Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stimul-US, or Stimul-NOT THEM?

This whole thing over "bipartisanship" has got me all confused.

Chip Reid summed up the media's perspective in Obama's presidential press conference. "You, [Mr. President], have often said that bipartisanship is extraordinarily important overall, and in the stimulus package. But now when we ask your advisors about the lack of bipartisanship so far -- zero votes in the House, three in the Senate -- they say, well, it's not the number of votes that matters, it's the number of jobs that will be created."

Obama then went on (and on, and on...boy, all those thoughtful, well articulated answers are enough to drive someone to Bill O'Reilly level boredom) to explain how he made a series of Overtures to the Republicans, not just to get short-term votes, but to build up trust over time. And we all recall what W. did to build up trust, which was of course to take away our right to distrust him.

I don't understand why bipartisanship is being measured solely by Obama's obvious efforts to reach out to republicans. "Bi" still means two, right Jason Mraz? The GOP's new policy of "Nope" seems to be getting in the way here. They seem to think that an atmosphere of bitpartisanship means "we get our way, period!"

Obama, in my opinion, has done an incredible amount of work to delete pork spending in this bill, and include unprecedented accountability, putting the power of the government into the hands of the people (how's that for republican ideals???)

And yes, I agree with Obama's views on what will ulimately stimulate our economy in the long run (arts funding, green collar jobs, education, education, education!) and yes, you may disagree. You may disagree that the federal government has no business butting into affairs like energy, education, and health care. In fact, it seems that republicans of late believe the government should only be involved with war and foreign policy (and by foreign policy I mean war.) But as Obama so rightfully said in his inaugural address: "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works."

I have been asked my thoughts on the "speed" at which Obama and Pelosi pushed the bill. I know that Bill O'Reilly is on record as having said that Pelosi hi-jacked the bill, but I have also heard it said that Obama has owned this bill, and I agree that he has, so let's put Pelosi aside. reported that "Some repulicans in the House expressed frustration over how little time they had to read the 1,000-plus-page bill, and others predicted ruin if it passed." Look, Republicans, I hated my english teacher Mr. Burke for assigning King Lear, Hamlet, and Othello over one weekend, but do what I did and bully some smaller senators into reading it out loud to you.

I, personally, think our government moves too slowly in general, but especially in this instance, I agree that swift action is entirely necessary. Not everybody I know is being immediately affected by this recession, but I am. I recently joined the daily growing number of Americans on unemployment, and I do not say that proudly, or self-righteously (as many artists do.) Looking at this, we see just how rapid this economic downturn is...well, downturning.

This is an image of the literal definition of "Off The F*cking Chart."

So, do I think that the extra waiting around, the back and forth about more tax cuts (as though there aren't ANY tax cuts) or less spending (is less spending reeeally going to get rid of the wolves at the door? and by wolves I mean state governments?) I am listening, and I hear Obama when he says that no plan is perfect. I also hear when Rahm Emmanuel says "you never let a good crisis go to waste." And so, while I will be watching very closely, I will also understand that we needed a BIG booster shot and we needed it four months ago (when there "was no recession.")

If my foot is about to fall off, and they pump me full of so many drugs that one of them covers my body in hair, but ultimately saves my foot - hey, no harm done, right? I can always shave the hair off, I can't always get a new foot. Okay, so maybe a bad example.

The point is it's not my foot, it's OUR foot. And it's not a foot at all. It's our jobs, our livelihoods, our futures, our whole damn country. We're in the middle of a big pile of shit and an even bigger shit storm is on the horizon. Whether we dig or whether we swim, we're still going to be eating shit. If we start start acting together now, and if we're lucky, we'll make it out in time.

If least we know the "Number of Jobless Americans Chart Industry" will be booming!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Thanks for this. It was an interesting read. I like you.