WAITING FOR GODOT
January 16, 2010
The Obama Years
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell
Reasonable people can (or should be able to) reasonably disagree if or when they honestly consider facts that may contradict their preconceived opinions and prejudices. However, unfortunately, especially in the partisan environment of politics, reason, honest analysis and fairness too quickly become victims of the “us versus them” thing. Politics has become a blood sport where the only golden rule is “the team with the gold makes the rules”.
Politicians who were elected to represent the best interests, wants and desires of their constituents, morph into petty, agenda driven competitors quick to eschew reason for partisanship. Sadly, this axiomatic reality is universal and not exclusive to any one party. Politics is supposed to be the art of compromise. However, increasingly, politics is a blood sport personifying the absolute worse elements of abuse of power under the color of authority.
President Barack Obama, a year after promising "change" and a Kumbaya tsunami of bi-partisan cooperation, now reluctantly admits he has not succeeded in bringing the country together. In a recent People magazine interview, the president begrudgingly acknowledged an atmosphere of divisiveness that has washed away the lofty national feeling surrounding his inauguration a year ago. 'That's what's been lost this year ... that whole sense of changing how Washington works,' Obama said.
"What I haven't been able to do in the midst of this crisis is bring the country together in a way that we had done in the Inauguration," he said, referring to last January 20 when hundreds of thousands flooded into Washington to see him sworn in as America's first black president...before reality and buyer's remorse.
The simple reality is Obama has failed because he and his party's leadership (or critics will argue LACK of leadership) have failed...failed to do what they said they would do...and failed to do anything the "way" they promised.
Notwithstanding lofty eloquance, concensus and "unity' cannot be mandated by imperial decree. Partisan acrimony is not and cannot be bridled by harangue, bullying or bludgeon. Politics is the art of compromise and the facts in evidence demonstrate that this administration and this Democrat led congress has not been disposed to engage in compromise. Rather the democrats have embraced a hamfisted "our way or the highway" forced imposition of their will.
Now, in the wake of spelunking poll numbers, rampant buyers remorse, and a previously unimagined nostalgia for the Carter administration, democrats seem shocked, amazed and confused that over half the country does not approve of not only what they are trying to do, but how they are doing it. Blaming the dark sky and coming ice age on Bush (or Reagan or Nixon or Eisenhower or Lincoln) is a worn out dog that flat out ain't gonna hunt.
When Mr. Cool was promising "change" little did ANYone assume that change might result in a republican winning Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat.
It is a sad reality that at the same time our military has significantly improved the quality of the U.S. Troops who serve, the civilian leadership and politicians have regressed to a level reminisent of uneducated fuedal bullies. The military is smarter, more fit, better equipped, and as committed as any generation from Valley Forge to Iwo Jima or Pleiku to Bosnia. We have an all-volunteer military that is dedicated to protecting YOU. Conversely, the political arena is littered with disingenuous, duplicitous partisans who long since have abadoned their constituents for the next political victory (and/or pork laden earmark).
In a 1997 speech before he passed away, Dr. Humphrey said, top leadership, in both our civilian or military government, is afraid even to discuss this apparent decisive need for new thinking both at home and overseas. It was 13 years ago he observed, the news media and public opinion polls advise, "The people sense a moral bankruptcy in Washington" with a bickering inability in government to face these deeper problems.
Wherever you go, you are little bit safer because of the military and yet more at risk because of the coat room schenanigans of congress. Wherever the military sets a boot EVERYONE has a friend, a defender and a champion. However politicians seem more concerned about the next PAC contribution than the wants, needs or well being of the very people they were elected to represent.
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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard once wrote,“Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush—sophistry washed down with Chardonnay.”