January 20, 2009

Welcome, President Obama!

Joe Biden presidential campaign, 2008Image via WikipediaThe Christian god may hate President Obama, but at least Obama will benefit from the magic oil rubbed on his door by extraordinarily delusional Christians. As for me, I happily welcome Obama's arrival to the office of the presidency. True, my support for him has wavered around the poor judgment he exhibited over the Rick Warren selection, but I sincerely hope that he can undo much of the damage Bush did to the U.S. I am not going to agree with everything Obama does or says, and I will continue to be as sharp in my criticism as I believe is warranted. However, I am convinced that Obama will be a massive improvement over Bush. Only time will tell if he is truly up to the challenge.

I think what I most like about Obama is that he appears to be a genuinely intelligent guy who seems comfortable with who he is and the position he now holds. It is debatable whether Bush was in fact a moron, but it is undeniable that he played one exceptionally well. He never seemed comfortable in office, probably because he accepted an ideology stressing the evils of government. It never ceases to baffle me why those who truly believe that government is the problem would want any part of it.

With Obama, we have someone who has shown both intellect and idealism. He appears comfortable thinking, and this will be a refreshing change from his predecessor. Now we will see whether he can effectively translate his idealism into policy and action. Whatever idealism Bush may have had was so bogged down with ideology that it seemed to hogtie him rather thoroughly. Combined with his distaste for self-reflection, unwillingness to hear criticism, and other character flaws, he was doomed from the start.

My hope for Obama is that he will be an effective problem solver. This means that he must be willing to correct his approach on the fly when the data indicate it is not working. Some of the challenges he faces are almost beyond comprehension, and there is no way that he will get everything right the first time. What matters is his willingness to adapt, modifying his approach as necessary. If he can do that, he just might be able to navigate out of the many messes in which we presently find ourselves.

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