The Republican across the hall…Excuse me. Let me start again. The guy across the hall who studiously denies being a Republican, but whose views time and again come out sounding very Republican, stopped me in the hallway this morning while I was still drinking my coffee. Let’s be clear here. I’m not very clear headed or cognizant early in the morning. The later in the day, the clearer I get. That’s how this train operates.
At any rate, the guy who thinks he isn’t a Republican, but who clearly is stopped me and said, “Excuse me but I know that you’re certainly more left than I am.” If further left than tea party right is what he meant, then I suppose I certainly am. Then he went on, “So in your opinion, has Obama done anything right, or good, since he’s been in office?”
First of all, it’s annoying enough to have people beset me with these kinds of questions when I’m fully awake, knowing that these are people with a certain mindset and an agenda, but when they do this to you first thing in the morning, knowing your political leanings and knowing it’s sure to piss you off, well that’s exactly what it does. It pisses you off royally, and then you’re in the position of trying to come up with a reply that sounds reasoned and to the point and not a pissed off rant. When you’re still having your early morning coffee, it sometimes comes out as a minute of two of silence, followed by “Um well, er….”
I had to think a little bit to think of something that would appease a right winger on a mission. What I came up with was, “He did rescue the banking system, and if he hadn’t the entire global economy might have collapsed. We may not like it that all that money went to the banks, but it was necessary, and it worked. I think that he might need to be a little more forceful in urging Congress to get on the ball and do something, but he did that and…”
Mr. Not a Republican harumphed loudly, and started the little rantlet that I knew was coming. “We could use a little more bailout for GM and Chrysler and a little less for the banks. Frankly that’s just helping a bunch of rich people while working people are suffering….” I had to agree that we could use more job stimulus, and let’s hope that is coming. Nevertheless, the bank bailout was necessary. It maybe just needed some more strings attached, as in “Don’t go using the stimulus money to give million dollar bonuses to executives. I believe everyone concerned recognizes that, including Barack Obama. That’s why he’s urging a tax on the banks to recoup some of that money.
What really irks me is that so many people are ready to jump all over Barack Obama for not fixing what ails the country overnight, when it took the Bush administration 8 years to put it in this mess. He didn’t give stimulus money to banks, but kept up a climate that allowed them to flourish and put us in this mess in the first place. Mr. Obama has urged Congress to pass healthcare reform, but that silly little thing about needing a supermajority in the Senate to get anything done because of the filibuster has negated that possibility. Mr. Obama has regularly urged Congress to adopt measures that will create jobs in growth industries for the next century but Republicans fight any measure he proposes as “too expensive” for the nation.
On the one hand the right wingers want the President to do something that will help the nation out of its malaise, but they oppose anything that he proposes as “big government sticking its nose in the business of working Americans” and as “costly boondoggles that our grandchildren will be paying off.” I have to remind people that the last time the U.S. budget was balanced, the economy was ticking along just fine, and the national debt was being paid down was when Bill Clinton was President, and he tried to do many of the same things that Mr. Obama is trying to do.
I am reminded of Mr. Obama’s statement in the State of the Union Address when he told Republicans “If you have a better plan that you think will work, I’d like to see it.” What is going on right now is that there are people on the right who oppose anything the President and the Democratic Party attempt and then blame them for not doing anything when the right wing opposition is successful in thwarting the attempts at doing something constructive. It’s just annoying. It’s very clear that there was an agenda that the American people wanted accomplished, a majority of the American people, so get the heck out of the way and let it happen will you? And while you’re at it, quit assailing me first thing in the morning before I’m fully awake.