Monday, November 24, 2008

It's 3 AM

The phone is ringing and there is nobody home. The call that Hillary said we should be expecting has come. But, it is not the sounds of war that we are hearing. It is the economy that is crying out and begging for help. Those pleas from the Big 3 executives have now been followed by frantic overtures from Citigroup for assistance. Yet, nobody seems ready or able to answer the call.

President Bush has tried to disconnect all the lines. His seemingly daily entreaties to the public to be calm, to be patient, only stirred up further fears. He has retreated into his bunker, and emerges only sporadically before scurrying for cover.

President-elect Obama has stated that there can be only one President at a time. Obama has resigned his post in the Senate. During the Congressional session last week to skewer the heads of the auto industries, Obama's team was apparently not doing arm twisting to assure passage of the legislation that Obama believes critical for the continued viability of the Big 3. While putting together a formidable Cabinet and big plans to attack the problem and hit the ground running in January, that still leaves us yelling for someone to pick up the damn phone NOW.

A crisis of confidence would suggest there is some confidence still in reserve. That is a rapidly fading concept. We are waiting for the economic SHOCK AND AWE. Instead we get reports that we are buying in to the bad debts of Citigroup. They are too big to go under, we are told, and we must save them from themselves. We are again discussing concepts such as preferred stock or warrants. I could have sworn that we abandoned these ideas weeks ago. Weren't we told just last week by Hank Paulson that financial institutions were no longer a concern regarding imminent collapse? What happened?

How many days is there between November 4, 2008 and January 20, 2009? If your answer is anything other than infinity, you are wrong. In what has to be the biggest chasm ever created, we are staring into the deepest of economic holes and going to recess. We are waiting for the heads of the auto companies to return in several weeks, hat in hand. Each of the big shots has to either thumb a ride or show that they came to Washington by 3rd class metro rail before they are allowed to speak. Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees.

It is time for the old to go and the new to emerge. Let the Obama team begin the process of governing TODAY. The pretense of the rule of Bush must disappear. In whatever ways possible, OUR stimulus package must start now. For us to be able to really consider this Thursday as Thanksgiving we must be able to feel, to know, that someone has picked up the phone and is giving us the guidance and the answers we need. Until then, we all feel like the phone is just OUT OF ORDER.


Anonymous said...

Thanx Robert, for expressing so well what has to be done NOW. Obama says that there can only be one president at a time, but right now we have none, so he must step up to the plate.

Robert said...

we have a vacuum now, not a President. We can't psychologically and economically afford 60 more days of no leadership.

we don't have the luxury of time for a transition.