S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How do we get from here to there?

The road through Transition to Obama Administration is full of ruts and streams to ford and our car, the economy is wearing out and in need of repair. How can our country's sputtering economy avoid completely breaking down* along the way?

What would a breakdown look like? The stock market is one gauge of the pressures on the economic tires under us. Right now they are going flat and we fear they will fail to get us there. The wheels of employment and business survival are about to fall off because not enough regulations hold them in place. The engine of public opinion and public confidence runs noisily#.

We have a current president, sort of in the driver's seat, but his hand is only occasionally on the wheel. We elected a new driver, someone to take his place, but it is not his turn to drive yet. Thus the new driver is forced to ride in the passenger seat until January 20. Decision makers try to see clearly ahead into the future, but the mud of confusion and obfuscation obscures the view. Shifting gears could move us ahead or progress could grind to a halt.

The Presidential Transition road is rutted with historical precedent and the Constitution's rule of law which feel like impediments to many people. However, if we drive out of the ruts we will surely get stuck. High water crossings, too many debts#, threaten to drown the economic engine. Our driver must pay attention and drive at the right speed or we will get stuck in midstream. The president-elect passenger can give advice but his foot is not on the throttle. As passengers, we are aware of the kind of driver with whom we are riding. We do not know whether he alert, or talking on the cell phone and distracted.

We could be headed for a wreck at the train crossing, where U.S. and international economic interests meet. We worry that our current driver will not see the train coming, or that he might go around the cross arm at the crossing. The signals, clear communication must be working, and the U.S. must find out who is the engineer in charge. Whether it is Europe or China or other entities, raises the question of whether a committee is competent to steer the engine. International transaction rules about the size of the debt loads must be within safe limits. A car/train wreck could stop the international movement of currency.

With an incompetent driver at the wheel, a train coming, and a winding, muddy and dangerous road ahead, what are the options for action? When would we need to say speed up or slow down . . . or stop? Do we go for repair, detour or park for the moment to let the engine cool down? Which choice will best get us from here to there? No matter what the chattering class says about it, we cannot stop the car and change drivers. Everyone but our current president (OCP) is a passenger. The train is run by other nations. And we are in the uncomfortable position of having to stay in the ruts with loose lug nuts, with four questionable tires, a noisy engine and a muddy windshield, to get to dry road. All this means that we must trust that the passenger in the front seat can convince the driver to steer correctly and baby our economic vehicle enough to get us all there in one piece.

Unfortunately we are all along for the ride. Therefore, it is only a matter of time; and we must be patient.

Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo*" and Jon#.

View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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