According to James Carville, President Obama should make changes within his team and replace some of its players. I wish that matters were so simple that merely reshuffling the team would solve the problem. With all due respect, I do not think firing and reshuffling will work. The problem has other roots. America’s current woes have little to do with President Obama and his administration. So let us look in another direction.
Foremost in my mind, at this moment, is the total failure on the part of hardline Republicans to work towards the good of their nation. I have heard a few words to the contrary. In an NBC Meet the Press interview with David Gregory, Senate minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that, “there are actually things we [Republicans and Democrats] agree on” (quoted by Josh Feldman, 18 September 2011).
However, House Speaker John Boehner, who was quoted and seen in a video incorporated into the Meet the Press interview, says that “tax increases, I think, are off the table. I don’t think they can be a viable option the Joint Committee.” One wonders, therefore, whether or not President Obama has a partner in the Republican party.
Let this be my first question. I have seen and heard all current Republican candidates tell what each would bring to the United States if he or she were elected to the leadership of the Republican party. Not in any of their answers did I hear the words égalité and fraternité, equality and brotherhood, the founding principles, along with liberty, of a democracy, or republic. I realize that Republicans need a leader, but were this leader to become President, would he or she tend to the needs of the nation and require the affluent to pay their fair share of taxes. Given House Speaker John Boehner’s statement, I doubt it. Moreover, Senator McConnell pointed out that the elections would be held next year, not this year. Yet now is the time to act.
Can these Republicans not see that the United States is descending into an abyss and that America cannot wait. And why this descent? There is a simple answer. It seems to me that Congress is not a forum, which it should be, but an arena, a sport’s arena. And it also appears to me that although the Civil War ended in 1865, it has not ended. Hardline Republicans are at war with their own country and this is not acceptable.
Yes, Americans can rally behind a leader, but it appears that hardline Republicans cannot see and, more importantly, do not want to see that Congress is not a battle field. As Abraham Lincoln stated, “[a] house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Dear Republicans, do make choosing a future candidate to the Presidency a lesser priority than the work you have been mandated to do, but are not doing: making sure there is bread on everyone’s table. Moreover, do stop, purposefully and in full view of the entire world, sabotaging the current administration. Your work is to ensure America remains functional and that it grows.
I hope you realize that there is no quick fix for the harm inflicted on America during the former Republican administration and that you also realize obstructionism is unacceptable. It is legitimate for one party to oppose the other party, within reasonable limits, but a party, the opposition, does not engage in obstructionism, especially at the cost of the nation. Current circumstances call for prompt remedial action. Therefore, throwing stones at the other party will not benefit the people of America. Besides, such behaviour is childish.
As for President Obama, I am asking him to be ruthless. No country should tolerate irresponsible naysayers, but all I hear from hardline Republicans is a constant “let them eat cake.” They do not seem to care for the people. Is that a dignified way to treat the citizens who have elected a candidate into office?
In a previous blog, I wrote that I didn’t think Marie-Antoinette ever said “let them eat cake” to the French, but “let them eat cake” is what the French heard, and they stormed the Bastille. Systematic obstructionism is serious wrong-doing, particularly when a country, the United States of America, is on the brink of an economic disaster. As I have written in other blogs, there is an enemy within. America is its own worst enemy, except that markets have become global markets, which means that all stand to lose. Wake up!
Finally, why am I not detecting in the statements made by the candidates to the leadership of the Republican Party the sense of urgency (not panic, urgency) Mr Carville expressed when he proposed firing and reshuffling in the current administration? That is my second question. When will you start expressing genuine concern for the ills of the nation and act accordingly? I may not think firing and reshuffling are necessary, but I fully agree with Mr Carville that something drastic must be done. That is why I am asking President Obama to be ruthless, in which my suggestion resembles Mr Carville’s suggestions.
It has always been my understanding that elected officials worked for and not against the good of their country and that, once elected into office, a President is everyone’s President. President Obama is President of the United States, which means that he is your President.
© Micheline Walker
19 September 2011