Welcome to 2010, the year, according to the New York Times' op ed page, of gloom, doom and more gloom.
Here's Bob Herbert, quoting the Washington Post, "'...the entire past decade was the worst...in modern times.' There was no job creation--none--between December 1999 and now. None!" David Brooks quotes the Ipsos/McClatchy organizations as asking voters which party did a better job of handling 13 different issues. During Democrat Obama's first year, he reports, the Republicans gained on all 13.
Still, it may be a tad early for unrelieved despair about America. Obama did get Congress to pass a stimulus bill and almost everyone agrees it did some good, though another one may be needed. The House and Senate did pass different versions of health care reform. They still must work out and pass a compromise, but they probably will do that. The bill, though certainly flawed, will do some good and can be improved in years to come.
The President seems smart and capable, though I wish he were better at knocking Congressional heads together. Congress seems to be the real problem. In the House, districts get redrawn every ten years. The recent trend has been toward more and more one-party districts producing liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans and fewer moderates, which makes compromising on legislation harder. In the Senate they need to change the rules which allow threatened filibusters on everything and means you need 60 votes to do anything.
So things are gloomy and change will be hard, to say the least. But we survived eight years of W. It's way too early to give up on the new guy.
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