What We Owe Obama
What we owe Obama is… nothing. Its the same thing we would owe McCain if he were elected President. Its what we owe anyone else who becomes President.
See, being President is a privilege. Its not a right, for anyone. There’s no situation in which you can say: “Well, he/she paid his dues, and its his/her time to be President of the United States now.” Nobody who becomes President gets there deserving it. They may deserve it more than their opponent, or more than recent holders of the job, but that doesn’t mean they deserve the job more than millions of other Americans.
So, the President, and the President-elect owe us. Its his job to perform. Period. End of story. If he cannot perform, he should step down. Not that anyone ever does, except when impeachment looms (a la Nixon), but a President who doesn’t have the competence to make things better should have the decency to step down. (Mr. 20%-and-Plummeting should definitely have stepped down, and he should have done it a while back.)
So back to Obama… he works for us. Sure, technically, his job is to uphold the Constitution. But the Constitution changes – if it didn’t, he’d be a slave and not the next President. The Constitution is what the public wants it to be – if enough people want something, it goes into the Constitution. (And no – enough doesn’t mean 50% + 1.) And if enough people don’t – it comes out of the Constitution. Put another way – in the end, the Constitution, the United States – its us, its people. Obama works for us. His job is make our lives better.
It doesn’t matter that Obama is inheriting a mess. It wouldn’t matter if he had inherited the world GW envisioned eight years ago. His job is to make our lives better. Regardless of what happens, of whether he succeeds or fails, he’s going to have some people who love him, and some people who hate him. But those people, both groups, are wrong. See, what is owed, is owed to us, and the only way we can know if we’re getting what is owed us is if we’re clear-eyed and watchful.
I voted for Mr. Obama, but that’s water under the bridge. He and I are back on square one as far as I’m concerned. I will support him when he’s right, and I will oppose him when he’s wrong. And I will be watching him. Its the same attitude I took toward the current resident of the White House, and I will take it toward whoever follows Obama in four years or eight. I hope the rest of you feel the same way.