I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. When people ask me about my resolutions, I usually respond with “I am going to GAIN 20 lbs and START smoking.” Some years I actually achieve the first goal, though not really willing to pursue the latter one.
However, following the insipid, melodramatic, deceitful, sinfully-expensive, US presidential election that has segued into the resumption of partisan brinksmanship over a budget deal (or lack thereof), I have been mad a lot in the past few months. Thus, I am making a New Year’s resolution.
For 2013, I resolve to stay mad. Anybody else?
I get mad that people don’t get madder about things or that they don’t stay mad at some things. Currently I’m mad that not many people seem to be all that mad about the looming Fiscal Cliff.
The Fiscal Cliff is not only a synthetic crisis, it is a LEGISLATED synthetic crisis. The Budget Control Act was approved by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by our incumbent, and next, President. IN AUGUST…..2011.
Rather than specifically addressing any fiscal solutions at the time, the bill allowed for several months of kicking the can down the road. Primarily, so Congress and POTUS could campaign uninterrupted for three months.
Can I get a “WTF?”
After Election Day, the only thing that Congress could agree on was to continue its long-standing habit of short work weeks.
A Double-WTF? would be appropriate here.
I’m mad that people keep blaming the lawmakers for everything, without blaming the enablers of the environment in which lawmakers operate. Voters and non-voters (adults) need to start accepting their share of blame for allowing these do-nothing practices and the constant influx of corrupting influences.
Many of them— laws written by lobbyists, permanent campaign cycles, the filibuster–are not addressed in the Constitution, thus wouldn’t be all that difficult to reform. Though they won’t ever be reformed as long as enough people don’t stay mad enough.
And don’t get me started about the Electoral College and the primaries….
OK, I got myself started. Why is it acceptable that an incumbent president and other elected officals (those campaigning for/against the incumbent POTUS) can make multiple trips to Ohio, Florida etc. in a week, while resolution of a forthcoming budget crisis is put on a back burner (Nay, put in the freezer)?
Does your job allow you to travel across the country several times a month when your sole objective is to get your next job? Or to help your friends get a new job? Without knowing your profession, I can conclude that the answer is no. Yet, this is precisely the behavior we are enabling when we allow the POTUS, or a sitting Senator, to travel to upstate New York (New Mexico, Kansas), to campaign for a candidate there.
The root word of “president” is “preside.” The root of “representative” is “represent.” Why do these elected officials go off for days/weeks on the campaign trail instead of presiding and representing?
Because, they can. Because we, the people, have allowed them to do so for generations.
If enough people don’t get mad enough, and stay mad enough, these lawmakers will continue to be derelict in their duties. Forthcoming elections and budget standoff will make the recents ones seem civil in comparison.
The shrill ( or ALL CAPS on Internet commentary) calls to “Fire them all!” are silly. If we had voted out the president and unpalatable members of Congress in the last election, they’d still be in office today. They will be until next month. No election outcomes would have changed the current fiscal cliff follies.
I’m mad that people keep assigning blame solely to Republicans or solely to Democrats. Both parties brought us here. Republicans and Democrats are the same shit served with a different spoon.
The pendulous patterns of voting one party out and the other party in are pointless. Freshman Congressmen are just shiny new cogs in a broken machine. Until the machine is repaired, we are doomed to periodically voting out the Curlys and replacing them with Shemps.
My advice to voters/non-voters is this: take your share of the blame and stay mad.
If you disagree, then filibuster me.
See you on the other side.
January 2nd 2013 Update–-A “solution” has been reached by POTUS and Congress. Essentially the bill raises taxes without addressing spending cuts. Furthermore, it does nothing about the looming debt ceiling and delays any action on budget sequestration, (which would have required across-the-board budget cuts) for two months. Thus we’ve ensured that we’ll have another two or three similar budgetary goat rodeos in the Capitol in the coming months.
Essentially, after about 1.5 years of procrastination, and end-of-the-year that was completely contrived very little has been accomplished.
Are you staying mad?