2 Months

Barack Obama has been president for 2 months. Now I'm not a professional pundit or a Washington wonk; I'm just a person who's employed a bit more than full-time, and who spends her meager off time loving her boyfriend and her cats, keeping her tiny apartment a warm nest of comfort, reading things and watching things, keeping abreast and entertained, and, especially on days when my students seem particularly like characters from "Idiocracy," worrying about the future of my country.

And when I see the way people talk about Barack Obama's presidency, I am befuddled. I understand that the economic problems the country is facing require "immediate action," but I didn't expect to wake up on January 21st and see that all the problems are fixed. Did the pundits? I didn't expect to wake up on Februrary 21st and see everything fixed. And I didn't expect to wake up on March 21st and see everything fixed. We've all been touched by this recession/depression: I could make you a list of friends and family members who've been hit particularly hard, losing jobs, unable to find new ones. I myself have been hit less hard: I've dealt with the usual price-pressures, had a hell of a time with my credit card bills, and I've watched my job prospects dry up as states around the nation revoke funding for proposed positions. I am not as certain that I'll still have my job in September as I wish I were. C'est la recession.

But I have not nor have I seen an iota of "disappointment with" or "frustration with" Barack Obama, and I find the suggestion, widespread among the punditocracy, that he has somehow already failed us after only 2 months in the White House to be childish and absurd. All the laypersons I know expect the recession to go on for some time. We don't have a sense of the economy as a dirt bike that stops and starts and jumps and crashes and rights itself and jumps again... we have a sense of the economy as a super-tanker at sea, one that takes a long time to turn, or stop, or start, the kind of ship you'll lay on the beach for hours before you surprise yourself by realizing that it was once nearer your left, and now it's nearer your right.

2 months? Talk to me after 2 years. In 2 years I am going to be very interested in the country's progress, and I'll be critical of failures if I perceive them. But 2 months is the blink of an eye. Unless you're 4 years old. Then it's for-ev-er!!

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