A YEAR AGO, if we'd read that employers were hiring again, that health-care
legislation was proceeding without a bump, that Afghanistan suddenly was a nice
place to take kids, we'd have known we were being lied to. We knew the problems
President Obama inherited wouldn't go away overnight.
During his campaign, Obama clearly said that an economy that took eight
years to break couldn't be fixed in a year, that Afghanistan was a graveyard of
empires and would not be an easy venture for us. Candidate Obama didn't feed us
happy talk, which is why we elected him. He never said America could solve our
health care, economic and security problems without raising the deficit.
Instead, he talked of hard choices, of government taking painful and contentious
first steps towards fixing problems that can't be left for another day.
Right after the election, we seemed to grasp this. We understood that
companies would be happy to squeeze more work out of frightened employees, and would be slow to hire. We understood that the banks were lying when they
said they'd share their recovery. That a national consensus on health care
wouldn't come easily. Candidate Obama never claimed that his proposed solutions
would work flawlessly right out of the box, and we respected him for that.
Today, the president is being attacked as if he'd promised that our
problems would wash off in the morning. He never did. It's time for Americans to
realize that governing is hard work, and that a president can't just wave a
magic wand and fix everything.