For a time prior to November 4 of this year, I was afraid to hope for a set of healthy-sized Democratic victories. Eight years of things going wrong with elections had worn my hopes thin. Then the positive numbers began to come in and I could breathe more easily. The grown-ups were going to take charge again. The adolescent was on his way to Texas.
For a time following the election I was hopeful that Democrats would have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Two years of near impotence in the face of Republican leaders' obstructionism had worn out my faith in the Senate's Democratic leaders. Now the numbers are in and I must reckon with the necessity of bipartisanship to get anything substantive done in the 111th Congress. Grown-ups in both Executive and Legislative will rebalance their power. The bully on the see-saw has left the playground.
For a time following the official transition into the "Obama Transition," I was optimistic about a standard set of Progressive nominations fitting my agenda. A month of leaked names, intros and announcements has tempered my wide-eyed optimism. On the scale of left to right the numbers fall more toward the center than the left. Grown-up leaders can inhabit the Center and we will still be OK. Childish ideologues will be replaced with pragmatic over-achievers.
For a time after the world economic crash and attacks on Mumbai, I was anxious for the world's well-being. As the weeks have passed and I am out and about in my community, I see for rent signs in stores, empty parking lots, and fewer help wanted ads in bankrupting newspapers. And parents hear tension in younger grown-up children's voices as they ask without saying, "Am I grown up enough to handle what's coming?" While Bush president fiddles their Rome is burning.
For the time being I understand the recession has spread to my own, and my turf. My hope that the downturn is time-limited and finite is buoyed by my own history as a "Depression baby." I am grown up now and so are my children and most of my grandchildren. Our change-leaders are having to grow up far too fast as they face the worst challenges since the Great Depression. And we have grown desperately tired of Bush 43, the neocon's darling, manipulatable, boy wonder from Texas.
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.