In 2008, many of us campaigned for Barack Obama with the optimism of "Yes, we can."
"We" encompassed many more than card-carrying Democrats. But from the start, President Obama faced a chorus saying, "No, you can't."
Partisanship has reached new extremes. The debt-ceiling crisis recalls the crisis of our founding when a pragmatic Ben Franklin commented, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." Happily, at our founding, the no-you-can't group did not win out.
America, we cannot go forward by going back.
The recent headline "The Last Launch" might as well have said "The Last Hurrah" if we don't start moving forward. Our space program drew on a concerted, sustained national, government-led commitment.
Wars aside, we have plenty to work on as a nation. My list includes our economy, decaying infrastructure, energy, unsustainable health care costs and the environment.
We will not be a better nation if our government simply "goes out of business" as we hit the debt ceiling. Restructuring our government under the shadow of a self-created crisis is not a formula for success or prosperity. We are in this together, and I continue to believe, "Yes, we can."