Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What ‘s So Special About the First Hundred Days?

I had been planning to blog about my assessment of President Obama’s first one hundred days in office. I decided not to post my reflections Wednesday morning because I wanted to first hear and read how the political pundits assessed his record. The democratic, progressive, liberal, socialist, communist media I read, like the New York Times and Washington Post, and listen to, such as NPR, and watch, such as MSNBC, has given him generally high marks. I do not know what I could add. Way to go Barack! Here is a first bump to you.

All this talk about the President’s first one hundred days got me thinking, however. What is so special about 100 days? It is not very Biblical. If we were truly a country founded on Judeo-Christian principals we would have assessed the President after his first forty Days.

Or if we were really patriotic we would assess the President after his or her first fifty days, one day for each state. Or maybe seventy-six days, for 1776. Or maybe thirteen weeks, a week for each original colony.

One hundred sounds so, well metric! And by extension, so European. I remember the big move to go metric. I remember when gas was sold in liters, distances on road signs were printed in both miles and kilometers, and speedometers were also calibrated in both miles and kilometers. But that seems like a long time ago. Metric now seems reserved for the laboratory and the mechanic who works on foreign cars, not or measuring up a President.

OK, so our monetary system, unlike the English, is based on a decimal model. There are 100 cents in a dollar, etc, etc, etc. But then again, maybe our economy would be in better shape if we went back to eights bits in a dollar, or converted to schillings, the pence and the pound. After all, we do still buy produce by the ounce and pound, and package beverages by ounces, cups, quarts and gallons rather than going metric. Maybe we should be assessing President Obama after his first dozen weeks in office (84 days) or his first baker’s dozen weeks (91 days).

Phileas Fogg made it around the world in eighty days. Is eighty days not enough time for a President to make an impression? Sometimes it seems like politics inhabits more of a fantasy world than any ever conjured up by Jules Verne. Surely both Republican and Democrat spin doctors can offer up a diagnosis within the first eighty days of a President, even if their sound bites are more fictional than non-fiction.

Regardless of the time span - forty days or 13 weeks - so far I seem to be more satisfied with our my President than he is with himself. He must hold himself to a higher standard than I hold him. I wonder what scale he is using. Fahrenheit or Celsius?


Stushie said...

The only thing I would say John is this: how come he is so forthright about condemning the torture of terrorists, and yet he is advocating more abortion rights, which is a medical procedure that tortures a baby to death?

John Edward Harris said...

I respect Stushie's opinion but disagree that a fetus, especially during early stages of development, has the same moral claim or legal rights as a living, breathing human being, terrorist or not. Thus I do not view abortion as torture. I do, however, believe in a woman's right to choose not to have an abortion.