Tuesday, November 02, 2010

What The Heck Are Republicans Whining About?

What The Heck Are Republicans Whining About?

Over the last 21 months - less than a full 2 years into the Obama Administration...
The 111th (Democratic-majority) Congress has accomplished a significant amount of work that they should be proud of and for which they should be respected and admired.

The cries, cracks and complaints of the most-shrill of the small-in-number/full-of-bluster and (frequently) apoplectic critics of President Obama's Administration and this Democratic Congress... the ones who have repeatedly displayed their expertise in the art of taking audio/video clips completely out of context and then creating a crisis where none existed... the ones who have, quite inexplicably, been given a spot in front of a functioning tv camera and/or radio microphone... have been singularly-obsessed with this Congress' significant, positive and yet, somehow, controversial, banner legislation: Health-care reform, Financial regulation, the (successful) Economic Recovery Act, etc....

So caught up in their singular obsession, these perpetual panic button-pushers have completely overlooked a vast number of significant and effective pieces of legislation successfully-passed by this Congress. (Or, they didn't think they could be transformed into ranting-and-raving, ratings-boosting issues.)

Examples: Passage of several bills aimed at assisting all of our veterans, the 25 separate tax cuts passed, a land conservation bill (the most significant in 2 decades), the creation of the very first Consumer Financial Protection Agency, etc.

Another noteworthy and ignored fact: Contrary to the gloom-and-doom forecasts of: "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" by the far right-wingers...
This Democratic Congress has actually reduced federal spending and reduced the deficit, too.

And yet, despite these and other accomplishments, if one tunes in to a network news program or talk show, one will consistently be presented with clips of people considered to be "in the know" who've made predictions that - after the final tally of votes in tomorrow's elections - Republicans will have won a number of seats in the House of Representatives and, perhaps, a few in the Senate.

If their predictions turn out to be correct, the change would be an unfortunate one for our country.

Even though it was the Bush Administration and its Republican Congress who were wielding their political power/influence over all of us a mere two years ago, it seems that many Americans are suffering from a very specific type of short-term memory loss. The barely two years gone two-term Bush Administration definitely wasn't eight years of  "Happy Days Are Here Again" - unless, that is, you were one of the uber-wealthiest Americans gifted with big tax cuts.

Doesn't anyone remember those multiple tax cuts for the upper-echelon of wealthiest Americans (May they be allowed to Expire)?

How about those fictional findings fabricated and, repeatedly, shoved down our and the world's throats by Bush's war-mongers/profiteers as their justification for the utterly unprovoked multi-billion dollar Iraq War?

Of course, even before that happened, there was the (now-seemingly endless) Afghanistan War?

Or, don't any of those people recall a monstrosity/pile of bureaucratic crap Bush & Co. came up with called: "Medicare Pt. D"?

All of the above were obviously going to be mind-bogglingly expensive and, alas, not just at that point in time but, also, for the foreseeable future.)

Not only that... when it came time for the Bush Administration to present their budget... GWB's bean-counters were... ah, shall we say creative?

Like many members of the Bush Administration, these imaginative accountants were utterly unencumbered by commonly accepted concepts like "Reality" (and honesty, integrity, etc.). Without hesitation, they intentionally neglected to include the costs of the aforementioned, phenomenally-expensive items/actions. Why? Because doing so meant the amount of their deficit total would be much lower and - needless to say - completely inaccurate (their made-up total was, of course, many billions of dollars below the actual deficit total.)

(Sigh...) Regardless, I still hope for the best.
I have faith (hopefully not misplaced) that plenty of Americans, when standing alone in the voting booth, have enough good sense to differentiate between political bluster and basic facts.

Here's a Fun Fact:
Showing "The Right Stuff", certain members of the 111th Congress saw to it that important legislation - designed to be of long-lasting benefit for our country - was successfully passed. Not only that... they did so with the knowledge that, in the upcoming midterm elections, their Republican opponents would likely attack them for supporting that legislation and, in doing so, would possibly defeat them.

If actions speak louder than words, they showed themselves to be persons of considerable integrity, admirable character, backbone and that they were true patriots (rare traits in politicians).

They made a conscious decision to do what they'd been elected to do: They did what they knew to be in the best interest of Americans instead of doing what was in the best interest of prolonging their personal political careers. It's worth repeating: This type of  personal sacrifice is extremely rare - especially in politics.

Call it "Policy Ahead Of Politics".
(*I encourage everyone to take a moment to remember what such a sacrifice looks like and what it entails. Because it's possible that, after tomorrow, we may not see it again for a while.)

What other accomplishments, you might ask?
Want a brief but detailed summary?
(No problem. I would, too.)
Take a look at this:

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