The speech sets a tone of bipartisanship in Washington and that Obama wants to be pragmatic rather than ideological. I think the speech gives him a good start in his presidency.
But Obama's inaugration will be remembered most by it's exiciting atmosphere and images. The mall was packed with two million people, a mark that may not be passed for generations. There were so many faces of color in the crowds, and the image of the first African-American taking the oath of office will always be remembered. People will remember that Obama gave a good speech, but there was never a "The only thing we got to fear is fear itself," or "Ask not what you can do for your country...." momement in the speech. Thus, the words of the speech itself will not be remembered, except by a few historians.
History tells us that most big legislative accomplishments of a President occurs in the first six months of the first term in office. Only if a president was highly successful in the first six months and is highly popular does a president get a chance for a second series big legislative wins. Thus, my suggestion would be for Obama to pass univeral health care legislation as part or on the heels of the economic stimulus package. Otherwise, the odds are we won't see any chance for significant health care reform for at least another eight years and probably not for another sixteen years.
You are probably right, Bush will have a negative history. You would probably be right if the economy goes into depression, much worse economy than we experienced in 1974 and 1982. However, I doubt that's going to happen.
But after 20 years, I just don't think Bush will be that memorable. He's memorable now because he has been our president for the last eight years. But future generations won't know much about him.
Bush would have had a memorable negative historical legacy had the Democrats had more guts to confront him on his illegal activities. But they made the political decision not to do so. Thus, Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky will be more memorable than all of the illegal and unconstitutional activities Bush ever did.
Bush will go down in history as a failed presidency due to his overzealousness. But the failure to act on 9-11 was actually his greatest failure.
The consequence of the 9-11 attacks was to make Bush the most popular president in US history. His popularity rating reached 95 percent, by far the highest rating in US history. Moreover, his popularity rating was sustained at over 80 percent for over a year.
Nine-eleven was a lot like Pearl Harbor. Like Pearl Harbor, the aftermath of nine-eleven gave Bush the opportunity to change America according to his ideals and philosophy. With just average leadership, Bush would have created a permanent Conservative Republican majority in the United States. Instead, Bush missed his great oppurtunity by leaving Guiliani to respond to the crisis, and by telling Americans to go shopping. Bush had the chance to go down as another FDR, instead, he will only be known by historians because he was the son of another president, much like John Quincy Adams. At least with John Quincy Adams, historians have been kind to him because of his stern opposition to slavery.
Young voters, first time voters, and minority voters tend to make the most mistakes when voting and their ballots are more frequently rejected. These voters tended to vote Democratic this year. Thus, there is a tendency for Democratic candidates to gain ground in recounts, especially when the law takes an expansive view on voter intent.
The results of the run off election is a total disappointment. I see very little silver lining. The fact is that the Republican won in a landslide when the first election was close. The people voted for divided government, which means that we still have a long way to go before we persuade the majority of the country to follow a progressive direction.
Saxby won by a larger margin in the run off partly because Obama won the presidency. People still prefer divided government over one party rule. This could change if Obama persuades the nation to become more progressive. But until then, the people are going to vote for divided government.
I know a Minnesotan who said he was going to GOTV in Minnesota on election day. When the day came, he just didn't feel like going out. Just think Franken is down by 13 votes. Since on average you can speak to about six voters per hour, two hours and twenty minutes of canvassing not only could be the difference in the election but that could be the difference between an economic boom in the next couple of years or the Second Great Depression, as the Republicans fillibuster every Obama legislation. I'm giving this guy a call.
People have learned that you can't solve every economic or social problem by cutting taxes. They are now going to learn that printing money and giving it to banks isn't going to solve every economic problem, too. They are going to learn that building and maintaining infrastracture, investing in new technologies, and sensible regulations are needed to keep the economy strong. The people living today will always keep those lessons in mind. The downside is that future generations will probably have to go through the same cycle before they learn this lesson, too. This seems to be part of human nature.
We may need to find a name for the Depression. Depressions are kind of like Hurricanes and tropical storms. The last two depressions were called the Long Depression (1873-1896) and the Great Depression. How about the W Depression?
Well, now that the election is over, the NBER decided it could now admit that we've been in recession since last year. Although it seems like, if we haven't been in a Great Depression since 2001 we've been in a great economic plateau since then.
As a lawyer, I like to think of myself as a superhero who like superman can fly and brush my teeth at the same time. (Remind me to pack my tooth brush with the carry on baggage the next time I fly).
But seriously, to solve the climate problem and other environmental problems will also require a lot of help from scientists and engineers, too. In addition, everyone can do their little part to preserve the environment by recycling and conserving energy.
The United States has a winner take all system, and not a parlimentary system. That is the president and each member of congress is elected by a plurality of the votes for that particular race. In a parlimentary system, people vote for a party and the number of seats in parliment are proportioned according to the percentage of votes each party received. Thus, in a winner take all system, political coalitions are formed at the grassroots level rather than at a parlimentary or congressional level because failure to do so would cause people to "waste" there vote. Thus, we have a two party system.
If you want a multi-party system where everyone can vote their political preferences and let the politicians for the political coalitions, then you should support a constitutional amendment changing America's winner take all system into a parlimentary system. You will fail because that would go against American tradition.
"Tradition! Tradition! Tradition!"
A Fiddler on a Roof, who's up there day and night. He fiddles when it rains, he fiddles when it snows, I've never seen him rest, yet on and on he goes....
Bush was honest when he told the American people that financial catastrophe was on the horizon. Unfortunately, this honest assessment caused people to panic and the stock market collapsed. People became worried about a Depression and stopped spending. Now we face a serious economic recession.
But honestly, we will feel bad and depressed about the economic recession. But since we won't have a depression (thanks to Obama), and the economy probably won't even get as bad as it did as in 1982 or 1974 we won't be able to brag how tough we were to our kids and grandchildren. Indeed, we live in depressing times.