That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.
Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.
Those were well thought out and crafted words, a heartfelt expression from the 44th President of the United States upon his inauguration, as to the challenge ahead that faces his nation.
They marked the opening lines to his clarion call to America that there is much work to be done, that the task won't be easy and that some along the way won't necessarily find comfort in the plans of his government but that hard times requires hard work.
They were words that lifted the debate over the current state of America beyond partisan bickering and instead gave cause for hope of better days ahead, despite the storm clouds on their horizon.
So with that blue print less than a week old, one has to ask; Why is President Barack Obama wasting any of his valuable time discussing the thoughts of that pontifical blowhard of the right known as Rush Limbaugh?
The President apparently informed of Limbaugh's most recent commentaries (or shudder maybe he even watches Fox!) about how he hopes the President fails in his mission, decided that he should personally answer the ravings of the guardian of the right wing (or is that wind?) of the Republican party.
It would seem that the Republicans have become a party so apparently bereft of leadership, that it has fallen to a political windbag to become the official form of opposition for the moment.
While the President is probably right in his words that pointed out that the negativity of Limbaugh's message is not what America needs right now, the only thing is he shouldn't be the one providing the rebuttals.
America has far too many problems at the moment dealing with an economic meltdown not seen since the Great Depression, trying to change a culture of greed and self interest into one that sees common purpose in times of concern.
At no time should he waste one nano-second of his Presidency taking on the talking points of Limbaugh, there are many hands on board the Democratic ship that could take this one out of his in box, perhaps its a file that can be turned over to Vice President Joe Biden.
Mr. Biden loves to talk as we've seen, occasionally says the wrong thing but never shies away from a good political fight, if anyone in the Administration really feels the need to give Limbaugh five seconds of publicity the best choice would be the Vice President or perhaps the newly elected Senator from Minnesota Al Franken, who of course has created an entire sub culture of literature on the topic of Mr. Limbaugh.
The argument is not one that the President should dignify, he may be a Chicago politician at heart, a culture of politician that never runs from a good political fight, but despite the prospect of him taking on the king of the Right wing media, the job isn't his to be done, there are many more important things that he could and should be doing, keeping Limbaugh's ditto heads entertained shouldn't be one of them.
If they don't want to ignore the guy as he should be, let Mr. Biden take him on, we suspect that would be an entertaining bit of theatre all to itself and perhaps make the Vice President keep his oratorical skills finely tuned in a political way.