As I think on the last four years, I think about the blockbuster film, The Hangover. Obama has so far had a Hangover Presidency with a first term that began the same year that The Hangover came out in theaters.
Of course, instead of the hilarious Zach Galifianakis, who drugged the guys he was with at the bachelor party, we had George W. Bush. He got this entire country on such a binge, such a wild tear that, like our heroes in The Hangover, by the end of his second term it became difficult to remember what we even did during the last eight years.
Unfortunately, while it's funny to watch the guys in The Hangover try and piece together a disastrous night of impromptu weddings, self-inflicted tooth-pulling, and a crazy incident with Mike Tyson... America has far less to laugh about. Our disastrous wild night was not funny.
We should currently have thousands of young men and women living their lives who were sent back to us in coffins. Over one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians have been killed and we are partly to blame. The old song, "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans" has taken on a resonance of meta proportions, as New Orleans was irreparably decimated, not simply by a hurricane but by George W. Bush's incompetent government.
It's a laundry list that many of us know by heart. And not least of which is the economic disaster known as the Great Recession.
Piece by piece, Obama has tried to restore a nation hooked on George W. Bush's inebriation to a nation that is sober: be it through restoring our reputation with our allies abroad or our broken economy at home. It's been long, it's been arduous, and like most programs in sobriety, it has been lacking in immediate rewards.
But in spite of Republican obstructionism on the road to health, Obama has proven to be enormously capable of getting our nation to survive a hangover the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression -- and if you throw in the violence, since the end of the Civil War. His second term promises to be far more about getting us to not only get out of the woods of addiction but to proactively become a nation dedicated toward our own health.
Unless we choose Mitt Romney. Every one of Romney's policies comes from a very deep-seated wish to go back to George W. Bush's inebriated America. After all, as they say, "hair of the dog." The quickest way to get out of a hangover is to just start drinking again. Romney's plan is to get us even more inebriated than George W. Bush. He's beholden to a Tea Party whose ideas do not simply contain "sweet tea."
If Romney is elected, if he serves two terms, let alone one term, the hangover this country will receive may be so great that we will be forever broken.
Our choice in a few weeks is to continue to slowly emerge from a hangover into a state of fantastic health and wealth or go into a relapse that we may not be able to emerge from ever again.