"So, sympathetic as I am to those who prefer a fight over compromise, as much as the political wisdom may dictate fighting [must be the Chicago south-side speaking out] over solving problems, it would be the wrong thing to do. The American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories. They would much rather have the comfort of knowing that when they open their first paycheck on January of 2011, it won’t be smaller than it was before, all because Washington decided they preferred to have a fight and failed to act." [right on, we sent you there believing you were the best chance to end all this nonsense, thinking you really were a centrist, acting on behalf of all Americans, wanting the same things we wanted, and campaigning chiefly upon the idea of bringing the partisanship to a reasonable end in Washington for the betterment of the entire country...]
"Make no mistake: Allowing taxes to go up on all Americans would have raised taxes by $3,000 for a typical American family. And that could cost our economy well over a million jobs." oh, so tax cuts DO stimulate the economy...
Oh he was annoyed, wasn't he."At the same time, I’m not about to add $700 billion to our deficit by allowing a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. [with pursed lips and terse spits and starts all the way through] And I won’t allow any extension of these tax cuts for the wealthy, even a temporary one, without also extending unemployment insurance for Americans who’ve lost their jobs or additional tax cuts for working families and small businesses -- because if Republicans truly believe we shouldn’t raise taxes on anyone while our economy is still recovering from the recession, then surely we shouldn’t cut taxes for wealthy people while letting them rise on parents and students and small businesses." say what? now that last bit doesn't even make sense...
How the extension of reasonable tax rates can bring on so much tension upon the man in charge of everything; if I were in his shoes, I would have at least handled this moment coming from a place of happiness, for goodness sakes (fake it til you make it, right). We were on the verge of making a grave error, as the body of delegates in Washington were dickering over details of raising taxes at a time when no one should even be thinking about such an action.
"sorry to keep you waiting" he said...how Freudian is that...go ahead and read it for yourself, the entire transcript of the presidential moment is in the flesh and linked expressly for your liking...he was apologetic that his address to the press came a wee bit late, but oh how amusing when put in the context of just how long he has had to take care of this little administrative task; he has had two years, knowing these tax breaks would be expiring decisively upon 12/31/10 -- what took you so long, Mr. President?
In the realm of the politics of dancing around the best time to meet up with controversial legislation, and the extinguishing thereof, there never is a good time to address it, is there?
Couldn't do it immediately, as you were busy "closing Gitmo" and being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Couldn't do it in the first couple of months, as you were busy drafting a highly combustible stimulus bill (and wasting away 865 billion dollars).
Couldn't do it that first summer vacation, as you were preoccupied with what to do about Afghanistan, and that ran right smack into a nightmare of townhall meetings over health care; reconvening, you sat down for five minutes on the tarmac with General McCrystal -- for the first time ever -- you single-handedly lost the bid for Chicago in the Olympics melodrama, only to resurface in Washington having your people meet behind closed doors...conveniently from September through December.
Couldn't address the tax extensions whatsoever...
Once the health care legislation was passed on the eve of Christmas day, the sense of accomplishment and success fueled your every move right up until the catastrophe hit -- the BP oil spill -- and that was enough to kill any prospect of talking about anything else for months on end aside from blasting oil drilling... Tony Hayward... allowing government regulation to stand in the way of the clean up... along with government stepping in to salvage the economic devastation to the Gulf region overnight, placing yourself "IN CHARGE since DAY ONE" (and to this day, has turned the gulf region economy on it's ear with moratoriums on oil drilling and the like).
The Bush era tax rates were the furthest thing from anybody's mind.
As time went on, however, it then became perilously close to the mid-term elections -- "the people" were already not very happy with the last eighteen months, why stir the pot; couldn't do anything about the tax extensions until after the potential "shellacking" -- and how.
600 Billion dollars later, as the most recent action under your very own Treasury department recklessly administered, throwing an ungodly amount of money into the economy just because Ben Bernanke, et al, are hard-pressed figuring out how to beat the market at it's own game...you start whining about the need to protect ALL taxpayers, all entrepreneurs, all business (large and small), in order to stimulate our economy, grow investment, and promote expansion in order to create jobs and opportunities for all.
Confirmation received: it is so against your DNA to fight for the wealthy, American made, and perhaps self made man; to give voice and special allowances for such a man (or woman) just makes you ill; and the sad thing, in this day after like so many other day afters that have come before, is that you let it show.
In your biting, pithy remarks about the state of affairs, lambasting the republicans, and groveling to your left to understand that they know not what you do -- you let the American people see you throw a highly unpresidential tantrum in front of all the world to see; who needs Wikileaks when we've got you.
As someone (we thought) with the most prospects of returning Washington to a state of decorum and constructive dialogue, Americans are continually reminded of your own internal demons -- that of knowingly walking into a position of which you were fully unprepared for, that of knowingly coming from a legacy that questioned the American way and all that she stands for, and that of knowingly and arrogantly marching into the office of the POTUS with the chief purpose of fundamentally transforming everything.
On the outside you may have 'sounded like', and 'acted like', a typical American running for the highest office in the land, at a time that begged for a meeting of the minds and a coming to the center administration, in no uncertain terms -- but you never intended on truly 'being like' that through and through.
THAT you simply can't fake.
The thing is, if all you were going to do is give us the 'framework' of what would come next, all that was really required of you, in that moment, was a sense of enthusiasm! Something that would bring a sense of accomplishment, a reassurance that Washington really can work together; marking the happy moment in time where we bridged the gap! we came together! similar to any other time when both sides win some and lose some but more important come to a compromise will do...
...in those ten minutes you gave to America, you should have been busy creating a shining moment, saying something like this:
this one's for you, America!
[maybe with a beer in hand
or popping a bottle of champagne,
you brokered a deal, no less..].
And be genuinely happy about it!
For any other normal, everyday person in the same position, THAT would be the way compromise works, and how a true meeting of the minds feels -- if I were in your shoes, I would have been at the very least smiling for "there’s no doubt that the differences between the parties are real and they are profound." (And I have no doubt that you knew this going in.)
Whatever that was, yesterday, surely it gives pause for all Americans to continue the debate within themselves as to who deserves this fine opportunity, this pretty little position, next.
Make it a Good Day, G
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