The more powerful institutions are the more slowly they seem to move. It seems only yesterday that Republicans were in control of the Congress, and perhaps a couple hours ago that President Obama and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, helped shepherd through Congress the largest piece of health care legislation ever passed in the nation’s history. Time in Washington D.C. may actually run slower than molasses at the North Pole, at least this would explain why many democratic figureheads talk as though George W. Bush just left office a couple weeks ago.
I detested George W. Bush’s presidency on the whole (kudos for funding the global fight against HIV/AIDS though), as it seemed to bring out the inner neanderthal in many Americans. But watching the President continue to lambast Bush left me with a queazy feeling in my stomach, worse than if everything coming out of the White House was just carefully staged and manufactured, but that it was just so cliche.
For the American worker out of a job, President Obama’s legislative victories occurred a world over, and a couple ice ages ago in the rear view mirror. Worse for the President, he can’t crow about the victory that health care legislation was as the benefits have yet to materialize. Some historians might say in coming decades that he was a man ahead of his time.
While the President may be correct when he blames Republicans for being on watch when the economy skidded into the proverbial ditch, by a similar logic team Obama hasn’t done much to pull the economy out of the ditch either,-and many democrats will be held culpable for the high unemployment numbers this fall. Of course this blame game revolves around the assumption that what politicians actually do has an effect on the economy.
However, as Harvey Keitel’s character told Nicholas Cage’s adventuring history professor in the first National Treasure movie, “Somebody’s got to go to prison, Ben.” In this case the incumbents, and mostly the democrats, appear to be the nation’s scapegoat.
As though watching a train wreck that he couldn’t stop, vice president Joe Biden recently told a crowd in Wisconsin, “”Do you realize how many jobs Wisconsin lost? It’s staggering!”
Ah, yeah good job pointing that out Joe, go outside and play until dinner’s ready. The vice president’s comment could reasonably be filed under, “Things-so-obvious-that-pointing-them-out-looks-completely-out-of-touch.”
During the 2008 presidential campaign both sides talked up their commitment to creating jobs, now the party line coming out of the White House seems to be that the recession wasn’t preventable and that the jobs aren’t coming back.
During a speech in Philadelphia the president even said that the Republicans knew that the economy would tank for 2+ years. I seriously doubt this as practically nobody saw the recession coming, and economists are still surprised at its duration. Maybe Obama has been taking pointers from Hillary and he now sees right wing conspiracies everywhere.
More read meat for the democratic faithful.
However, it wasn’t blistering partisan attacks which won President Obama the White House in 2008, but rather a frothy buoyant optimism that a young Kennedy-esque President would breath new life into a country bogged down by two wars and a recession which was born weighing 14 pounds. The “Yes We Can” chants don’t sound right when your party owns Congress and the White House while the economy is still shriveling up like a rotten apple around you.
I think Americans need a pep talk more than bedtime stories about the evil Republicans who tanked the economy, drug an optimistic president into the marshes of partisan politics and invented Fox News to undermine liberals and the mainstream media. Well, I guess that third part about Fox News isn’t that much of a fairy tale (Glenn Beck is a bad man). Maybe I just feel let down that the President isn’t perfect all of the time in every single way, and that the wholesomeness of the “Audacity of Hope” was mere stage craft.
Recently an Arizona state senator came to our family’s door asking me if I would be voting Democrat and if, “everything was “ok” with Gabby (in reference to Gabriel Giffords).” I told her that I would be voting my usual straight democratic ticket with a smile, but I didn’t tell her that I thought the election would be a massacre nonetheless. She seemed apologetic, downtrodden almost, as if democrats couldn’t even be asking for votes with a straight face in this political climate.
Her visit must have been part of some “get out the vote drive” to try to save as many democrats as possible. Humbling and unnerving in a way.
Its been embarrassing watching Giffords pretend to be some sort of tough cowgirl who wants to protect the border, I guess this is what it was like when Republicans had to drop the word “republican” from their campaign commercials in 2008.
Though the control of the House could rest with either party, it is becoming increasingly clear that republicans will likely snatch the gavel from Nancy Pelosi’s hand whether she likes it or not. Maybe this is why it seems that President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden seem to be striking out at voters, mostly democratic voters, who are not as enthused as their republican counterparts, and striking out at the media.
One reason democrats aren’t enthused is because it isn’t fun voting for somebody who is going to lose. I voted for Al Gore in 2000, and that game went into overtime before a disappointing loss for democrats. Sadly, the democrats didn’t whip up a movement this year because the theme is still “Change” and that means that more than few incumbents hit the cold pavement on their undersides.
In the event that the situation is unsalvageable, the White House should focus on 2010 and making sure that health care legislation isn’t chipped away by republicans instead of gripping about the political reality.