A growing concensus is concluding that January 20, 2009 cannot come fast enough, because we need a new President, a new Congress, a new New Deal to confront the enormous problems demanding government’s immediate attention. But we can’t change the calendar. What should we demand from our current government until then?

There’s no doubt that when it comes to facing the nation’s most serious problems, the ones Bush’s crew created, ignored or exacerbated, Bush and his team have checked out. And there’s almost zero confidence that this Administration can competently or honestly address any of the major economic challenges we face. But that’s not the point.

I’m sure the Times Gail Collins, speaking "seriously," is not alone in wishing that Bush would just resign (after getting Cheney to resign first — "we’re not crazy"). It’s time for him to go," she concludes, and we’ll figure out the details of putting the Obama Administration into power.

Tom Friedman picks up the chant, though presumably tongue in cheek:

If I had my druthers right now we would convene a special session of Congress, amend the Constitution and move up the inauguration from Jan. 20 to Thanksgiving Day. Forget the inaugural balls; we can’t afford them. Forget the grandstands; we don’t need them. Just get me a Supreme Court justice and a Bible, and let’s swear in Barack Obama right now — by choice — with the same haste we did — by necessity — with L.B.J. in the back of Air Force One.

I suspect Friedman will apologize for that last allusion, but even joking about forcing Bush/Cheney to resign is a little late, Tom. You should have said that to Nancy Pelosi two years ago.

The reality is that Bush is still President, has no intention of leaving early, and his cabal is frantically leaving land mines throughout the nation’s regulatory system as fast as they can force bad rules through what’s left of the legal process. There will be more damage done to health and safety, energy resources and environmental protection in the next 60 days than in the last two years, even as dozens of corrupt Bushies burrow into the federal civil service.

Congress should be in session without recess into January to disrupt this ideologically spent and corrupt regime’s efforts. But more than that, we should not be letting the Bush Administration or this Congress off the hook for confronting the financial and economic crises they’ve created and mostly neglected.

The economy’s plight is their responsibility and dealing with its fallout, including the need to save the nation’s auto industry, is not something that can wait. Since we need a rapid stimulus to rescue cities and states to save health coverage and jobs, and Detroit needs a bridge loan to get them into next year, there’s no excuse for not doing that now.

We’ve got people losing health care, losing homes. There are viable proposals (SCHIP, Bair’s foreclosure plan, etc) to address these, or at least keep them from getting far worse, so enact them now.

And don’t tell me the Republicans will obstruct this or the President may veto anything decent. Let them try while they’re attending conferences and giving mindless interviews on CNN on how they plan to resurrect their Party’s deservedly dismal image. Why are we listening to these clowns when the nation is drowing? Congress should be forcing votes on these issues now, so that when January comes, there’s no doubt why these multiple crises remain unaddressed if Congress and President Bush fail to act.

It’s unconcionable that the media is letting these clowns pass the buck, and none of these problems will be easier to solve if allowed to fester for another two months.

We have a President; we have a Congress. We have problems that demand their immediate attention. Make them do their jobs.