Obama, A Man of his Word

by Tim Couch

Over the last few weeks we’ve heard a LOT about the stimulus/spending bill that was signed into law a couple of days ago. As news of the contents of the bill began to surface and it became evident that this was much more than a stimulus bill I kept asking myself, “Why?” Why would the President of our Country refuse to consider viable alternatives? Why would he race around the Country crying, “The sky is falling,” when no one else was trumpeting that tune? I think most people agreed that something needed to be done, but for the most part only the President seemed near hysteria in his dire warnings. And, why was Congress given so little time to assess the bill before having to cast a vote on it? It just didn’t make sense for normally intelligent and basically pragmatic people to behave in such a way as our President and Democrat Congress members have been acting recently.

I’m a bit of a muller. I like to take an item and set it out in the middle of the table and study it for a while. Then, I walk around to the other side of the table and study it some more. So, I took this particular piece of legislation and I set it out in the middle of the table, on a big turkey platter. Then, I placed the key players, those who were rabidly pushing this bill, around the platter. Then, I placed the lesser players, those who could potentially effect the direction or outcome of the bill in a loose circle around them. Finally, I encircled the whole with the three hundred million American citizens who, for the most part, are simply waiting to see what happens. Once I had the table set I stepped back and I pondered, “What would induce these few players in the inner circle to force feed this turkey to all these other people?”

In the end only one theory makes sense. Our President must be a man of his word. How else does a man of no background, no experience, and no credentials go from Community Organizer to President of the United States in the course of a few years?

Now, I’m not naive. I realize that promises and compromises must be made in the political arena. I understand the political concept that to be of service one must be in office. And, I believe that if someone were to come to me and say something like, “We have the power and the money to put you in the Whitehouse, and we are prepared to do so if you will agree to certain conditions,” my answer would depend on those conditions. I do not believe that my ambitions would outweigh my sense of right and wrong, and likewise I have no reason to believe that if our President were ever faced with such a proposition his sense of right and wrong would not determine his answer. I have no idea whether such a conversation ever took place, but what else can explain the relentless march to the passage of this bill?

I choose, at this juncture, to believe that our President and our Congress believe they are acting in the best interest of our Country. I do not agree with the path we have taken, but I do not believe our leaders are taking us down this path with any malicious intent. Regardless, the path is before us and we can either stand here and bicker about how we got here, or we can take steps to move us toward our goal.

It’s true that our Country is in dire need of change, but the change we need is going to have to come from us, the people. Our elected leaders, as well intentioned as they may be, can not take us where we need to go. They rely on us to tell them where we want to be led. I know it’s a convoluted metaphor but that’s the beauty of government of, by, and for the people.