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Archive for October, 2008

Answering That ‘Forwarded’ E-Mail: “The Democrats Didn’t Bring Change”

Monday, October 13th, 2008

You know how it goes. A friend who ‘forwards’ lots of e-mails sends you this one: “HERE IS THE CHANGE!,” which dumps all over the Democrats, saying they’ve done nothing since the won the majority in ‘06. Don’t groan and delete it. Copy all those who’ve been sent the ‘forwarded forward’ and start your answer this way:

Think about it.

Sure, the Democrats got control of both houses in ‘06. But they hold the Senate by one vote, and that one belongs to McCain’s best friend, Connecticut’s former Democrat Joe Lieberman [ MSNBC.com ]. It takes 60 votes to do anything in the Senate, which must approve anything passed by the House before it can go to the President [ C-SPAN ].

So the Republicans have blocked nearly everything the Democrats have tried to move forward [ New York Times ]. Besides, we have a Republican president who threatens to veto or does veto everything the Congress may manage to put together that could have brought change [ About.com ].

For six of the past eight years we have ‘enjoyed’ an administration and GOP Congress which deregulated nearly every sector of the economy they could [ Google News Archives ]. The party had complete control of all three branches of government. Recall that the GOP-appointed members of the Supreme Court put George W. Bush into office… not the voters [ US News ].

Recall that in 2004 John McCain did a complete 180 and decided to throw his lot with Bush, after working against him for his first four years. There are photos of McCain — who stood by the President all through the 2004 campaign — embracing Bush [ msn/MSNBC.com ], the very man who tried to crush McCain and his credibility in 2000 [ The Boston Globe ]. McCain threw his former ‘maverick’ principles aside and welded himself to the pro-war, anti-regulation Bush agenda [ The Hill (D.C. newspaper) ].

And what did that deregulatory atmosphere bring us?

Economic collapse, the root of which came from a cleverly composed amendment by a Republican U.S. Senator, Phil Gramm of Texas, who quietly slipped his ‘hands-off Wall Street’ amendment into a must-pass bill at the end of the 2000 session of Congress [ The Texas Observer ].

That one move allowed Wall Street executives to concoct and trade and re-trade to one another ‘instruments’ — not tangible products — that led to the creation of a virtual ‘house of cards,’ as one stock analyst wrote in an e-mail [ New York Times ] , that finally began to collapse, as the free-wheeling, shaky ARM mortgages began to re-set starting in 2006 [ The Heritage Foundation ], leading to the economic disaster we’re now experiencing.

The Phil Gramm who made that move is the same Phil Gramm who said we are in a ‘mental recession’ and ‘a nation of whiners,’ as people lost their homes and then their retirement savings, and finally their livelihoods, as the stock market wizards swooned toward catastrophe. The same Phil Gramm who was ‘officially’ — and presumably still unofficially — John McCain’s top economic adviser [ The Washington Times ].

So, the Dems barely have control of the Senate, giving the GOP virtual control over it. The Dems have the House, but anything they pass is halted in the evenly-divided, filibuster-prone Senate [ McClatchy Newspapers ].

The choice, though difficult for some to consider, is becoming clearer every day. The stakes are too high to put at the head of our government a former ‘maverick’ — who turned into a Bush advocate — and his ‘heart-away-from-the-presidency’ v.p. pick, who is clearly not up to the job of assuming the duties of the Presidency, should McCain have a heart attack or his cancer recur [ The Independent-U.K. ].

She said the other night that the Constitution is ‘flexible’ when it comes to the duties of the vice president, yet the words of the Constitution could not be more precise: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.” Article I, Section 3 [ The United States Constitution, Cornell University School of Law ]. That is the only reference in the Constitution to the vice president, other than his or her election. He or she shall be the President’s successor in the event of the President’s death or incapacitation [ 25th Amendment ], and shall be President of the Senate. Period. No ‘flexibility.’

Times are too desperate to cast a purely partisan eye on this election. We have spiraled down terribly over the past eight years, and particularly over the past four years. “Getting government off the backs” of business [ The Idaho Statesman ] led us to this stage. Government had to step in, we have been told by the current occupant of the White House [ Associated Press via MSNBC ], because the unregulated system he nurtured fell apart. A new executive with an entirely different point of view is called for.

And on January 20th — the date that’s brought us too many scoundrels and 28 years of unhinged, wealth-tilted presidencies [ Time magazine ] — he will raise his right hand, saying, as stipulated in Article II, Section 1 of The Constitution [ The Constitution, Library of Congress, 1789 image ], “I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”

And this time we’ll have a president who means it.

So, on November 4, get up out of your bed, go to your precinct, and, together -– all across this immense land — we’ll get our country back again.

God save this great nation.