David Levine: Go Gridlock
Now that the State of the Union has been delivered, it’s time for all the usual suspects to start chiming in with all their predictable comments. The Republicans undoubtedly will call the President obtuse for refusing to heed the recent election as a call to rethink his policies, and his Democratic Party allies will line up behind him, cheering his tenacity in the face of an increasingly unforgiving opposition. But because that opposition now has a majority in Congress, virtually nothing that the President has proposed will ever see the light of day. So the State of the Union ends up being nothing but bluster and theater, containing vague, flowery ideas never having any chance of coming to fruition. Politics as usual as they say. Cynics might get angry at this exercise in futility, deeming it a colossal waste of time that serves to do nothing more than poignantly illustrate a broken political system in Washington.
The cynics may very well be right, but as things stand right now, we should be delighted that the President is spinning his wheels rather than driving our country deeper into the morass he has so artfully deepened over the last six years. Getting stuck in gridlock is actually not all that bad when you are on your way to committing suicide.
Never before has such an arrogant man occupied the oval office, so wrapped up in a vainglorious attempt to transform America into a statist society that is completely anathema to the nation established by our founding fathers. We have had self-important presidents, to be sure, but most have at some point recognized their errors and admitted to their imperfections. They have, at one time or another, been willing to change direction. Our forty-fourth President is unique. He lives in his own world, where what he thinks is always right. Why should he compromise when the other side is completely wrong? Always. His agenda is just what the country needs. Suggestions for altering it are unwarranted and unwelcome. Free college, more unpaid leave, middle class tax breaks, Super Bowl tickets for everyone. It all sounds magical. Obama always knows best. We can all get along and make the America great again. All we need to do is follow the leader.
The president’s farcical divorce from reality would be humorous were it not for the fact that it has had and continues to have tragic consequences. Our country and our planet have real problems that require real solutions from a leader who does not confabulate incessantly. Taxing the wealthy and wasting the proceeds on building government bureaucracies has been tried before, with little success. This administration has presided over some of the most spectacular federal blunders in recent history. From the NSA snooping scandal to Lois Lerner’s corrupt IRS, and from Fast and Furious to the VA’s stunning and lethal incompetence, few presidents in history have been better positioned to recognize that government is not the answer. But Obama refuses, because to Obama, government is always the answer. Even when proven wrong, the President will always be right. And if the electorate does not understand that, and overwhelmingly rejects the direction he has taken, well then, so be it.
The bad news is that this man and his minions of world class fools that include Joseph Biden and John Kerry will not only continue to collect their paychecks on the backs of hardworking Americans, but they will continue to take high-priced jaunts for legacy-securing photo ops with the rich, powerful and famous, while emboldening our enemies and distancing our allies. And their delusion will continue as they persevere in their quest to remake America against the better judgment of those they supposedly serve. But the good news is that there is hope on the horizon. Surely Obama can and will do more damage before his presidency is over. But 2017 is almost in view. That will be the year in which he rides off into the sunset to spend his time fictionalizing his presidential library, either by blaming anyone other than himself for the failures over which he has presided for the past eight years, or calling those failures successes still in progress.
Hopefully, our forty-fifth President will be a unifying visionary who has the skill to un-remake Obama’s America. Unfortunately, thanks to his or her predecessor, he or she will have no shortage of work.
So the games of 2015 have officially begun. The coming partisan rancor over budgets and treaties, policies and regulations will be neither unexpected nor unprecedented. But let’s not get too upset. With the current President as our driver, gridlock is something to be welcomed.