Looking at the photo of President Obama and his advisers tracking the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, I was struck by the president’s extraordinary intensity.
In the photograph I read not only his passion for the mission and his concern for the Navy SEALS, but his knowledge that his own job could be at stake.
Looking at Obama so present in the photograph, I couldn’t help but think about how absent he’s been from the economic crisis that’s afflicting millions of people here at home. Yes, he’s been worried about Bin Laden; yes, he’s obsessing about the deficit; and yes, he’s got to raise a billion dollars to fund his reelection. But we are still facing an economic crisis that has left housing behind, with the worst unemployment in decades.
So where’s the situation room for the unemployed and those losing their homes? Where are the presidential commissions and crack teams focused on tracking down new ways to salvage communities ravaged by foreclosure and joblessness?
I had the opportunity to hear President Obama at a rally a couple of weeks ago. He talked about how he stays up late reading letters from the unemployed. But the president’s rhetoric rang hollow and slick in the face of his lack of aggression in fighting for benefits for the long-term unemployed. He abandoned them at the same time that he extended the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest.
They’re the Obama era tax cuts now.
We’re in a bitter fight for real economic recovery here at home, to keep the most vulnerable from further suffering, to narrow the widening gap between rich and poor, to keep the country from losing its soul. It’s a complex mission, in uncertain terrain, against implacable foes.
The mission in Abbottabad required guts, rigorous planning, determination and flawless execution to accomplish what was deemed just and right. Now we need our president and all of his intensity fighting for us here at home.