mardi, janvier 01, 2013

That morally superior planet

New York Times columnist David Brooks said, in a recent appearance on "Meet the Press" that President Obama governs as though he was a "visitor from a morally superior civilization."

Apparently many people took this as a criticism of the President. Frankly, I think it's a compliment.  Or perhaps, it's really a reflection of the stubborness, adolescent behavior, and navel-gazing of those who profess to represent us.

Namely, the men and women of United States Congress.

Everyone and their mother is complaining about the so-called "cliff deal" voted in by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans (not by most of them)  in the House of Representatives.   A lot of conservatives rightly point out that it does nothing to address spending cuts -- any ninny can see that spending cuts are a huge part of the answer in bringing down the deficit.

But the other piece of the equation is bringing in more revenue -- and liberals equally rightly point out that on this issue, Democrats caved.

What's so infuriating (or at least part of what's infuriating) is that we didn't have to arrive at this point. If Congress hadn't put the sequester in place (mostly because there are so few moderates left in the House), they would have been forced to come up with a compromise.

Instead, they continue to put off the tough choices, hoping that something will happen that gives them an edge. This latest "fix" merely put off the next emergency.

Sometimes the greater good lies in principled compromise instead of the reek of their idols, their false gods (can you say K street?), and the incessant din of their self-righteous cant.

Somewhere along the way, the House and the Senate stopped representing us, the people.

As someone pointed out this week on the radio,  a lot of Senators and Congresspeople don't live in D.C. anymore. They come in for a few days each week, and return to their districts.  They don't party together, or send their kids to the same schools. They stay in their bunkers.

I bet Steve LaTourette would be mortified if he ran into Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, and Joe Biden and had to face them after making that crack about a deal made by "sleep-deprived octogenarians in the middle of the night."

Shame on you, Representative LaTourette.

They don't respect each other. Why should we believe that they respect the rest of us?

I don't always agree with our President -- there are things that he's done that I find disturbing, and other arenas in which I wish he would show some....intestinal fortitude.

Perhaps if he appears to hail from a morally superior civilization, it's because the bar in Congress has been set so low.

Maybe President Obama just treats the rest of us like we were fellow human beings worthy of his respect.

What a surprise that is.

When the House Speaker tells the Senate Majority Leader to go "f" himself (after said Majority Leader has accused him of running a dictatorship), our democracy is in sad shape - perhaps as sad as it has been since the Civil War or Reconstruction.

More sadly, we, the people, will probably sit back and watch as it falls apart, too stunned to vote out these scoundrels or revolt to change the system.

After all, they represent us, don't they?


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