My "Above the Fray" post, intended with equanimity and coolheadedness. Let's see how long we all keep to that spirit. 1. We have a new president, and his agenda is different from the old president's. 2. Said president inherited a number of "legacy" challenges, both short-term and long-term. 2a. A financial collapse of historic proportions, and its economic sequelae 2b. Two simultaneous wars on the ground in Asia 2c. The heightened energy dilemma, heightened because (2c1) the environmental impact is now more stark and (2c2) we have recently been made aware, at the pump, how downright inconvenient fossil fuels can be when they cost too much. 2d. The aforementioned environmental crisis, in the form of anthropogenic global warming. I'm taking 2a-2d to be facts of political life. They're not points of debate among the vast majority, and so, unless one is a vehement adherent of an alternative thesis (ergo, would not be president in the first place,) these are all clearly action items. 3. The scale of these challenges are bigger than previous election outcomes, in which one could argue (for example) that he disliked taxes more than the next guy, or that one is more likely to personally embody "family values." 4. When do we declare the policies "failed"? How much time do they take to work? 5. Is evaluation even a goal? I.e., if we declare policies failed prior to a reasonable time-frame, are we declaring them failures on ideological grounds alone? 5a. Given 5, is it not disingenuous to trot out particulars as "proof" of said failure, knowing evaluation cannot be undertaken in that short term? Is that not akin to being down 3-0 midway through the 1st quarter, trotting out a single drive-chart, and "analyzing" why the team lost the game? 5b. If one claims an evaluation, after having established that short-term evaluations of long-term programs during those programs' infancy is premature, in the presence of opposition leaders who publicly declare they desire that the president fail (thereby, wishing pain on their own countrymen for the sake of their ideology,) what argument would one make that the exercise has merit? Discuss.