It is another one of those times when a bunch of little things bounced at at me this week, starting with the President's deal with the Conservatives over those tax cuts for the rich.
I have to confess, that often I wish the Democratic Party was as focused and sure of themselves as the Republicans are. But, part of the nature, I think, of being open minded, is a wicked uncertainty about being sure about anything, ever. So, I guess that is hard to do, especially when one invariably sees both sides of an argument.
But, in listening to Obama, and his reasoning, I think he did the right thing in capitulating.
In agreeing to extend the cuts for a few years, Obama spared a lot of folks, for example, losing their unemployment, which over the short term is a much bigger potential problem.
Not to mention, as employees, we pay into Unemployment, just as we pay into Social Security. And, well, when one pays in, for insurance, and both are indeed identified accordingly, well, it is not an entitlement to collect. Any more than if one pays home owner's insurance and their house burns down, the owner gets to collect on that, too.
The President, though, was right in suggesting those people were being held hostage. He is also smart enough to recognize that he did not have the votes in the Senate to fight, and just trying to be practical and reasonable is not a bad path. For, as surely as the Repulicans seem to want to be obstructionists, the Democrats are just as contrary on this issue, and truly, those benefits, for people who need a steady income now and through the holidays, would have died.
We all said we wanted a different president and Washington when Obama was elected. And, as noted, many folks have been disappointed that Obama has "compromised" as many times as he has.
As I see it now, however, he is solving the problem, and that takes, for better or worse, give and take. And, he is also honest, like my favorite president, Jimmy Carter.
I fear now Obama with be, like Carter, a one-term President. Because, the reality is we don't really want to hear the truth or deal with reality. Americans are much, much, happier, pretending we are still the economic powerhouse of the world and that no change or adjustment is necessary to rectify this.
Obama, like Carter, could see the writing on the wall: that the world is changing and getting smaller, and countries like India and China, with undeveloped resources and many times the population of the United States, can more than compete. Not to mention, there is much to be said in simply being successful, as opposed to always having to be the richest guy on the block.
* * * * *
OK, just a few words to acknowledge the passing of Elizabeth Edwards, by all accounts just a wonderful, whip smart human being, who dealt with her fatal disease in a way that is very familiar. As I saw Edwards function through her illness, and deal with life's uncertainties and joys, her attitude reminded me a lot of my late wife, Cathy, who died from cancer in 2005.
Edwards noted that in the end she beat her disease as she got the word out about different ways to deal with cataclysmic illness.
Not to mention, she handled her husband's philandering with as much grace an applomb as is humanly possible.
I know the Westboro Baptist Church--those misquided folks who picket the funerals of American servicemen--are going to protest at the Ewards funeral because Edwards was guilty of "spewing blasphemy." The church also said "Elizabeth Edwards & her faithless husband, John, lightly esteemed what they had. They coveted things that were not theirs – and presumptuously thought they could control God."
This is from a group who, "The fundamentalist congregation hews to an extreme ideology that condemns homosexuality and believes that America's national misfortunes are a direct result of God's wrath for failing to condemn gays, Catholics, Jews, and others." (source, The Christian Science Monitor.)
Wow. Good thing God loves all of us. That means there might be hope for the members of the WBC.
* * * * *
While we are on the subject, I cannot believe it has been 30 since John Lennon--my always favorite Beatle--was killed.
I was indeed watching MNF when Howard Cosell gave the news that I probably would have liked to hear from just about anyone but. And, that this anniversary was also the week Cosell's compatriot, Dandy Don Meredith, who was a fine QB, great on MNF, and the basis for Mac Davis' wonderful character in North Dallas 40.
I miss not knowing what Lennon would have evolved into. And, I will miss the spirts of Meredith and Edwards no longer being on our planet. I hope the three of them can send some energy to heal all of us, even those in the WBC.
We can use it.