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Nationally-syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post Writers Group wrote a column last week suggesting that until Barack Obama goes from President-elect to President this country and its economy has little hope. An underlying message of the column, and one that has been echoed by others, is that Bush should just step aside and let Obama take over now.
“Heaven help us,” Robinson wrote, echoing the cries of some, desperate for Obama to go ahead and assume the role of President before Jan. 20. One must question just what plan Robinson believes Obama is ready to implement and why that plan is worthy of just throwing the Constitution in the trash.
Robinson, and others like him, now lament the work of current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s massive bailout plan, using it as a testimony against Bush and his presidency. “When I get frustrated with Paulson’s zig-zags and reversals, with his overnight decisions to buy huge companies or write hundred-billion-dollar checks, I remind myself that he doesn’t really have a president to work for,” wrote Robinson, getting in some final cuts at the Bush presidency.
But just what does Robinson and others believe Obama now has to offer that’s much better. When the chips were on the table about whether or not to pass the bailout plan in the first place Obama had little to say. He cast his vote as a loyal Democrat for the plan, but made no effort to be a leader on the issue. If he wasn’t willing to lead then as a sitting U.S. senator and anointed leader of his party, why should he be allowed to take on the president’s role now prior to his inauguration. The word is, when Obama does get to lead, his plan will have taxpayers funding more “stimulus” packages. More bailouts are likely and more spending a certainty.
For his part, Obama is at least in public, taking the high road. “There is only one president at a time,” Obama said last week. “That president is George W. Bush, and he will be president until I’m sworn in on Jan. 20.”
It would be good for the rest of the country to remember that as well. For all the hatred thrown continually at Bush from many sides, he’s still this country’s President and deserves the respect that office commands.