Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thomas Friedman: Inaurgurate Barack Obama right now!


On Nov. 22, 2008 Thomas L. Friedman (“The World Is Hot, Flat and Crowded”) ran an op-ed in The New York Times with a startling suggestion: Quickly amend the Constitution, and swear in Barack Obama as president on Thanksgiving Day. Forget the Inaugural balls and parade, we can’t afford them.

Friedman may not have studied John R. Vile’s books on the constitutional amending process, which gets complicated in practice and theory (despite what you learn for multiple choice government tests in high school). I think Friedman is right that Congress should stay in session and on the job.

Friedman says he is getting a bit anti-social, wanting to drive people out of restaurants (like in that scene from “Victor Victoria”) because nobody can afford to eat out right now.

The next best thing, he says, would be to ask President Bush to fire Hank Paulson and appoint Tim Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury right now. The markets aren’t fooled, he says. Bank stocks are trading at Great Depression levels now.

We found the fiscal “WMD” in our own back yard, or at least New York City streets. They were the derivatives, credit default swaps, and subprime mortgages. This is our “Code Red” he says. (Apparently Friedman has watched Tom Cruise in “A Few Good Men”).

The link for his op-ed ("We Found the W.M.D.") is this.

My take is that Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and even candidate and still powerful Senator John McCain should make some joint appearances and appear to be in charge. We really do have more than one president right now.

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