Mulling over the events of the last week, I am observing an acceptance of reality taking hold. Finally ….. and fruitfully.
Of course it would have been wonderful if President Obama could have cut a deal with Congress that would have erased, or even lessened, the tax cuts for the wealthy. Ideological purity and the size of the deficit would have benefitted greatly. However, in a country as politically divided as ours, this was not the reality. Additionally, the President set the standard for civil, bi-partisan policy making that had the bottom-line effect of helping the American people.
The GOP seemingly (explanation to follow) got their numero uno wish of making the rich richer. Yet, one of their own conservative thinkers, Op-Ed author Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, figured out that, whether it is a matter of real policy or just spin and semantics, President Obama got his “second stimulus”. Krauthammer calls this tax cut extension a swindle, even though he and the GOP will take it and rejoice. In terms of political capital, the extension of these tax cuts was quite a coup for our steady and ever-so-controlled President. I do believe that Krauthammer was, along with many other Republicans, kicked in his right-wing ass this week.
On the other side of the aisle, President Obama’s own Democrats, especially those in the House, are staging a full revolt, rebuking the President as a patsy for the GOP and their penchant for making the rich even richer. Our nation, our economy and our citizens cannot afford a deepening of this recession. Realistically and psychologically, we cannot face an unemployment rate that continues to rise any higher than it currently is. The bull had to be taken by the horns and, if the liberals and progressives have to tolerate the sacrifice of ideological purity for the well-being of our nation, so be it.
And yet, there is a piece of me that is cheering on the likes of Senator Bernie Sanders and his Herculean efforts to alter the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy. Fairness and deficit reduction are obvious linchpins of his rhetoric. The idealism of Democratic philosophy is admirable. However, principles have value only if they can translate into helpful, meaningful actions. Standing on idealistic ceremony is of no value if it prevents actual change from happening. That strategy is just as empty as the GOP’s refusal to entertain any and all legislation.
Please read Colbert I. King’s Op-Ed in the Washington Post today. He is in agreement with what I have often said, i.e. that the traitorous left is worse than the stupid and greedy right. As if the situation wasn’t dire enough by the GOP taking a pass on any meaningful platform or agenda, motivated only to prevent the President from serving a second term, the Democrats, by dissing their own, are creating an even more dangerous scenario. Faced with a Congress where both sides seem to be more interested in the blockage of new legislation rather than its passage, the American electorate might decide, and I may add, with some validity, to throw out all of our incumbents in the next election. The door is ever-widening for an extremist to enter into the arena of national politics and steal the whole show. So how does President Palin sound to these recalcitrant Republicans and Democrats?
In a politically split country such as America, pragmatism must rule the day. If civility and a genuine consideration for our people’s needs are included, there will be ample victory for all. Kudos to my President for a week well-played, for a strategy of honesty and for a sincere and authentic concern for we the people.
I’m sticking to my guy like a stamp on a letter and birds of a feather. His pragmatism, his nod to what our reality is and his unbelievable patience astound me. President Obama is still my guy. My promise. How about yours?