Good idea, everyone. Let's string him up. A two weeks' grace period should be enough to solve the country's problems. Now let's have at him...
Maybe it's my European upbringing, but I just don't get this curious American sport. I expect human beings to make mistakes--even those in high office. I try to avoid elevating them beyond any reasonable expectation, no matter what they say on the campaign trail. I like Obama a lot, but I don't consider him to be the Messiah; nor do I think he considers himself to be such, despite what others say, or hope, or pray. I don't consider the "mistakes" among his many nominations to be an indication of anything seriously amiss in his character or his presidency. Rachel Maddow had it right, in my opinion, when she reminded us of the fate of Zoe Baird. Zoe who...?
To judge by the relentless, hour-by-hour hounding by the media, though, a person would be forgiven for thinking that the Obama presidency had already exposed itself as irremediably corrupt; and this toxin is fed in a continuous intravenous flow to a public that has not shown itself to be notably strong in the faculty of critical listening. American idealism is a wonderful thing, but when translated into expectations of perfection from inevitably flawed human beings, it gets to be dangerously and self-destructively naive.
I normally watch the morning news, to keep myself up to date with what's going on. I guess I should have learned by now that it's a mistake. It proved to be such this morning. I felt my temper rising as a I browsed through a couple of "news" channels and heard the absurd debate about the Daschle nomination pursued to even more ridiculous lengths, and I chose the wiser course: switch the damn thing off.
Where do we get the arrogance to demand perfection of everyone? Because we are all so morally superior ourselves? Give me a break.
At this point, I begin to ask myself about my own attitudes toward Bush, Cheney and gang. Was I guilty of the same moral superiority of which I'm now accusing others? Or were my antipathy and distrust more justified in that case, as I certainly suppose? There's a difference, after all, between the thoughtful, even tough criticism with which we need to evaluate the performance of those whom we elect to represent us on the one hand; and on the other, the delight we take in tearing them down, for the sake of drama or the needs of a twenty-four hours news cycle when there's not much to report. It's a fine balance, and one that needs constant vigilance and awareness.