Finding North Without a Compass

A retired Army officer and retired Fortune 500 executive, Warren may be best known for making waves while serving on the Mequon Common Council and Ozaukee County Board. He's no longer an elected official, but he has plenty to say about local, state and national issues.



The election is over and it’s time to move on as a country. Mr. Obama prevailed with 365-173 electoral vote and 51% - 42% popular vote margins. So it was a clear-cut victory with a majority of working Americans voting their 401k’s which took severe nose dives in the several weeks before the election. The loser, Mr. McCain, put it well: "Join me in offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together as a country."

Hopefully, the transition and subsequent Obama administration will occur without the savaging of Mr Obama personally as happened to his predecessor, Mr. Bush, after his tight victory in 2000. Does anyone doubt that the personal savaging of Mr. Bush by his left wing opponents and the editorial cartoonists in the media lessened the effectiveness of both his foreign and domestic policies. It saddened me hear, night after night, Letterman, Leno, Stewart and Colbert cracking jokes about Mr. Bush’s ineptness, portraying an Ivy League educated graduate as some sort of dolt. What did that do to America’s image around the world – nothing good? It’s interesting that the last three presidents were all Ivy League educated and on January 20, 2009, Mr. Obama will be the fourth in a row. So much for America being led by a "common man" from a non-elitist background – which hasn’t been the case since Ronald Reagan.

So, I propose we give Mr. Obama and his upcoming administration a chance by laying off any personal vitriolic rhetoric about the man himself. We can critique his plans, policies and actions, but cut out the personal invectives. Believe me, Mr. Obama will find that doing is a lot more difficult than talking. I am persuaded that Mr. Obama’s current messianic image will be impossible to sustain.

What stands in his way is not the disorganized Republican minority but the Democrat barons in Congress who chair the various committees and sub-committees. Charlie Rangel wants to bring back the military draft; Henry Waxman wants to combat global warming with new and steep energy taxes; John Conyers calls for slavery reparations; and others want to indict Bush and his administration officials for war crimes. Previous liberal congressional barons steam-rolled both the Carter and Clinton administrations. Will it happen again – and how does all of that fit in with Mr. Obama’s vision to depart from the "partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long?"

Mr. Obama promised "Change We Need" complete with a long laundry list of goals. Can he deliver while uniting America? Only time will tell!

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