Months ago, I predicted that the Republicans would be so hell-bent on destroying the Presidency of Barack Obama, they would use the Debt Ceiling as a weapon in taking America hostage. I knew with this group that call themselves Republicans (but are the furthest thing from what I grew up with as the Republican Party imaginable), they would not hesitate on putting the needs of the Party ahead of the needs of the country. From the moment he was sworn in (late, and with a botched oath no less), the President has been the target of Republicans. They swore to get him out of office in any manner possible, and if that meant taking this nation to the brink of financial disaster to add one more notch on the belt to do that then they would. The same Party that has brought you one terrorist attack that was allowed to happen, two unnecessary wars, two tax cuts that were unsustainable as well as a new portion of Medicare that was also unsustainable was now going to suddenly become fiscally responsible by using a tool to drive home their social agenda (that otherwise would never have passed Congress) that is never questioned: the Debt Ceiling. Under normal circumstances, the debt ceiling is a “gimmie” in Congress; usually one or two lines are quickly written in the House, rubber stamped by the Senate and sent to the President who signs it faster than a speeding bullet. This time, the issue was used as a reference point for showing the established political players that a minority in their Party would now be controlling the entire process (despite even some of their own backers urging them not to) by threatening default. In addition, this would also take the focus away from what the Administration has been trying to accomplish, namely creating jobs; thus, allowing yet another opportunity to take down President Obama go un-wasted.
If you’re wondering where the jobs are, ask the Congress who ran on the platform of providing them; instead, they are simply hell bent on destroying a Presidency. Ask the President, who allowed the Republican Party to frame EVERY SINGLE DEBATE during his tenure in the White House. If you’re wondering why we’re not having better economic results, ask these same people. You see, it’s not about putting the country first. It’s not about putting the unemployed, sick, elderly, and hard working Americans first. It’s about maintaining the status quo when it comes to keeping their own jobs and trying to get this President out of his. The Congress recently had an 82% DISAPPROVAL RATING by the American People…that is astounding, and something that I never thought I’d ever see. (Only 14% approved; the remainder wondered what planet they were on). After taking us to the brink for their own gain, we are now faced with what will most certainly be called “Black Monday” after the US Treasury Bonds were downgraded to AA+ from AAA by S&P. You can pretty much expect the Market to tank tomorrow…and we’ll get an idea of just how bad in a few hours when the Asian Markets open, but most assuredly millions of 401Ks will be taking a huge hit. There is going to be blood on Wall Street, because large chunks of the sky will be falling; the Republicans not only got what they wanted in the debt deal, the are going to further sink this Presidency by using the downgrading plus any subsequent bloodletting of the Markets against him. And the worst part is that this President will let them. He has gotten himself and this country backed into a corner by his ineffectual leadership and willingness to “play nice” instead of taking a stand and be as intransigent as the Republicans are. One columnist compared it to hoping he plants a flag somewhere…anywhere…and raises it. Instead, he plants a flag raises it, and then lowers it to half staff.
I am a Liberal, closer to being a Socialist more than anything, but I have some Libertarian leanings too. I believe in a strong and sound fiscal policy; one where you should have the vision to put forth bold new proposals and the guts to say that you can’t afford it if you cannot; or scale it back so that you can. I campaigned for this President, I voted for this President, but I honestly believe that this cannot possibly be the same man that I voted into office. The man I voted into office was bold and thoughtful; and it was refreshing to have a smart guy at 1600 instead of a dolt that chokes on his pretzels. The man I voted into office was someone who could have done great things, but he allowed himself to get sidetracked by the Republicans and have the arguments framed by them instead of he and his staff. He capitulated this past week in the most alarming fashion, as he could have simply used the 14th Amendment and told the Republicans to take a hike. Then we wouldn’t have had John Boehner saying he got 98% of what he wanted, nor would we have had a downgrade in or credit rating. We could have avoided what is coming over the next few days, if only he had the vision and the boldness to execute the 14th Amendment. His predecessor used to tear apart the Constitution all the time, he should have taken this moment to use it to his advantage.
Instead, he planted a flag of surrender.
“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong , but to those who see it coming and jump aside.” – Hunter S. Thompson