Having just returned from two states hard hit by the recession -- Michigan and Florida -- I can say that I heard not one person talking about the need for a special prosecutor to look into interrogation practices under the Bush Administration.
I certainly heard much about unemployment nearing 15% in Michigan and intense worries over the survival of Chrysler and General Motors.
People are worried about the dire state of the economy and new polls show that over 70% of Americans are worried about the possibility of losing their jobs. Next to worries over job loss is the concern over foreclosure and not having the money to meet the monthly mortgage payments.
In Florida people are worried about the decline in tourism due to the recession. Small business owners in the travel industry are in bad shape.
If anyone discussed foreign policy I don't remember the conversation and I definitely did not hear anything about going back in time to look for violations of the law in the previous administration on interrogation practices.
The Obama Administration has a clearly defined domestic agenda to finally bring health care to the millions of Americans who are not now covered.
The Obama Administration is working on a new energy policy that will hopefully make the United States self-sufficient in our energy needs.
The Obama Administration is in the forefront of making a sensible environmental policy for the country and fighting climate change.
And, the Obama Administration has a comprehensive policy to improve our nation's deteriorating school system.
The administration should keep its eye on the ball and focus intently on their domestic agenda. The main issue is creating new jobs.
Most Americans have seen no benefit to them personally from the very expensive stimulus package. The popularity of the president will rise or fall on jobs, jobs, jobs and the improvement in the economy. The need for improvement needs to be felt by the public very soon. The president has enormous goodwill with the public at large but it won't last forever if the economy does not improve and improve soon.
Forget the Bush Administration. Move forward with this impressive domestic agenda and get it implemented into law.
Forget a special prosecutor to look into Bush interrogation practices. Don't look like a third world nation and attempt to prosecute the previous administration.
Forget tearing apart the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA is not our enemy. The enemy is Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorists who wish to do us harm.
The Democrats have a once in a lifetime chance to pass a new domestic agenda to rival FDR and to a lesser extent LBJ. Getting sidetracked into a special prosecutor to look backwards is not the way to do this.
Getting stuck in a very political sideshow that will accomplish very little will do no one much good.
President Obama has stated, "We should be looking forward and not backwards." Why then is he deferring to his Attorney General Eric Holder on this issue?
The administration should be speaking with one voice and be focused like a laser beam on implementing health care reform, energy and environmental reform and education reform.
If the Attorney General is not going along with the president's policies then the president has the right and obligation to choose someone who will be a part of the team.
The president is the boss and the Attorney General wouldn't be going forward with appointing a special prosecutor if the president was not behind him. So, where does the president stand on the issue? Is he backing his Attorney General or is Holder acting on his own?
Has the president changed his mind about not looking backwards? If so he should explain why to the American public.
There is too much at stake with such a poor economy and such terrible job forecasts -- with unemployment soon to soar above 10% -- to waste valuable time looking backwards at interrogation practices under the previous administration.
Not to mention that we are still very much involved in two wars at the present time and the one in Afghanistan is growing worse by the day.
The president has a full plate implementing his domestic agenda and running two wars. He should call his Attorney General and tell him there will be no special prosecutor. If the Attorney General disagrees with the president then the president should find a new Attorney General.
When I worked on the McGovern campaign for president in 1972 we had a poster that said "We cannot change the past but we can help shape the future."
Today, we cannot change the mistakes of the previous administration and should not be distracted from an impressive domestic agenda that looms before us.
Mr. President, do not complicate your agenda by appointing a special prosecutor -- it will be a big mistake!