George W. Bush's Genius Brand Stupid has left a mess of epic proportions, ranging from two wars (one botched and the other illegal) to the wrecked global economy. Today 2 million people congregated on the Mall in Washington DC to usher in a new age of hope.
Responsibility is not a dirty word. It is not Republican code. When Obama pointed to "the collective failure of a nation to make hard choices" or "the power of the market to generate freedom," he was talking realities that we ignore at our own peril. If it is liberal to disregard reality in the quest for an impossible dream, then Obama is a conservative. Otherwise, he is simply the right person for a hard job.
Obama spoke of the "quiet force of progress" and there was a charged atmosphere purely the result of history being made, but the president's feet were firmly on the ground under the shadow of what he called the "gathering clouds and raging storms" of the many crises that face us as a nation.
What is next? Hardship. I like to think that Captain Sully landing US Airways Flight 1459 was an omen of things to come, that the story ends well, that Obama is right, that the difficulties and challenges we face as a nation will be met. I think that miracle in the Hudson River was just that.
It is time as Obama said, to "begin the work of remaking America." If anyone can oversee such a project, it is the gentleman who just became our 44th president. He has the good faith of a nation right now, and there is no indication that he'll squander it.
A hearty congratulations to America. After a dark stretch of wandering into the dark heart of GOP error, we have a leader worthy of our highest post. Now for the hard part....