Archive for the Congress Category

MENTAL DWARFISM AT A TIME OF GREAT NATIONAL CRISIS

As I dictate this essay on February 11, 2009, there is a grave national crisis surrounding the American people.  From my view, it is a crisis of the same proportions as World War II and the great Hoover depression of 1929.  There are a good number of brains at work on the crisis for which I am eternally grateful.  On the other hand, there are legislators in the Senate and the House of Representatives who continually reflect mental dwarfism at a time of great peril.

The mental dwarfism is not confined to the Republican Party, which has more than its share of it.  The mental dwarfism laps over into the highest reaches of the Obama administration.  Tim Geitner was the head man of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York when he saw this country being plunged into financial peril.  Geitner did very little to stop that plunge but nonetheless was picked as the Treasury Secretary by Barack Obama.  A full measure of Geitner’s mental dwarfism was apparent yesterday when he attempted to explain to all the brokers and bankers how they would be treated in an effort to bail us out.  The fact of the matter is that Geitner completely struck out.  After a few paragraphs of Geitner’s speech, the stock market began a plunge of nearly 400 points.  The market reacted because Geitner’s proposals had no substance.  He was saying to the bankers and brokers that “most oranges are round.”  The fact that he is a Democrat does not excuse him from my allegation of mental dwarfism.

In my lifetime as a union executive and as a representative of the AT&T Company, I suspect that I have made somewhere around 400 speeches.  Nearly all of them were delivered largely without notes because that is the way the attention of your audience is grabbed and hung onto.  Never, ever did I read a speech because the audience would say, “If you give me that stupid speech, I can read it for myself.”  The point here is that Geitner read his speech, which was thoroughly unconvincing as witnessed by the market plunge of nearly 400 points.

Geitner is the fellow who failed to pay some of his taxes in spite of his high position as a Treasury secretary, and the contrast between Geitner and Barack Obama, when it comes to explaining things, is obviously apparent.  If I may be presumptuous, it would be to say that Barack Obama would do well to relieve Geitner of his responsibility and look for a better Secretary, particularly one who can explain things without reading a speech and putting his audience not only to sleep but to a sleep that invites financial nightmares.

Now, there’s a second category here of mental dwarfism in our Senate and House of Representatives.  Barack Obama has proposed a series of steps to try to get us out of the hole that George Bush and Dick Cheney have put us into.  Let me be clear again and again.  This is not Barack Obama’s mess.  It is the mess left by the George Bush administration, during which Bush started a war in Iraq and engaged in profligate spending that knew no end.

But the Republicans have responded with dwarfism at every turn.  If you listen to their response to what Mr. Obama has proposed, it is that they are whimpering and saying, “But he could have given us more tax cuts” and “I just don’t understand how all of this is going to work exactly.”  The point is that nobody understands just how the bailout will work, but the proposal of the Republicans seems essentially to do nothing.

If anyone can make sense out of the comments of Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Senator from Texas; Lindsay Graham, the Senator from South Carolina; Jon Cornyn, the Senator from Texas; James Inhofe and Tom Coburn from Oklahoma; Bob Corker from Tennessee; and John Ensign from Nevada, America would love to hear it.  Ever since Barack Obama’s plan was offered, there have been great blatherings from these eight Senators that amount to nothing more than whining with a thought that maybe there should be more tax cuts and that’s about it.  The fact is that John McCain has not bothered to cover himself with glory during this period either.  He has demonstrated the erratic behavior that took place during the final phases of the Bush administration when he came to Washington to attend a meeting on economic matters and said not a word.  McCain finished nearly last in his class at the Naval Academy, and I will tell you now that it is clear why that happened.  The man is not a very bright person.  He is dull, dull, dull and is gifted with mental dwarfism.

The members of our House of Representatives literally exude dwarfism on the Republican and the Democratic side.  There is Johnny Isaacson from Georgia who introduced a measure into the bailout package which he then promptly voted against.  There is another Representative from Texas, a Republican, who has told us that the Republican Party should become insurgent and should copy the methods of the Taliban.  Is there a better definition of mental dwarfism than this?

The basic problem, at heart, is that the Republican legislators as well as imbeciles such as Rush Limbaugh are determined to destroy the Obama administration with the thought that eventually they will return to power.  May I say this from the bottom of my heart?  Anyone who puts a party ahead of country deserves to be called nothing less than a traitor.  Mental dwarfism is no excuse for the desire to undermine the Obama administration as it attempts to untangle America’s great national crisis.

Barack Obama has gone to great lengths to reach across the aisle and bring Republicans with him.  Three members of his Cabinet are now Republicans.  He has extended every effort to include them in the package that he has put together in an effort to bail us out of this tremendous crisis.  And yet what we have here are votes completely against Obama, as in the case of the House of Representatives, and in the Senate, only three Republicans have crossed over to vote with Obama.  If I may say so, it is high time that Obama knocked some people flat on their behinds.

Changing subjects, one final thought about mental dwarfism might have to do with Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankee infielder.  Rodriguez is being paid $30 million per year under his current contract which lasts for ten years.  Most baseball observers will agree that Rodriguez is perhaps the most gifted baseball player on the current major league rosters.  Yet a few years back, when he was 27 or thereabouts, Rodriguez says that he committed a foolish act which came about because he was naïve.  The fact of the matter is that after years of declining to take responsibility for taking a banned substance, Rodriguez was forced to concede the truth of the allegations against him after a reporter for Sports Illustrated wrote a story recently.

At age 27, I was in full control of my faculties and hardly would have committed a “naïve act,” as Rodriguez says, by taking a banned substance.  Now, he asks for our forgiveness while he collects $30 million per year to play the game of baseball.  I do not have a vote on the Committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame but if I did, Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, and the others who took banned substances would not ever get my vote.

As you can see, this essay has been dictated while your old essayist is in an angry mood.  Your essayist is in the 87th year of his lifetime, and has seen plenty of issues that cry out for intelligent response.  I know that this is a democracy and there must be room made for some legislators who are dimwits.  If I may say so, we have more than our share of dimwits in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.  I can tell you at this stage that I do not know how we are going to recover.  But I do know that Barack Obama has gathered the best brains of the American democracy and has put them to work on it.  If it fails, we will all be the poorer.  If it succeeds, we will be richer.  But at this stage of the game, there is no room for mental dwarfism, nor is there room for putting party ahead of country.

Putting party ahead of country is nothing less than a case of treason.

 

E. E. CARR

February 11, 2009

Essay 364

~~~

Kevin’s commentary: Oh God, the more things change the more they stay the same. This essay is being published on 10/20/13, right after the Tea Party Republicans finished holding our government hostage for two weeks.  They spew crazy bullshit and make erratic demands and basically just throw hissy fits on the floor of the House. It is no way to run a Government and shows that our elected representatives have not progressed a damn in four years.

The only thing different here — and I think this would surprise Pop from 2009 — is that Obama held strong. He grew some balls and said that he wouldn’t negotiate with hostage takers and the Republicans finally caved, winning nothing.

I’d sure like to hear Pop’s reflections on this essay, and maybe he could even pen a new essay looking at the shutdown specifically.