Monday, November 24, 2008

Off the farm

The big news today is the economy, because Obama will be announcing the appointment of his economic team, and yesterday, the Bush administration announced that taxpaying Americans are rescuing yet another financial giant “too big to fail,” Citibank.

In his fireside Internet video chat on Saturday, Obama noted that the economic situation is getting worse, so he put a little more flesh on his campaign promise to bolster the economy with 2.5 million infrastructure jobs. Prominent economists are saying that we may be reaching just “the end of the beginning” of a downturn that could be worse than the Great Depression.

There’s a huge difference, however, between the situation in America today and America in the 1930s. When FDR became president, one in three Americans lived on a farm, and so they were at least able to feed themselves. Today, barely more than one in a hundred Americans lives on a farm. If the system breaks down to the degree it did during the Depression, what are all those people going to eat?


Speaking of being off the farm, there’s a rather intense debate going on in cyberspace among progressives, about the choices Obama is making on his foreign policy team, which has a decidedly hawkish stance.

The STFU crowd of Obama supporters is saying give him a chance, he’s not even in office yet. The radicals are echoing Ralph Nader’s “I told you so.”

Cindy Sheehan weighs in on the radical side in the comments at Common Dreams, which supported Obama strongly during the campaign. Their top headline today, from the conservative British paper, the Sunday Telegraph, is “Barack Obama accused of selling out on Iraq.” Sheehan closes her comment with the slogan, “Don’t blame me, I voted for Cynthia McKinney.”

I wonder if anybody’s selling bumper stickers yet.


Finally, as regular readers of this blog know, I supported Obama (with strong reservations, but simply bowing to political reality) during the campaign, in articles that included what is still my most widely reprinted post, “Barack Obunny and Elmer McFudd.”

The latest Rolling Stone magazine has an article, “How Obama won.” I haven’t read it yet, but the illustration is a cartoon of Obama as Bugs Bunny, with both McCain and Palin dressed like Elmer Fudd.

Naturally, I’d like to think the cartoonist read my piece. But even if not, and it’s just one of those “hundredth monkey” moments, it’s personally satisfying to see my observations confirmed in illustrated form. It’s going in my scrapbook.

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