The months of anticipation are now done, and hard work lies ahead. Perhaps the most immediate hard work involves disabling George Bush, who seems intent on gutting every protection we have as citizens from the worst instincts of predatory capitalism. Bush apparently has no intention of going quietly into the night. His ongoing assault on regulations looks like something akin to the scorched earth policies of past military dictators. We hope he will be stopped, as he seems to be operating on his own worst instincts, which are bad enough even in “normal” times.
President-Elect Obama also needs to focus on his appointments to the senior cabinet posts and, as importantly, the next several layers down—the Assistant secretaries, and their Deputies. Having worked at that level during the Reagan Administration, I am acutely aware of the problems created by incompetent people who are also overtly hostile to the mission of the agencies they will be managing. Mr., Bush apparently knew no competent people, so he tapped into his phone directory of rich and not so famous donors. “Heckuva-a-job-Brownie” was only one of probably thousands. He even screwed with the health and science agencies, something most past Republicans have left to the professionals. So, now Mr. Obama must find dedicated and highly competent professionals to begin to right the wrongs of the eight year desert called Bush.
Many people both here and abroad will surely be disappointed, since Mr. Bush has stripped away most of the resources normally available to the Federal Government. Even if Mr. Obama decides to raise taxes, the deficits created by the Bush years will continue for many years. It will be difficult to deliver on many of the promises made until the economy is righted again. And that will take some time, and the active cooperation of Democrats, Republicans and the American people. To those who whine about having to pay taxes, my response is that taxes represents the glue that binds us together as a civilized society. Mr. Bush focused his eight years on rewarding his richest friends. The piper is now playing his tune and he is demanding payment. It is time to restart our American society as the just nation it has been in the past.
We wish Mr. Obama well. We are confident that he intends to restore our national honor and dignity. We are confident that he will begin again working with the rest of the world. We are all on this sphere together, hurtling through space on a heavenly voyage. It is again time to begin acting as though we are one world.