A Do Nothing Congress or a Know Nothing President BY K.C. RETURN TO POLY-TICKS Gridlock is your friend. Other countries have been amazed that the United States so often had a Republican in the White House and the Democrats in charge of Congress. Or vice versa. In many of those nations, the elected legislators choose one of their own to be the Prime Minister. In 2009, that would have gotten us either Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid and we can only wonder if that would or would not have been an improvement. For decades, many Americans have taken comfort when nothing is getting done in Washington. History has taught them – the less, the better. The 2009 – 2010 Congress escaped the curse of gridlock and got things moving again in Washington. With a Chief Executive who had 2 years of experience in the Senate, a few more as a legislator in the state capitol and a treasure trove of “community organizer” experience, what better time to lay aside George Washington's and Thomas Jefferson's vision for the nation and embrace “Change We Can Believe In”? Assuredly, we were on the verge of Nirvana. Safe to say that most Americans would have preferred a “Do-Nothing Congress” to the assortment of special interest representatives that constituted the 111 th Congress, and who jumped ship at the end. This was truly a “Session that will live in Infamy”.
But what of the so called “Do-Nothing” Congress which is now in session? A couple of issues need to be looked at. First, when a legislature is moving in the wrong direction with such a speed as to create sonic booms, the first thing that needs to be done is to put on the brakes. This requires time, energy and a crew big enough to do the job. The revised task force we sent to Washington in January of 2011 has done an admirable job of slowing the juggernaut, but we were four U S Senators short of enough to bring it to a halt. A united House and Senate could have presented sensible legislation to the President and he would have to take the heat for refusing it. With the Senate on his side (most of the time), the President is able to make whipping boys out of the Republican majority in the House, with the short sighted assistance of some conservatives. Secondly, this is where we conservatives, consitutionalists, Tea Partiers need to be very careful or we will play directly into the President's hands. When a crew is sent to do a job, and they do not have a sufficient number of workers to finish the task, they have two choices (1) wait for reinforcements or (2) screw it up, much as they did in the mid-nineties when the government shut down for a short time and Clinton was able to pin the blame on the Republicans. Our next chance to send reinforcements comes this November and we do well to be patient with the “shock troops” we sent up in the 2010 election until we can reinforce their ranks. They have not double crossed us; but they know that a few wrong moves (even principled, good intention moves) can easily sway enough voters to re-elect the President with even more power than he had in 2009. We have an excellent chance to take both houses of Congress if we can frame the debate and avoid doing anything stupid, such as discouraging the new representatives who are taking the heat and such as provoking a government shut-down.
How about the Know-Nothing President. Does Mr. Obama know how the test scores of American students has dropped compared to other nations since we have created our $50 Billion per year Department of Education? (that's a half trillion dollars in the next ten years , Mr. President – take note). Does the President know how rich people get rich? They need to multiply their efforts in order to carry out their goals and so they hire people. Some for top dollar; some for minimum wage. Many of the ones who are exploited choose in advance to be so used. While their buddies are learning a trade, working thru an apprenticeship, going to a vocational school or college, they are partying and living it up. When they are 25 and discover they have a child on the way and no salable talent, they have chosen the underclass for themselves and their children. They will be exploited by by the rich – and also by other poor people. All the sons of Adam are selfish.
More taxes; less hiring. This is not rocket science. But does the President know it? Does Mr. Obama know how to speak the language that our adversaries understand? And to act consistently. He sent Sec of Defense Panetta to the Western Pacific in Oct of 2011 to let the Chinese know that were there to stay. In January, the Chief of Naval Operations that there would not be a big influx of troops or ships to the Western Pacific, even as the President begins to establish Defense spending reductions of $500 Billion (that's a half trillion dollars in the next ten years, Mr. President – take note). And of course he didn't know anything about Solyndra. He has learned a few things since moving into the White House, however. He's learned about why the terrorist prison at Guantanamo is important. He's also learned about meeting with guys like Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong whoever, Chavez, et al without preconditions. But what an expensive education. There some things guys are supposed to know ahead of time if they want to be President. Given the sound bites that have been collected in the ill-advised Republican debates, we might have to work hard to focus on the real issues. But if we can keep the President's ignorance on the front burner and make it clear that the Do-Nothing Congress actually DID SOMETHING when they kept him from driving the country off the cliff in 2011, we have a good chance of starting to repair the damage in 2013. kc