The Campaign Spot

It Turns Out That Wasn’t the Moment After All

Tim Williams argues, with some validation, that even if Obama never promised change “tomorrow,” or “next week,” that when you declare

I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.

… that you’re not emphasizing that it will take years and years of slow progress and setbacks and long periods of stagnation before anyone sees any change.

At the very least, referring to “the moment” indicates that his election and inauguration would be the turning point in a process of improvement. But since then, unemployment has only climbed, the number of uninsured Americans and the number of citizens havign trouble affording health insurance climbed; Al Gore says Obama has failed to lead on his favorite issue of global warming; there are 46,000 troops remaining in Iraq, and “U.S. favorable ratings across the Arab world have plummeted. In most countries they are lower than at the end of the Bush Administration, and lower than Iran’s favorable ratings (except in Saudi Arabia).”

By every standard Obama listed in that famous speech, the United States is either stagnant or worse off than in 2008.

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