Stimulus One-Year Speech: Surgical Strike

Please know that I know how intelligent and perceptive Rachel Maddow is.  I am no match for her either in brain power or professional, fact-finding staff.  However, I do seem to have the same generalized perceptions as she does.  Perhaps it is simply because we are human beings, truly concerned with bettering our country.  For two years now, I have been railing against the hypocrisy of our politicians and the absence of ethics in our corporate and governmental quarters.  As an exercise in “seeing the whole picture”, I will attempt to cite international as well as national events that scream “hypocrisy”.

One of my readers on DailyKOS made an astute analogy.  He said that Obama’s ascending the Presidency was like buying a fixer-upper house: before one can put their own imprint on an administration or a house, one has to first clean up the mess left behind.  And what a mess was left for President Obama!  Two endless wars in the Middle East, an economy on the verge of collapse, a federal deficit at an all-time high and the bulk of Americans earning less over the last ten-year period than they had before.  President Obama probably has not yet reached the point of finishing the cleaning up.  He is almost there, at the point where he can exert his agenda, but then WHAM!   He has midterm elections with which to contend.  Things are so much more complicated than we wish them to be.  Let me proceed to cite those examples of hypocrisy and fumigating the debris left by the prior administration.

In the international arena, yesterday on the radio, I heard an interview on NPR.  Mark Thiessen (read about his bona fides), a senior Hoover Fellow, put forth the argument that the Obama White House is killing too many terrorists instead of interrogating them, thereby losing an option to find out valuable information.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/02/08/dead_terrorists_tell_no_tales

I laughed out loud.  What?  Should we continue to house the terrorists at some God-forsaken place like Guantanamo, leaving them to linger in years of limbo, all the while being provided with food, lodging and health care?  Furthermore, Thiessen holds that we indeed should use torture to get whatever information might be available.  Enough.  By collecting terrorists and having no place to put them for an undetermined span of time, we just offer more fodder for criticism and mayhem to flourish.

As an aside, not two minutes ago, Huffington Post announced that the Washington Post has just hired Mark Thiessen to write for their Op-Ed team.  Great: I get to read about the beauty and effectiveness of torture in my local paper:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/17/iwashington-posti-hires-c_n_465804.html

Nonetheless, the hypocrisy here is twofold.  First, the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were nurtured by the Bush administration.  Loved, coveted and caressed, but without any kind of end strategy.  As if their initial reason for entering these wars was not skeptical enough, Bush held on to these wars like he was hugging his teddy bear for dear life, citing patriotism, as if a country cannot be patriotic unless they have an eternal war to fight.

Then, hypocrisy reared its ugly head again in relation to those terrorists that have been tried.  Not one so-called terrorist has been found guilty in a military trial.  Released and set free.  However, every single “terrorist”, and some carried this title very dubiously, was convicted and given a life sentence in federal, civil court.  It is truly amazing that our “liberal” new President is the leader taking the bull by the horns by taking more aggressive actions in Afghanistan and in trying to bring a terrorist to trial in civil court.  Still and yet, he is being met with constant criticism by the GOP, who is using opposition just for opposition’s sake.  I thought Republicans were the ones who wanted military actions in the war against terror as well as convictions for suspected terrorists.  Now that the President has acted on those policies, the Republicans still have nothing good to say.  Go figure.

Likewise on the domestic front.  Today President Obama gave a speech marking the one year anniversary of the stimulus package.  It was a damn good speech and highlighted some basic facts and figures that we all needed to hear.  The man has all of his marbles, despite the GOP’s highest aim to blockade all of his accomplishments.  This video is about 25 minutes long, with an introduction by Biden (What is that brown mark in the middle of his forehead?).  It is well worth listening to:

http://www.c-span.org/Watch/Media/2010/02/17/HP/R/29663/Obama+Administration+Marks+Stimulus+Bills+First+Anniversary.aspx

There have been definite benefits from the stimulus’  generosity.  If anything, the stimulus funds were not enough.  Today the President cited many examples of the beneficence created by the stimulus.  Don’t forget: he is still cleaning up that fixer-upper and has yet to implement his own agenda.  The Republicans have the gall to cite their favorite platforms of too much government interference, too much debt and their overall capitalistic catch-all stance that the economy will take care of itself.  I am not falling for that self-serving, elitist attitude one iota and today, President Obama addressed many of those accusations and delivered them back to the GOP on a silver platter.  I do think this particular speech could be a turning point for the administration.

Rather than rehash the hypocrisy of the GOP regarding domestic economic matters, read the following article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/16/obama-dispatches-cabinet_n_463602.html

Numerous elected officials condemn the administration’s policies yet take whatever those policies might hand over to them and their special interests.  Make no mistake: the Democrats are just as culpable as the Republicans, citing Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson as prime examples.  And those dedicated Republicans, who in better times hide behind their platform of “state’s rights” by calling for less government funding and interference, now are screaming bloody murder, “no fair”, (just Google Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger)as they are faced with humongous state deficits.  Of course now they want all the federal help they can muster.

So the hypocrisy abounds.  President Obama is getting the job done, slowly yes, but soon, soon, he will pick up speed.  His speech today was a step in the right direction because he cited specific facts to support items undertaken during the last year.  He communicated well —- and forcibly —- with the American people.  The generalities were gone, replaced by detailed examples of the last year’s accomplishments.

Keep cleaning up, Mr. President.  Your time is almost at hand.

POSTSCRIPT:

As long as we are on the topic of hypocrisy, have a look at the New Kid On Tha Block blog.  Sad that the author, still a twenty-something, has had to face the ravages of hypocrisy so early in her life.  But rewarding too, in that she will be better able to distinguish the phonies from the real mensches.  By the way, New Kid hits the mark in all of her posts; she is a voice of today:

http://newkidonthablog.blogspot.com/2010/02/this-was-on-gawker-and-it-gave-me.html

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