So, there’s a new President-elect.
The easy thing would be say, “Watch how he engages Iran (or North Korea)” as the indicator of where we are going as a nation.
Nah. That’s too easy.
Watch how he handles Syria. Iran and North Korea — those are both already boiling. Those are the obvious and easy ones to deal with. Those are, as we say, 5 meter targets. Greatness will be found in building a solid relationship with Syria, as Syria has a finger in both Lebanon and Iraq.
If he gets picked up for a second term, watch for his engagement with India or China. I don’t think it’ll be both — but I could be wrong. India would be easier, but China would be a wise long term investment.
Over dinner, I asked the wife what she thought would happen, now that it looks like SEN Obama will be the next US President and the Democrats are taking increased control of the House and the Senate.
As we tossed around ideas, I found that a lot of the things I was pondering were things for Congress to do, not the President. They were things that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi could have been having the House work on all this time, during this past couple of years when the Democrats controlled Congress while the GOP had President Bush in office.
And as we talked, I realized that I continue to be disappointed in Pelosi and crew — it’s not like they’ve been passing all kinds of laws, trying to do what they think is right, only to have the President veto them time and time again. Really, they’ve done nothing to bring about change, not using the power of Congress to draft law and enact change.
Also, I realized that I am, in fact, very disappointed in Congress rushing to approve the recent financial bail out. I use to have a commander — then-LTC Tim Reese, who just retired as a COL — who use to preach effort to emphasis. The more important something was, the more he put emphasis on something, the more effort went into making it a reality. Yeah, sure, he talked about storming castles, seizing hilltops, and stuff like that, but the concept is, I think, a fundamental truth for effective leadership.
Because of that, Congress disappointed me at a very core, fundamental level for their handling of this giant financial mess. They took the first draft, pork barreled it, and approved it. Recession, here we come — I have no doubt about that. Our country is going into the crapper because of their willingness to rush to do the wrong thing, versus investing time and effort into doing the hard right thing, namely, finding the best solution for our road ahead. It just irks me.
But Congress has been irking me for a while now. You can’t blame President Bush for invading Afghanistan or Iraq — he asked Congress for their blessing, and they gave it to him. The fucking gave it to him. Congress could have told him to pound sand, told him he was nuts, invited him to take along walk off a short pier — any number of things, other than approving his request. They didn’t. If you’re not thrilled about the US war on terror, blame Congress.
So, put those three things together — Congress not willing to write laws, Congress not putting effort to what the voters of this country see as needing emphasis, and Congress willing to make the easy wrong choice over the hard right one — and I am concerned about what change we will seen in out country, with these elections.
The change won’t come from Congress. SEN Obama could be the greatest President ever, but he’d have to fight Congress and the Congressional leadership every damn step of the way. Congresswoman Pelosi and SEN Reid need to change, or they need to go. The House and the Senate are going to have to actually do things, if our country is going to see change.
Now, I have some things I would like to see — change for our country. Yes, I have been and still consider myself to be a Republican. I am Moloka’i — leave the government out of things when possible, and let people live their lives and solve their problems. But that’s never going to happen — I know this to be true.
I’d like to see a policy on the Long War. It’s not Iraq, it’s not Afghanistan — it’s the long cultural struggle over the role of America and her interests and culture, and the core concepts of (dare I say?) democracy and free will. The President will need to develop and implement the policy, but then Congress will need to develop and send to him laws to codify it.
This is important because I know I am not alone in wondering if America is still a super power — or even if there is still such a thing. Our President needs to figure out just where we are, in order to understand where to take us. We are a nation…. well, we are an Army at war, and a nation kind of tangled up in some messes. And our economy may / may not be in the toilet. What should we be doing is as important a question, I think, as what can we do.
I’d like to see changes on torture. And interrogation. And rendition. And human rights. The President will need to develop and implement the policy, but then Congress will need to develop and send to him laws to codify it. America needs to do what is right, always. A long time ago, the Army beat into my head one simple concept that applies to this: As a leader, if it appears that you are wrong, you are wrong. And these days, from what I’ve read in the media, a lot of people seem to think that what America has been doing, and continues to do, appears to be wrong. Yikes — that frightens me.
The President needs to take a stand against genocide. The President needs to lead our nation in taking action to prevent genocide, and interceding when it starts. The President needs to ask how we can help in places like Darfur and the Congo today — directly or indirectly helping. And Congress needs to agree. The President will need to develop and implement this as policy, but then Congress will need to develop and send to him laws that allow him to do it. Why? It is, as I see it, the right thing to do, and not really subject to debate.
I’d like to see some changes on security in America. I’d like to be able to go to an America airport and not take off my shoes — like I do at airports in every other country on this planet. I’m not advocating eliminating security – just taking a good hard look at what is needed, and then how we are acting to meet those security needs. It needs to be fluid, capable of ongoing change. I’ve watched, with apprehension, the addition of all kinds of security measures, and have bit my tongue so many times, wondering how and when a decision could be made to undo these changes. How do we off-ramp security measures? The President will need to review and, if needed, develop and implement new policies, but then Congress will need to develop and send to him laws to codify it. If SEN Obama wants to impress me as President, he can display common sense in his every day actions.
And, really, I’d like to see SEN Obama excuse himself from the public spotlight, in order to be with his family and to mourn the loss of his grandmother. I can image how emotional this time would be, just in winning the election, but it must be exceptionally tough to lose her at this time. If he wants to put effort to emphasis, I would not fault him in any way.
So, there it is. What do you think?
[Updated: New Congo link]
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