Monday, August 8, 2011

Fear Itself

Who is Obama trying to placate with his perpetual capitulation to a small faction of Republicans with whom the overwhelming majority of this country completely disagree?

He's the president of the United States, not just the president of the people who voted for him; I get that. But the tea partiers are another story. They don't accept him as their president, they never will, and they are willing to drive this country into oblivion in the dim hope that Obama will be the one ultimately held accountable, and he will lose his bid for reelection.

Someone will be destroyed when this game has run its course.

Will the country blame Obama if our economy tanks and can't recover, or will most people see the Tea Party as a reckless back-seat driver grabbing the wheel and turning the country sharply into the nearest ditch?

The fact of the matter is that Obama should not be playing this game to begin with.

The moment that Congress was on a path to brinkmanship with the debt ceiling, Obama should have invoked the 14th Amendment and raised the debt limit himself. Problem solved. No circus, no bird-brained politicians strutting around, fluffing up their feathers, and making an international mockery of our entire republic.

Would the Right have cried foul? Of course! They are going to cry foul no matter what the president does. But when the majority of the country elects a leader, that person has been given the right and the obligation to lead!

Our government is not beholden to banks, and our president is not beholden to Congress. Sure there are checks and balances, but if Bush Jr. can get away with ignoring the will of 50% of the population, then I'm pretty sure Obama can get away with ignoring the will of 30% of the population.

Ultimately, the only thing that matters to people is knowing that there is someone in charge.

The fear-charged stampede that drove the markets down today was, I believe, all about uncertainty. What's going on? Who's in charge? Are the banks in charge? What does that mean for the future of our country?

Obama needs to stop trying to reason with people and take command (he's only slightly left-of-center, it's not like he'd do anything crazy). Those who hold left-wing views will abide, those who hold right-wing views will never abide no matter how reasonable he tries to be, and the vast majority of the people in the middle aren't interested in politics at all: they just want to know that someone is in charge, and when they don't know who, if anyone, is at the wheel, they flip-the-hell-out and, in a state of mass confusion and panic, will jump off the nearest cliff.


Anonymous said...

Umm...okay, so I kind of see your point that the President is called to lead. I have to admit that I don't really agree with some of your statements. "the president is not beholden to Congress" is true - but at the same time he is. We do not live in a dictatorship or a monarchy but in a democratic republic and the executive branch is limited by the congressional and judicial branches.
I also find it interesting that you cite the 14th amendment.
Section 4: debts of the USA are valid. Section 5: Congress has the power to enforce this.
This lies within the realm of congressional powers and not the executive branch.

That being said, your overall thesis that for parties (TEA party or otherwise) to use economic difficulties to advance their own political position is doing a disservice to the entire country still stands. By intentionally engaging in practices that hurt the state of the country - or refusing to work to help the country - they are hurting their own constituency and their integrity is in question.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Andy Domonkos said...

I agree 100%. Rush Limbuagh recently went on a rant that Republican Congress should boycott anything he does no matter how bad it screws the country over. Obama needs to be more like Bush and just sign an executive order every 5 minutes until we start seeing the changes he was elected to do.


angrymanspeaks said...

Hey Heather,
I've been looking for you. And any others like you. This is my first read and I want to say that you are spot on. We need to encourage Obama to grow a pair and do some rough shod running over these Republican criminals and Con-men that have so many lies to tell. This situation we're in reminds me alot of Germany-1933. the economy was collapsed their was no work and the people had little confidence in the government due to the ineptitude of the men in power. In that case it was one man, Adolf Hitler who siezed power from the easily humiliated and ineffectual administration. And the people embraced him as a savior because he said he had "a plan" and could save them from all the woes brought on by the previous liberal administration. Today, in America, it is the fascist Tea Party and the Republican Party doing essentially the same thing Hitler did. Blaming everything on the liberals,socialists,communists,jews,Arabs etc while totally ignoring that these problems all began as a result of the actions of the last Authoritarian,Fascist, Militaristic regime during WWI or in our case the Bush administrations.What do you think? Republican Party/Tea Party. Is that one party or two Or is the Republican party just Tea Party Mouthpiece with a slightly more attractive face and slightly less obvious line of bullshit. I think that the plan is to show us all of these small minded obnoxious Tea Party hacks and threaten to run them for president. Then put up a Republican who is better at hiding his selfishness and religious fanaticism so it looks like we are getting the lessor of the two republican evils. The Tea Party is however the ultimate evil in a democrtically bases nation such as ours. They are our Hitler and if we arn't more aware of their underhanded and dishonest plans, they will wind up as our Fuhrer.
So please Mr. President stand up and run these greedy lying bastards out of town. The vast majority of America is just waiting for you to stand up and gird your loins. they will see thw hipocracy if you expose it. they will support you if you lead them

angrymanspeaks said...

You are wrong about the 14th. No offence but you arn't following the logic through to the end. The 14th ammendment: section 4

"The validity of the public debt of the
United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of
pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion,
shall not be questioned."

So, all debts incurred by the government are valid and must be paid. Because the Republican Congress has done everything possible to prevent that, the President has a clear duty to invoke that ammendment and overide Congress as part of his vow to preserve, protect, and defend the Constituion of the United States, which oath includes by inference that the President has a duty to uphold the provisions thereof.
The willful act of stonewalling everything the President brings before them for the express and publicaly stated purpose of ending his administration and their intentional plot to force the shutdown of the government meets all of the definitions of the word
TREASON the definition of which is as follows:
trea·son (from
   [tree-zuhn] Show IPA

"the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign."

"a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state."

"the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery."

"Treason is any attempt to overthrow the government or impair the well-being of a state to which one owes allegiance; the crime of giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one's government."

"Sedition is any act, writing, speech, etc., directed unlawfully against state authority, the government, or constitution, or calculated to bring it into contempt or to incite others to hostility, ill will or disaffection"
(continued in part 2)

angrymanspeaks said...

(continued from part 1)
I think both treason and sedition could easily be applied to the Houses actions over the past two years.
i know you'll say that the Congress can't be prosecuted for doing their job but that is just the point. They have failed to even attempt to do their job and have instead carried out a well planned Conspiracy to cause our country to go under financially, to cause the downfall of the current government by the illegal means i have detailed and to seize power for their Fascist Fundamentalist Theocracy.

One might even be tempted to argue that they are carring out acts of Genocide against the American people by purposely moving vast sums of money out of the economy, spiriting away millions of American jobs and bring the poor to the brink of if not over the brink of starvation, homelessness and disease.
President Obama was therefore under obligation to invoke the 14th amendment and his failure to do so bring serious questions as to his courage under fire.
i don't believe that courage is lacking in the President though. only the will to further tear this nation asunder by acknowledging and directly confronting their illegal and disrespectful actions.
but I'd like to say that the time has come to back these scandalous bastards to the wall and force them to co-operate and let them know in front of America and both Houses that their crimes have not gone un-noticed. I say charge them with Treason and let the Courts decide the nature of their acts.
Fascism, and i use that word without levity or shame, must be stopped before it takes hold. Give it an inch and it will take all 3000 miles of America.
And let's not forget that included in those charges should be the leadership of the Tea Party and any republicans prooven to be in cahoots with them. They are the Masters of John Boehner and his Fascist Power Structure; The United States House Of Representatives.
My sincere appologies to the hundreds of men and women who serve and have served their Nation honorably and well in The House of Representatives. Your dignity and honor is without blemish. But sadly, you are not in control; the Tea Party is. The Tea Party is in power already in the House and is knipping at the heels of the Senate and The Presidency.
And if they achieve these two the United States will be in the hands of and at the mercy of the most Merciless, dishonorable group od thieves,liers and treasonsists that the nation has had the dishonor of being associated with since....well, since....probably since for ever. Today Angryman is Sadman, Shamedman, but also Shoutoutloudbarakobamagetupandlead
Get up Barak! The sun is going down fast and the night will be long and cold. Get up Barak and light a God-damned fire!

Heather said...


Forgive me, I'm fasting today for Yom Kippur, so perhaps my mind is not as sharp as it should be. You said that I'm wrong about the 14th Amendment, but then everything you said after that point summarized my understanding of the law.

I will look over your comments again soon.

Thank you, everyone, for your feedback. Please check in often; I sincerely value every comment whether you agree with me or not.

Heather said...

Well, one of the questions in this post has been answered. The American people saw through the game and held the Republicans accountable for the brinksmanship they have been playing with the economy.