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Nose to Grindstone

Coming off his landmark victory on health care, president Obama is now on a surprise visit in Afghanistan, to cheer the troops and chide Karzai for corruption, which threatens to undo both purpose and success of US support. No resting on laurels, here.

I am struck yet again by the contrast between this president and our last. Flush with a similar victory, Bush the lesser would now be looking to clear his schedule and get a little fishing in.

Obama is not a perfect president. He has proven slow to reverse the excesses of the Bush administration and, although he has proven a quick study, his inexperience still shows—for example, in his dogged hope for compromise and cooperation from conservatives in Washington. But Obama is a good president, probably the best we could hope for in this toxic political climate. Perhaps he will be a great president. Time will tell whether he can (or will) continue to flush out the plutocratic sewage poisoning the country, or whether he will merely scrub away the most visible stains.

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