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.
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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."