Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Last Night's Speech

Let me just say, I love our president. I love listening to him. I love watching his mind work. I went out of my way to be home last night so I could watch his speech to Congress. When have I done that? He simply does not disappoint. And I truly am ecstatic that he talks not only of the stimulus but of the deficit. It is a lofty goal, to cut in half our deficit over the next four years, especially when we are in the midst of this economic crisis. Can it be done? You know, I think this guy is going to get it done. I really do. He said last night that they've already identified cuts that amount to a trillion dollars' worth of savings over the next four years. And they're just getting started. It's so nice to have grown-ups in the White House.

As to the Republican response, delivered by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal (who I happen to like as a person) - first of all, isn't it supposed to be a response? I can find no pundit yet this a.m. pointing this out, but didn't Jindal just have a canned speech that failed to speak to many of the major points of Obama's speech? Also, and even if you are a Republican - haven't the Republicans just become annoying? They keep bashing Democrats on points that do not exist. This Democratic Party is not the party of the 1970s or 1980s. Yes there is spending, but it is spending with a theme of acting responsibly. Yes there will be an increase in taxes but not on everyone - just on families making over $250,000 a year, and 95 percent of families will receive a tax cut. So to say that the Democrats won't consider tax cuts, or that they are raising taxes on people can hardly afford it, or to say that Dems want big government without acknowleding the just-spoken commitment by the president to cut the deficit in half over the next four years (and the just-spoken admonition that he does not like big government but this is where we stand right now, having inherited a huge, big mess).... Well, that all just sounds dumb. Like you're dumb. Low IQ.

And yet I know Repubs aren't dumb. I know Jindal isn't dumb. So - what's left? A trick. That they are trying to play a trick. I'm really sorry to say it, too, because I know that there are Republicans who are sincere in having a different philosophy at how to solve things - Repubs whose nuanced ideas actually could find traction in this administration, whose voices should be rising above the voices of all the noisy tricksters in their party who are playing a smoke-and-mirrors game.

We've had enough tricks over the years. Let's go with sincerity this time, and give the president a chance to flush out his ideas; to incorporate nuances of the opposition's ideas (as long as those ideas branch out beyond "tax cuts for the rich"); and to make a difference in a country that has its problems but that is - let's face it - the greatest country in the world.

Here's a good article on Obama's speech.

No comments: