Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Thimble of Difference?

In response to Leon's, America (pronounced "Ah-mur-ri-cah") 

So, the Republicans have kicked some Democrat butt by taking control of the House of Representatives and closing the deficit in the Senate.  Obama referred to the Republican gains in these mid-term election as a shellacking.  John Boehner will take over as Speaker of the House after Americans effectively fired Nancy Pelosi, changing not only the leadership of the House of Representatives, but changing the political playing field altogether as conservatives will surely challenge Obama's policies and both past and future legislation.  And why am I couching this in such competitive terms?  Because I'm watching the Dolphins lose to the Ravens.  Dang.

One thing I'm sure you've noticed about American politics is that it is very competitive.  I don't just mean between the politicians either, but between every American that follows politics. We're not just liberals, conservatives, moderates, libertarians, socialists (what, you didn't think there were socialists in the U.S.?) or whatever you like to call your political persuasion, we're also fans of a political party; Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist (and yeah, there is a Socialist Party) or whatever political party you like to party with.  And the smack talk?  What you might hear at your local sports bar pales in comparison to the smack you hear around the water cooler during an election cycle. Yeah, one could consider politics a sport, and full contact, at that.

That's too bad, too.  When I look back over the last decade in politics, I can't seem to find a whole lot of difference between the teams.  George W. grew the government by adding new federal agencies and expanding old ones.  He couldn't seem to say no to deficit spending and thought nothing of increasing entitlements.  When it comes down to it, W. wasn't much of a conservative, by most conservative's standards.  And then there's Obama who spends money much like...well...W.

Outside of the party's rhetoric, is there a thimble of difference between the two major parties?  I mean, there's a notable difference between the Tea Party and the Socialist Party (OK, I'm becoming redundant), but when you look back at the last decade can you tell a notable difference between the Republican and Democratic parties?  They both spend oodles of money and grow government.  The only difference that I can see is that Republicans spend a little less and grow government a little slower.  I guess Democrats are just more determined. 

I hope that the politicians do listen to the Americans that elected them, as Leon suggests in his aforementioned piece.  Will they?  Heck know!  They're politicians!  I hate to be so cynical, but after witnessing the past decade I expect more of the same.

Now, just a bit of a disclaimer; I'm expecting the worse, but hoping for the best.  I think the reason why our politicians pander the way they do to the voter is because, like their constituents, they think of politics as a competition, too.  It's about winning and losing, not about what's best for the nation.  Maybe this time things will be different.  It seems politicians understand that Americans don't like out-of-control spending and government expansion.  Maybe this time it won't be about who won the majority and more about actually representing the American people.  Maybe.

And as a side note; the Dolphins lost.  Dang.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

America (pronounced "Ah-mur-ri-cah")

George Walker Bush, Nancy Pelosi. Croped versi...Image via Wikipedia
Yesterday Nancy Pelosi learned a valuable lesson: 

For good or ill (depending upon your social worldview) the Democratically-controlled Congress threw it's considerable weight behind President Obama's legislative agenda and paid the price for it.

Somewhere George W. Bush is laughing that weird laugh of his and singing the praises of his fellow "Ah-mur-ri-cahns" who fired Nancy Pelosi from her Speaker of the House gig and handed a bunch of Democrats their pink slips period. 

To whit, Nancy Pelosi's lesson:  Don't mess with average "Ah-mur-ri-cahns." 

The average American (I'll assume you have the correct pronunciation down now) is not amused when they are talked down to by a politician. 

The average American can't stand arrogance in their leaders. 

And the average American isn't thrilled with the idea that they have to live within their means or the "take-back-man" will come repo their crap, but the federal government can just spend like there's no tomorrow.  

When Nancy Pelosi was asked what her agenda was when Obama became President, she asserted the following hardcore liberal items:  strengthen the economy, end the Iraq war, expand health care, create jobs. 

Honestly, each one of those sounds pretty damn good to me.

Unfortunately, the Democrats fell prey to the very thing that they decried in the Republicans who ran everything when W was in the Big House:  Pride.

Memo to politicians...  Just because you happen to win an election doesn't give you the right to assume you have a corner on the market when it comes to what the average American is thinking.  In order to know that you have to actually listen. 

Pelosi & Co. at Obama's behest moved with lightning speed when it came to a health care reform bill that is now proving to be not what it was purported to be in the first place.  They moved with the speed of mud when it came to ending the war in Iraq. 

They didn't listen to former President Clinton who had some really good ideas on how to get the economy moving and instead landed us deeper in debt and farther in the hole.  The only jobs they created were government jobs because they forgot that the government can't really create jobs... the marketplace creates jobs and the only way for the marketplace to create jobs is when things like small businesses are growing and expanding because they are free from exorbitant taxes and mountains of regulation and because banks were encouraged to lend to them. 

And the entire time they were doing this, average Americans were telling them that they were screwing it up.  But because they had a "mandate" Pelosi & Co. ignored them. 

And now they are crying in their beer.  And cursing the average American for being too stupid to know what's good for them.  And vowing like Senator Harry Reid (who basically had to cash in every favor he'd ever earned from NV union bosses to keep his seat) to keep "fighting."

So here's my message to the Republicans who seem to have ridden that wave and who also seem to be taking way too much credit where credit isn't due... 

Listen to the average American, my friend.  Or the average American will rise up and kick your a--

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