Will Obama's powers extend to plow trucks?
Throughout his campaign, President Obama said his candidacy was not about him, but about us. Even after he scored the election, we were still getting messages from his campaign manager, David Plouffe, saying things like "We have just begun" and "We continue to work together" and "E-mail your thoughts" and "Donate here." (Jeesh! What for? The guy's won already!)
Willing foot soldiers in Obama's electronic army, we continue to flood his post-election site with brilliant ideas and suggestions, bursting with eight years of pent-up frustration. We have faith that our new president will avoid wars, favoring talking over shooting. We trust he will put people to work fixing our dismal infrastructure, that he will halt the frying up of the planet, that he will return to an education system that actually educates and that (my own personal obsession) he will speedily enact a National Health Plan that will insure all of us.
There's no end to the ways in which we expect our boy Barry to work miracles. Perhaps after he mops up the mess on the national and international scenes, he can work a few miracles on the local level.
We wouldn't ask for much. Perhaps he could chat up Governor Lynch, urging him to cut to the chase in funding education and give us some relief from property taxes.
And while he is messing around in our state, Obama might take a look at the waste and corruption in my town. Perhaps encourage a few runners-up among his Ivy League federal appointees to slide out here into the williwacks, maybe even run for selectman, to bust up that good-ole-boy do-nothing brotherhood who (for instance) equate, along with our planning board, more and more growth and consumption with "progress."
But heck, I'd be happy if Obama would pull off a minor miracle and press our road crew to cease and desist from using whole gravel pits of sand on our road, tearing by our house in the plow truck at breakneck speed (those guys love their giant Tonka toys), flinging salty sand up onto our lawn where - oops! - our well just happens to be. Doesn't matter how many times I beg the town to ease up on the salt or threaten them with a suit if they poison our well.
But I guess if Obama gets us a National Health Plan, that'd be a long-overdue Big Deal enough, especially considering a recent bill I got from the hospital for a whopping $831 - not itemized - for what I thought was a simple batch of routine blood tests.
We have endured so long under the bungling Reign of George the Shrub that there's been a kind of contagious trickle-down incompetence throughout the land, with the final trickle dribbling down into our own happy hamlet.
Ah, maybe it's too much to expect Obama to persuade our road gang to quit burying our lawn in a Sahara's worth of sand every winter. Still, if he could do that for us, we'd be ecstatic. I'd even lobby mightily for his mug to replace our beloved Old Man of the Mountain. NH
This article appears in the January 2009 issue of New Hampshire Magazine