The One Thing that we had to lead with today is President-elect Obama.
All those other guys are talking about the crowds, the parties and the money spent, but I'd rather focus on hope and change. Tomorrow, it becomes do or die for America. Yes, we've overcome monumental challenges throughout our history over and over again, but, I don't think we've ever seen this much all at once.
Lincoln faced the country coming apart from within, but didn't have to fight foreign wars at the same time. FDR faced the Great Depression, but Hitler and the Nazis were still years away. Today we're facing it all: wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; Islamic radicals hell-bent on destroying us; a new Cold War on the horizon; massive disenfranchisement here at home. Half of the states have an active secessionist movement, and, as the cherry on top, an economy that even Captain Sully probably couldn't bring in for a soft landing.
Unfortunately, this isn't baseball. Going one for three isn't acceptable. Barack Obama needs to fix all of these things right away, and he doesn't get any time to warm up or stretch first. If he does not realize the times we are living in — and I believe he does — but if he doesn't, couple that with common sense, we risk this country turning into something that none of us will recognize. We're chasing France.
As if that task isn't hard enough, he's going to have to do it all with a country that's polarized and angry. Do you think they'll bail you out after the big boys? More Americans than ever feel like the government operates with its own set of rules — rules that they are apparently making up as they go along. We're going to come back to the theme of disenfranchisement quite a bit in the coming days.
But today we start with the most urgent threat in this perfect storm: the economy. Despite what you hear from television and talking heads, this crisis is far from over. We aren't even close to the beginning of the end yet; its more like were nearing the end of the beginning.
Major companies are going under every week. We lost over 40,000 jobs last Friday alone. Bank of America has basically been turned into America's bank, and so far, it looks like our only economic "solution" involves running the printing presses like J.K. Rowling just hammered out another "Harry Potter" sequel.
The idea is to "spend" our way out of a recession. I'm sorry, but can you imagine any other situation that you'd even think of suggesting that? If I walk into my house and my wife says, "We have no money, we're in debt, and we're about to lose the house," and I said, "Don't worry honey, what we need to do is get you to the nearest Louis Vuitton for a few new bags! And look out into the driveway, we're gonna go there in my brand new Mercedes!,” I would be sleeping on the front porch of the house we couldn't afford.
It's about time we add a little common sense to the equation. If it doesn't make sense we shouldn't do it. Forget about bailouts and double standards. Bad businesses should — and must — fail, and if our government continues to act like an exaggerated parody of Bernie Madoff then this country will fail too.
What we need now from Barack Obama is something he's been saying he's wanted for years: a plausible, clearly defined exit strategy.