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President Obama wants voters to remember that “GOP policies failed to prevent the recession.”

What he doesn’t seem to grasp is that We, The People, do remember.

We remember that Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi became Speaker-elect on November 16, 2006 and assumed power on January 3, 2007 at the start of the 110th Congress.  According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession began in December 2007.

We, The People, remember.

Respectfully, Mr. President, We, The People, see clearly that your suggestion that Republicans were “behind the wheel” when the metaphorical car was metaphorically driven off the metaphorical road is simplistic at best and displays either your lack of depth or your level of disdain for Us.  Your suggestion that Republicans “gotta sit in the back,” was insulting, dismissive, and, had it been made by a white Republican toward your party, well… we all know how that might’ve ended.  Respectfully, Mr. President, Pelosi Democrats were “behind the wheel,” as you so Presidentially put it.

As eloquent an orator as you are, Mr. President, you cannot undo or change history with a stroke of your verbal pen.

Was there any GOP-sponsored legislation in place that lead to the recession?  Almost certainly.  But if we want to play the way-back game, we can also bring up that it was President Jimmy Carter who signed into law the Community Reinvestment Act, which required lending institutions to give home loans to people they knew would never be able to pay them back… all in the name of being “fair” to people who wanted to own a home despite their inability to financially support that choice.  We can also bring up that it was President Clinton’s asking for changes in the law in order to “deal with the problems of the inner city and distressed rural communities” that lead directly to the recent housing market crash.  How far back do we want to go?  Even a “CSI” fanboy can see that there is blood on everyone’s hands at this crime scene.

Because it’s apparently easier for a We, The Brain-Dead People, to understand, Pop Culture assigns all successes and failures to the Presidential figurehead, depending on what is popular at the time.  GWB’s war in Iraq, for instance, proved to be very unpopular.  But how often are the names of the Democratic members of the Congress and Senate who voted to support it, then later used it as political ammunition against him, mentioned?

I, personally, am sick of both the Democrats and the Republicans.  I’ve even seen some rename them to Democans and Republicrats, suggesting there is really little difference between the two (other than to whom and how they pander).  I’m sick of the Democrats telling me that I must feel guilty for something that isn’t my fault and that my money really belongs to someone else.  I’m sick of the Republicans telling me that the only thing scarier than a raghead is a gay raghead who wants to get married and join the military.  Stop it.  You sound like children.

Mostly, I’m sick of both sides thinking they are smart enough to manipulate me without me catching on.  Stop trying to use fear and guilt as weapons.  Not only is it transparent and ineffective, but every time you try to foist that upon me, I have that much less respect for you.

This is why I’m a registered Independent.  Do we need a 3rd party?  No, I don’t think so.  I think we need at least 5 parties to make sure that no one extreme arm of any extant party (I’m talking to you, D’s and R’s) can seize power easily.  I also think it should be illegal for anyone who has ever been a lawyer or even earned a JD degree to ever serve in the Congress.  This is, perhaps, the most dangerous, incestuous special interest group in the federal government, voting on laws that only one of their own can interpret, preserving their own job security and power.  And don’t get me started on term limits…

But I digress.

What has been swept under the cognitive rug in this case is that it is the Congress which controls the purse strings and sets the legislative agenda.  The President can make suggestions, but unless he has Chicago-style thugs out threatening to break kneecaps, he can’t force the Congress to do anything.  That’s the idea of co-equal branches.

I’m not suggesting that the GOP would’ve hypothetically done any better.  But I am suggesting that, should We, The People hand them the baton tomorrow, they had better not screw it up or they’re finished.  I do find it funny, though, that the GOP has been dubbed “The Party of NO” as though this were a pejorative.  Is it wrong to say “no” to a syringe full of poison?

Should the GOP take control of the House tomorrow as is being predicted, this is what I suggest the new Speaker-elect say:  “Mr. President:  We won.  Your agenda is finished.  Starting on the 1st day of the 112th Congress, we begin with The People’s business of undoing the harm that you and our predecessors have done to America.”

I know this won’t happen for two reasons:  Nobody has the balls to say it, but more importantly, nobody has the balls to actually do it.

I, for one, say “bring on the gridlock.”  Political in-fighting in Washington is good for all of us.  If you don’t believe me, watch how the economy and Stock Market respond to a (predicted) GOP victory.  The economy and market are always stronger when no one party is in control of both branches.

Tomorrow, November 2nd, 2010, please go out and vote your conscience, whomever you support.  But please… make sure your vote is informed.  November 3rd is too late.

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  • In my mind, “blame” and “accountability” are different when viewed in this context. When President Obama continually says “it’s not my fault” to world leaders when apologizing for what he sees as American transgressions or “it’s not my fault” to the American public when talking about the state of the economy, I believe he is attempting to wield power without taking on full responsibility. (He did, after all, campaign for the job.) I call this “blame.” If he were really getting to the heart of the matter, pointing out everything that everyone was responsible for, I’d consider that “accountability.”

    Even better, stop trying to figure out what caused it while it is still being caused. Fix the leak first. Then go back and second-guess what could’ve been done better. Back when I was going through a period of depression, I bogged myself down with trying to figure out what was “wrong” with me. Finally, I figured it out. “Screw worrying about what may or may not be wrong… get off your ass and do something.” That fixed it. Quickly.

    The President seems, from an economic standpoint, to literally be doing everything wrong. You do not put an over-reaching, over-spending, over-regulating “health care” program first during a recession. TARP (yes, GWB, I’m looking at you too) may have seemed like a good idea, but all it was (and is) is just a slush fund. The Gov’t can’t just make money appear from thin air. Either it prints more, which has a negative long-term effect on inflation, or they confiscate more, which has an immediate negative effect on the economy and job markets. They never seem to trim their own fat and tighten their own belts.

    I’m not sure I’d use Senator Barack Obama (or any of them, really) as an example of a paragon of integrity. Go back into his past as an Illinois Senator and look at all the bills he stumped for, then later voted against. Look at his past as a U.S. Senator (for 100 or so days) at all the times he voted “present” while claiming a strong position publicly. Look at what he “promised” in his campaign, only to later not only break those promises, but actually claim that he never made the promises in the first place.

    The whole notion that we can go to war without a Congressional mandate (Go, Go, Gadget War Powers Act!) makes me nauseous. I like your use of the word “cowards” in this context, and think it appropriate. Where is the accountability? This is why it is rare for a Senator to be elected President. It’s so easy to look back at their records. They can’t lie about the record (although some have tried). Voting “present” is useless. Abstaining, on the other hand, I can respect.

    FWIW, I don’t think I’m advocating FOR Republicans so much as I’m advocating AGAINST the Nancy Pelosi-lead Democrats. As far as the economy being on firm(er) ground, I don’t see it. The Governments unemployment figures are criminally underreported. The actual rate is nearly twice what they claim: the reality is more like 20% unemployment. Their numbers don’t count people whose hours have been eviscerated or those who have just given up hope and stopped applying for unemployment benefits.

    Wall Street (in which, if we have a 401K, we are all investors) is stronger and happier under gridlock. I’ll be interested to see what happens with the Stock Market on Wednesday morning. You say you don’t like gridlock because we are paying them a lot of money to do a job. I think of it like paying off the Mafia. You drop them $100 a week, and they don’t do $10,000 worth of damage a week to your place. Don’t think of it in terms of them not earning their salary. Think of it in terms of them NOT spending 78,000 times their base salary [78,000 x $175,000 (rank and file congressman) = $13.7 billion in debt]. I think it would make a lot more fiscal sense to pay them a lot of a money to NOT spend a lot MORE money. 🙂

    As far as what the GOP “promoted,” saying “no” (along with 34 democrats) to the economically- and industry-crippling so-called “health care reform” law was a start. The law, if allowed to take effect, will be disastrous, but that is a conversation for another day. By and large, I think Republicans have a tendency to kowtow to Democrats when they (the GOP) are in the minority, though. Any backbone they showed was, frankly, surprising and unexpected. The number of Democrats who are now asking for a second chance to undo their “Yea” vote is also telling.

    As far as voting early and often goes, I’m afraid I don’t live in Chicago. Arizona tends to frown on that sort of thing. 🙂 I’d go vote now, but I have class, and my Prof didn’t want to cancel class to allow everyone to vote. Best to you and yours!

  • not born yesterday

    First, thanks for your reply. Second, what you call “blame” I call “accountability”. I absolutely agree that Democrats or Republicans share in responsibility and should pay the price where appropriate. You brought up the example of the Iraq war where many Democrats (cowards I thought at the time and still do) took the politically popular avenue and voted for the war. Some of the Democrats with integrity did not. As you probably know, one of those was then-Senator Barack Obama.

    When President Obama took office, the country was shedding 700,000 jobs a month, the financial sector and major industries were tanking and the Dow was in the 6-7K range. After TARP (which Bush gets some credit for) and the stimulus (or porkulus, depending on who you are talking to), the country is now creating jobs and the Dow (and many retirement plans) are back on firmer ground. What about accountability for that? You are advocating for Republicans, but I can’t think of ANYTHING the Republicans did/said/promoted during that period that did anything to help – in fact, just the opposite.

    Like you, I think divided government is generally a good thing, but unlike you, I don’t want gridlock – I want balance. We are paying those people a LOT of money – they should do what they were sent to Washington to do.

    Anyways, that’s it for this rant. I appreciate your sincerity and thoughtfulness. Best of luck to you and yours. Vote early and vote often 🙂

  • Thanks. I appreciate the time you took to read my ramblings.

  • I never claimed that she did pass specific legislation which caused the recession. The thought I’m trying to express here is that pointing fingers and blaming everything on “the other guy” is ridiculous and counterproductive, especially when that finger is also covered in blood.

    Without being much more specific than today’s sound bite politicians are willing and capable of being, discourse is dead. Minute particulars [] are always required.

    The buck, it would seem, no longer stops here.

  • not born yesterday

    “We remember that Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi became Speaker-elect on November 16, 2006 and assumed power on January 3, 2007 at the start of the 110th Congress. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession began in December 2007.”

    Okay. So what legislation did Nancy pass in 12 months that caused the recession to start in December? And then you have to reach back to Carter and just skip over everything in between???

    As Boomer says, “C’mon Man!”.

  • shawn m

    good read! the last two sentences say so much!

  • Thanks.

  • Ivangreebka

    That is great reading!!!!