Tuesday, July 26, 2011






Surely You Jest


"There is something rich," Dana Milbank wrote late last night, "about the president of the United States and the speaker of the House pretending that they are somehow not part of Washington. If these two aren’t Washington, what is? The International Spy Museum? Ben’s Chili Bowl? Wolf Blitzer?"

Milbank was referring to the statement (that of Obama and Boehner, here) a little earlier in the evening when the President asked "But do you know what people are fed up with most of all?" and answered

They’re fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word. They work all day long, many of them scraping by, just to put food on the table. And when these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington. They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans. They are offended by that. And they should be.

Blaming Washington for the failure of two Washington politicians is not only "rich," it ought to be a warning to all those on the left who will be asked to remain on the Obama team because, if only the Change We Can Believe In is re-elected, he will be free to enact a progressive agenda. Keep telling the American people that "Washington" (whatever that means) is the problem, they won't be too amenable to the dynamic change necessary to restore vitality to the middle class.

Further foreshadowing a shackled- or actively conservative- presidency during a second term, Obama continued "The American people may have voted for divided government but...."

Get it? We're not in charge and our values, principles, and policies need not prevail because, having fought the GOP to a draw in Congress and controlling the (more powerful) Executive Branch, it really is an equally divided government. It is Obama's notion that the government isdivided. A Democratic President and a Republican Congress. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi- and especially those darn liberals she leads- need not apply.

The President, trying to identify with average voters and re-establish his outsider image, argues "all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington. They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans." The Speaker of the House, who has been working overtime looking out for wealthy Americans and even wealthier corporations, is even worse, claiming in his rebuttal "I was amazed at how different Washington DC operated than every business in America" when he arrived from Ohio, neglecting to mention that he came to Sodom-Inside-The-Beltway a mere 21 years ago.

President Obama, recognizing that Boehner will not respond to common sense, a sense of decency, or a sense of shared sacrifice, took the conflict to the American people, asking rhetorically

Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask corporate jet owners and oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get. How can we ask a student to pay more for college before we ask hedge fund managers to stop paying taxes at a lower rate than their secretaries? How can we slash funding for education and clean energy before we ask people like me to give up tax breaks we don’t need and didn’t ask for?

Obama's response: "That’s not right. It’s not fair." Unfortunately, "fair," as the fictional John Becker once said, "is a place where hogs compete for ribbons."



No comments:

Purity Test

Author and journalist Jonathan Alter, who tends to prefer Democratic candidates from the corporate-friendly wing of the Democratic Par...