Make haste 

Make haste

Both John McCain and George Bush sounded unusually presidential in acknowledging the election of Barack Obama, urging Americans not just to accept Obama but to rally behind him. Adversity can bring out the best in people. And Obama surely needs all the good will he can get; every president does. (Bush has pretty much used up his supply, his popularity ratings now spectacularly low. Some say Bush, like Harry Truman, will be esteemed after he's been out of office a few years. We suspect it'll take more than a few.)

Advice is another thing altogether. Bad advice is worse than no advice, but there are always people trying to force it on a president-elect. Barely elected, two months from taking office, Obama already is besieged by pundits shouting that he mustn't try to change things quickly. This comes after an election that was all about change. Even McCain, Bush's fellow Republican, cried “Change!” though he was weak on specifics.

“Go slow” and “move to the center” are what the corporate media say to new presidents suspected of liberal inclinations. Bushes and Reagans aren't advised to go slow and move to the center, and they don't. Reagan is much praised by commentators for moving quickly away from the center. Bush II began pushing his Religious Right agenda the day he took office, and hasn't stopped since. Even as the clock runs out on his administration, he's trying to put more of his harmful policies into effect by executive order — facilitating the private exploitation of national resources, reducing Medicaid funding, blocking stem-cell research that could save millions of lives.

President Obama is honor-bound to use his own executive authority, quickly, to undo Bush errors such as these. To do otherwise would be to betray his supporters, an inauspicious way to begin an administration.

And if America can't get entirely out of Iraq in short order — the Bush administration's machinations have pretty well ensured that — we can at least take steps to show the world we're headed in the right direction. Which would be real movement toward the center, incidentally. Though the media claim that the war is popular with Americans, the polls and the election show that it's not.

Only pundits and the super-rich dare argue that a new president should take his time in confronting the current economic crisis — Americans are losing their jobs and their savings simultaneously — and to further tolerate Bush's violations of civil rights in the name of national security would be contrary to what this freedom-loving country professes to stand for. We say, step on it, President Obama. Speed in defense of liberty is no vice.



From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Cotton to CIA?

    Political junkies without a real election to overanalyze fill the void with "what if?" scenarios. With the State Fair underway, consider this column a helping of cotton candy for such readers.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The casting couch

    • sigh............ I would argue that the idea of 'freedom from fear' is part of the…

    • on October 19, 2017
  • Re: Caution: government at work

    • As to the AR Chamber of Commerce-DO NOT FORGET it supports passage of SJR8, which…

    • on October 19, 2017
  • Re: The casting couch

    • Freedom from fear is a human right.

    • on October 19, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation