Topic: "September Twelfth"(5)
"Let's turn back," said Frodo, "to those thrilling days of yesteryear."
It will soon be eight years, and much has changed. Not unlike many of us, Frodo has been reflecting upon the history of those days, and their impact on the day at hand. The span of time between January 20th, 2001, and the Inaugural of George W. Bush as the 43rd President of the United States, to the events of the 11th day of September was just about a week short of eight months. During that time, the President had spoken to the nation on televison, and had declared that an extension of federal funding for stem cell research would be prohibited. Not unlike the major workings of the government itself, he also found time to vacation for the entire month of August. Rumblings about Social Security Privatization, and tyrannical regimes in other parts of the world were in preparatory abeyance. Tax rebates for the unwary, and tax cuts for the wealthy were in fact.
On the 12th day of September, with dust and debris all about, and shock on all our minds, questions were being raised. It does not matter who was asking or who was answering, for the responses were identical.
It was not his fault.
He had not been President long enough.
The prior Administration had been distracted and failed to dispose of the problem in its infancy.
The Intelligence apparatus failed.
The security of the nation had been weakened in the budget cutbacks initiated by his predecessor.
Too much freedom had been extended to the republic thereby threatening the safety of us all.
Yada, yada, yada. Joe Scarborough, Karl Rove, Mary Matalin, Peter Jennings, Hillary Clinton, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Dennis Hastert, Rudy Guiliani, Tom Daschle, Kaye Bailey Hutchinson, Clarence Thomas, George Allen, Chuck Norris, and you, dear reader, and if not you, certainly someone in your family, utttered one, if not all of the reasons why it wasn't his fault.
After September 12th it became his mantra.
In just about a month, it will be eight years. The Bush Administration is a fading memory, pleasing few. The new President is being hoisted with his own mantra nearly a full month ahead of the grace period granted his predecessor. At this point, in the midst of an opposition continuing the displeasure of election defeat, President Obama has had his nationality, his loyalty, and his integrity questioned by those who feel that he is responsible for all their perceived ills. Few, if any, repeat the arguments spoken on behalf of his predecessor, although consideration thereto need be uttered.
The prior Administration had eight years to deal with a pending economic tsunami, but their intelligence apparatus failed. The deregulation of the banking system alone made all of us vulnerable to machinations we couldn't even define. A monetary deficit, unparalleled in scope, the product of wars of choice and unseemly tax cuts, hinders the necessary capital expenditures which any recession places on society. The threat is just as grave as it was eight years ago, albeit in very different ways.
Frodo wonders why one guy didn't feel any blame at all on September 12th, and another guy is blamed for everything from swine flu to Mrs. O'Leary's cow? If there were any fairness in life or politics, nobody would blame Barack Obama for anything that has happened or been initiated prior to September 12th, 2009.
What gives Frodo so much hope, and so much confidence, is the fact that, unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama has learned not to take it personally, and to accept criticism as input. Not unlike the Corporate CEO demonized during this period of economic challenge, Obama knows that his direct involvement at a premature moment is the error of the unwary. Wisdom guides him to amass the input into a democratic product, which he can then stand and present as something truly American.
Think Frodo is overly optimistic? Listen to Rush Limbaugh (for five minutes, if you can breathe through your mouth that long), and hear him lament that which is bound to come.
Frodo would love to see that happen on September the 12th, when our nation finally casts its lonely eyes on Joe DiMaggio. If it happens the next day, so be it. Frodo doesn't want to have any more dates to memorize.