Friday, January 23, 2009

Questions on questions

Here's the cover of the latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine, featuring a darkened photo of Obama looking distressed with the caption "Yes, he did -- But what if he can't?"

I just checked Foreign Policy's archive to see if their covers from November 2000 - January 2001 had a similar theme, questioning Bush's ability to lead and govern. They didn't.

Foreign Policy magazine is hardly the only entity that pitches such questions of Obama; this cover symbolizes a seeming anti-Obama mindset among some in the media. And I understand that Obama starts his presidency during perilous times, which plays a role in desperation-themed covers him -- his policies needed to be questioned right from the get-go because his decisions right now may effect us for generations to come. Whereas when Bush came into office, what's the most important things we were thinking about? I remember tax cuts, stem cell research, and yet another sex scandal were in the news before 9/11. That's certainly small potatoes compared with the problems Obama faces (cleaning up Bush's mess).

But the fact still stands that in early 2001, outside of the pages of such not-exactly well read magazines like Mother Jones (though they should be taken more seriously, especially for their investigative reporting), and websites like Common Dreams and MoveOn, the media mindset of questioning Bush (like they are of Obama right now) didn't exist. Given the problems our country faces now, maybe it should have.

Regardless, I can't help but find it a mite offensive that Obama is subject to such criticism. "But what if he can't?" This, in effect, implies that Obama can possibly do a worse job then Bush; a man they didn't apply such questions to. I've got an easy answer to this question: We're fucked if he can't. Stop asking stupid questions. If you want better questions, here's a few to whet your inquisitive appetite: Why couldn't Bush do it?; What did Bush do wrong?; Why didn't the media question Bush enough? And how about Why are we treating Obama like a child when he's not representative of the people who fucked up, and by all accounts are still taken seriously as some sort of brainiacs?

I know the usual suspects will point to his lack of government experience, but Obama sure demonstrated a hell of a lot more aptitude to solve today's problems then McCain or Palin did -- and if the latter team were elected, I doubt magazines like Foreign Policy would run cover stories critical of them.

So cut the shit. Actual adults are in charge now, and it's about time some stopped acting like children.

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