A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Friday, November 05, 2010

I Hope I’m Wrong, But...

...the recent repudiation of President Obama’s agenda as so claimed by gloating members of the Republican Party, who will become the majority in the US House in January, could be a blessing or a disaster. As expected — in both polls and history — the ruling Democrats lost their majority in Congress. This reversal of fortune happened as the result of many bitter campaigns across the country, with the more notable races run by rising and uncompromising Tea Party Republicans.

The President has acknowledged the defeat as a signal to find common ground with conservatives in solving this country's most pressing problem: the economy. Much to his credit and my surprise, the new Senator from Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, has also signaled a readiness to work with the Democrats to resolve differences. On the other hand, there are such established Republican politicos such as Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) — who has vowed to make Obama “a one term president” - and another leading Republican in the House, Rep. Mike Pence (Indiana) has ruled out any compromise with Obama.

In other words, the leaders of the Party of No pledge legislative gridlock. Among this gloomy prospect of a political log jam, we can find a silver lining. The economy is improving in very small increments, admittedly at a very slow pace. This was the problem Bush the Elder faced when he was running for re-election in 1992. The economy was growing towards the end of his term, but the improvement came too little and too late for many voters to see the difference in their lives.

Similarly, President Obama is overseeing a growing economy, even as his opponents are ready to write off his policies as disasters. With the silver lining scenario, the economy could continue to grow — regardless if the failed Bush tax cuts are extended or not. I say failed because, if job creation was a principal reason for the tax cuts in the first place, somebody please tell me where are the jobs? Anyway, if the economy continues to grow, then Obama’s policies might be considered a success, and he should win re-election in two years.

Congress should work with the Executive branch to heal our ailing economy. This may not happen if Republican leadership rules out compromise — a significant step in the legislating process — or if they decide to devote all of their energies to pushing Obama out of office. This diversion could lead to another disaster on the scale of the 9/11 attacks.

Consider this small note from recent history: the Republican Party regained control of Congress when Clinton was in the White House, and they vowed then as they are now to remove the sitting president from the Oval Office. They had a remarkable stroke of luck when Clinton’s arrogance or ego (take your pick) led him to stupidly fall into a trap of perjury during the Paula Jones/Monica Lewinsky scandal. It is quite possible — and this is pure speculation on my part - that Clinton’s subsequent impeachment forced the administration to focus on the president’s legal woes and away from international threats to our security. Issues like education, health care reform, and the economy (booming at that time) cried out for our attention. Still, they paled in comparison to the threat from al-Qaeda and Osama bin-Laden.

Today, al-Qaeda is still a major problem for our nation’s security. However, the efforts by the GOP to remove President Obama (as McConnell has hinted) could distract and imperil us to a larger danger on the horizon. This danger is extending into Afghanistan with cash payments to President Karzai, and playing a larger, more influential role in the struggling democracy in Iraq. In a word, the threat is Iran.

I would hope that both parties would reduce their zealotry to play “king of the hill” and remember that we — the American voters — have hired them to manage, govern and resolve the issues that endangers our democracy. We are, after all, the largest human resource department in the world, and that they as public servants are our employees. If they forget this small fact, then they will face termination the next time we enter our voting booths.

If the Tea Party Republicans insist on playing with fire, then we may all get burned. As I said, I hope I’m wrong...

(Thank you for reading. Good day and good luck.)


Anonymous Janey said...

Another thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis! Thanks RTG!

November 6, 2010 at 7:34 AM  

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