Apparently, we expect the next leader of the now-only-semi-free-world to balance the budget, lower taxes, reduce the price of gas and fix what's wrong with the environment. Who'da thunk? The President, responsible for making the country better? Perish the thought! (I have to wonder why the article is accompanied by a picture of Mitt Romney--is the Associated Press trying to tell us something? If so, I refuse to listen.)
The article calls these "outsized expectations." I think perhaps that's only because after eight years of incompetent leadership, the pundits and watchdogs have had to adjust their expectations downwards. Well, I look at it differently. Try this one on: we're payin' for it--we better damned well get our value. We sure as hell haven't been lately.
For those who take the view that it's unrealistic to expect a single person to fix every one of the crises facing our country (and indeed, our world), well, that's what the cabinet is for--the President has people to help him with this. Would any of us have thought it "outsized" at the time of GWB's so-called election to imagine that he could undo the many decades of social achievements, budget surpluses and advantages that America had worked so hard to get? I certainly would have. Who could have imagined one man could leave a trail of destruction so long and a swathe of disappointment so wide? So, you see, he did at least exceed our expectations in one area!
But he didn't do it alone. He had a cadre of carefully selected Greedbots seated at his table in the underground lair, each one responsible for ravaging a separate sector of American life. Let's see, we had Tom DeLay cracking the whip down in Texas, all redrawing those voting districts and shit so that minorities would have less electoral standing (and standing on a stack of phone books the whole time--that's gotta be hard!); we had Katherine Harris who, when she wasn't reapplying her Battered Hooker #5 purple eye shadow, was working behind the scenes down in Florida to make sure those disputed ballots got shuffled through; Brother Jeb helping her out (hey--its GOOD to have family in the house!); Dick Cheney gunning his big corporation's engines to "rebuild" the war zones after they got torn up (and conveniently stepping down in the midst of it all so there could be no legal question of conflict of interest); Antonin Scalia and various sundry family friends who got pasted into the Supreme Court to ensure that their conservative social policies would once again (and for the first time since about 1965) become reality, suspending our lives once again into that delusional halcyon sitcom where every woman stays at home wearing shirtwaist dresses and finger wave perms (or is punished by laughable wages and sexual harrassment that's more and more difficult to prove), only men and women live together with benefit of marriage and punishing the single folks with killer taxes, thereby forcing the issue of marriage (so we can all suppress our natures, contributing to ever-increasing resentment which eventually erupts into violence or divorce anyway), and birth control education is discouraged in school, thereby insuring a spate of unplanned children are born to parents who aren't always prepared to raise them (and a dearth of adoptive parents who can care for them).
But hey--those are the liberals' problems, aren't they? Let them worry about it! Life on the Right is one long party--it's a big ol' hoedown complete with roasted pig, Laura's fried chicken, devilled eggs, corn squeezin's and Toby Keith concerts. Those goldurned liberal heathens! If they'd live like the Bible said, everything'd be just fine and dandy!
(Never mind that if the conservatives lived like the Bible said, we'd have fewer business interests controlling the government right now, since the Bible does after all instruct us to show good stewardship of the earth--I can't imagine God dancing for joy at how his children are treating his creation--in fact, I imagine there's a big-ass paddle up there waiting to be used on some wayward neo-con hineys.)
So, to sum it all up, let's BE "outsized" in our expectations. We've had outsized damage done to us for the last better part of a decade (or should I say "longer part of a decade"--it sure hasn't been better). It's only right that we should expect our next leader to start selecting his or her team to put this shit right. And please: do you really think that these candidates don't know what they're facing? If they're smart, they've had ideas for years now. They wouldn't be running if they didn't.