and same old lobbyists pushing more special interest pork spending bills and wasting more tax trillions will still be in Washington

  9. Correction to HJ #3’s last sentence:  It should read “This country’s FAR RIGHT misery has only just begun.”  The rest of us will finally rejoice and exhale come January 20, 2009.

  10. Yep, a slick, ultra-liberal, Harvard lawyer is exactly what this country needs.  Oh, and when are the Democratic House and Senate leaders going to start the hearings to investigate why their own Finance/Banking committees completely failed to do their jobs?

  11. James,

    So are you telling us facts or fantasies?

    So you what is your point other than you did not like Mercury endorsement? 

    1) Does ALF actually endore candidates since from their web site?

    Does ALF take positions on community or political issues?

    Because ALF primarily serves to bring together diverse leaders to better serve the community, the organization typically does not hold positions on community or political issues. ALF, as an organization, would require a resolution by the Board of Directors in order to take a position on any issue. ALF Fellows and Senior Fellows, on the other hand, frequently advocate for positions on community issues, and ALF encourages such activity. The views of ALF Fellows and Senior Fellows, however, should not be construed as those of the organization, its staff, or its Board of Directors.

    2) Was Marshman actually one who did endorsement or Mercury Editorial Board?
    Marshman is not listed as ALF fellow so what is her relationship to ALF?

  12. What we’re missing most in this country is honesty.  There’s a good local example in paper today.

    Scott Herhold may be the last honest columnist at the Mercury News.  Notice in his column today how he discloses his opinion.  In contrast Gary Richard, another columnist,doesn’t disclose his support for the BART project when he writes about Measure B.  Readers who don’t know think he’s being objective and he’s clearly not.  Richards could use journalistic ethics lessons from Herhold, and lessons about how to analyze transportation projections too.

  13. The best thing about an Obama presidency will be, hopefully, getting all my liberal friends to stop making fools of themselves in their over-the-top fulminations about Bush and the Republicans. For the past eight years, their anger has been in inverse proportion to their reasonableness, diminishing themselves and the political debate in the process. There’s alot to complain about Bush administration, but the sheer hysteria, shrillness, weak logic, and Orwellian doublespeak emanating from the liberal side of the aisle has been at times humorous, but mostly sad.

    Let’s hope that next Tuesday’s result, assuming it’s for Obama,  will help Jack and his friends back on the road to intellectual rehab.

  14. “Those that seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me let me remind you, they arethe very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed”.
          Barry Goldwater 1964

  15. #13
        Well said,
        It`s not so much the misinformation from Richards that will hurt us is what he is not telling us about BART that will do the most damage.
        Richards-Gardino-SVLG and the Merc are just too close for our good. We need to start holding our leaders accountable.
        The VTA Board sending the three (3) BART Measures to the voters to decide are simply passing a “hot potato” along to the voters when they know full well the most serious facts about BART have not been disclosed. They simply wish to escape blame when the TRUTH comes out about BART. They will simply say, the voters approved BART.

        Political truth is a oximoron. Political will gave us “W” and on a very local level political Truth is trying to give us the BART headache.
        BART…buyer beware!

  16. Hate to tell you Jack but your hero FDR perpetrated one of the most extreme acts of injustice against american citizens in the history of our republic when he rounded up Japanese-Americans and locked them in camps.

    What has Bush done than comes close to that?

  17. Personally, I would not be surprised in the least to see President Doofus declare martial law, and suspend the election.

    After all, we are fighting two wars, and the economy is in the trash.  So, he will say we need to continue with his stable leadership for our own good.

  18. Political hero worship is not very useful.

    To criticize Bush for constitutional violtions is fair.  But it is interesting that you chose praise Lincoln, FDR, and JFK on the same account. 

    Do we have no memory of Lincoln’s suspending habeas corpus, FDR’s attempt to stack the supreme court, or Kennedy’s misuse of the FBI to spy on political opponents?

    They are all men, and only men.  Just as tempted to misuse power as anyone else.

  19. Jack,

    Get off your soap-box. As a citizen of this great country, I feel completely cheated by government period. You can change the face but unfortunately the result is the same. Blaming the blue or red team is naive.

    While I believe Obama can do no worse than Bush,lets be realistic and agree until the general narcissism in Washington goes away, the taxpayer doesn’t stand a chance. Big business doesn’t scare me, big government does. Lets just hope that the pendulum doesn’t swing so far to the left that we create a socialistic nation whereby self-entitlement is the status quo.

    Comments such as “robber barons, banksters and neo-imperialists” only fuel the fire which helps to cover a larger systemic problem.

    As for the “few devilish usurpers of the people’s power”, I’m pretty sure that these exist in every adminstration.

    I’ll become a believer when fiscial responsibility and logic are the standard.