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2009: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly December 30, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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2009 began with great promise: the exit of the criminal gang that had been running Washington for 8 years, and the emergence of a new administration full of hope and committed to tackling the substantial problems we face as a nation.

That promise has been in part fulfilled.

The Obama Administration prevented a depression, put an end to the arrogant posturing and jingoism that threatened our our global standing and moral authority in the world, and is on the brink of passing health care reform, which despite its flaws, is the most important addition to our safety net in nearly 50 years. Furthermore, the Administration has made countless regulatory decisions on the environment, banking, and judicial reform that, while falling far short of what is needed, have brought the idea of competent governance back to Washington.

By any measure, this was a good year for progressive politics.

Of course, the new administration took over in the midst of a deep economic recession and the threatened collapse of the global financial system. Although, the collapse was averted due, in part, to the Obama administration’s timely and forceful actions, unemployment skyrocketed, trillions of dollars of wealth vanished eviscerating the life savings of many ordinary Americans, and we held our nose while Wall St. bankers were rewarded for their incompetence and greed.

The economic prospects of Americans have taken a severe body blow, especially in California, where the Yacht Party continues to plunder our human resources, presiding over the collapse of the educational system that is the lifeblood of any modern society.

By any measure this was a bad year for the American Dream, which one year of progressive politics cannot restore.

As for the ugly, well, nothing is uglier than the rampant cynicism that grips large swaths of the American public, exacerbated by the ignorant know-nothings who call themselves “conservatives” and the impatient utopians on the left.

On the right, the inmates now run the asylum. The Republican Party is the party of “birthers” raging hysterically about “death panels” and “enemies lists” and spouting wild-eyed nonsense about ACORN and Obama’s re-education camps. It is a party in which the leadership honestly thinks a spending freeze is the solution to our economic crisis, compares Obama to the leaders of Nazi Germany, and openly threatens to encourage states to nullify Federal laws or secede from the union.

On the left, fuming perfectionists threaten never to vote again because of some compromise of principle perpetrated by the allegedly weak-willed Obama. Their belief in the magical powers of the President would be touching in a six year old, but is mere hypocrisy for someone claiming to be part of the reality-based community.

The world is a saner and safer place today than it was a year ago. We should be thankful for that while mindful of the real misery wrought by decades of conservative ideology.

 book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com



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