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My response to President Obama's address to Congress and the nation tonight.

President Obama spoke for an hour to Congress tonight, acknowledging the bad times & the long path ahead, & calling for investments in energy, education, & healthcare--"snap" polls show that people reacted as I did--they're in, with him, believe his leadership is the best hope we have--nothing Republicans say matters, their wild cries of NO! impresses nobody--& continues to impress nobody--it's amazing they stick it out together--no ideas, no following--repudiated in every way imaginable--with no prospects any time soon--they try to speak the language bullies speak--do as we say & don't be fooled by anyone else's promises of hope through hard work & union--*or else.* I keep wondering when more Republicans than just a few governors will wave the others goodbye & leave them behind--some people refuse to learn, to allow for change & growth through admitting that someone else is right--taking that humbling, cleansing step. It make take more than one election but I see their disintegration as more possible than ever--into a party of fiscal conservatives & another of religious fantatics--of course the Democrats could break into centrists & progressives--Obama may be the last great Democratic president even as Reagan was the last great Republican president.

Obama believes the government must get the nation's credit system--the "nation's lifeblood"--going again, & reform financial regulations. To press into the future, he stresses education, healthcare, & green energy. His ideas are both progressive & populist. Help all boats rise, & trust those in the boats will ensure the nation's future. It's a trust between the government & those governed. A positive, hopeful perspective. On foreign policy, renewed investment in diplomacy & economic collaboration.

He sees the world as one where bad things can & do happen, stupidity, avarice, prejudice, but also one where the basic tenets of kindness, neighborliness, patriotism, family, faith can be summoned in the worst times--& the transformative power of hope can remake the world.

I believe not only in his specific ideas but I agree with his philosophy. And I like that he anticipates, welcomes debate & difference of opinion. For those who thought he couldn't get made into law his $700+ billion stimulus plan, he has a new message: I've only just begun my work ask President.

I listened hungrily to this strong, fiercely intelligent man's words tonight. Listened, knowing he means every word, that he fears the opposition of no person, & welcomes the ideas of all, if they are spoken from an honest heart, not an ideological nest occupying that same space. Listened, nodded, clapped, willing anew to embrace President Obama not as savior or superhero but as precisely what a leader should be, especially in times of crisis: one who gestures powerfully toward better days & warns of the pitfalls of weakness along the path--&, finally, hands out the tools to get there to every willing set of hands, of course taking a set for himself.

Originally posted to cenacle on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 11:48 PM PST.

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