So here I am posting on the blog when I should be doing something else. Like what? you ask. Well, like grading the 50 (out of 101) tests I have yet to grade, and which should be graded by tomorrow, but that’s just not going to happen. This will probably result in a violent and bloody revolt from my students, and the only thing that will keep them from taking my head and putting it on a spike is the fact that if they did that they wouldn’t get their results at all. So they will have to wait another week–bringing the grand total of how much time they have had to wait to three weeks, which in my opinion is not an unreasonable length of time to wait for test results, but then students are not always known for their reasonableness. Or if not grading papers, I could be working on finishing reading/editing a paper for a colleague that absolutely has to be done by tomorrow (it’s only twenty pages, but I also only got it on Friday). Or the third and final option is I could get back to work on my NANOWRIMO effort. Thus far I have 3,383 words of the 50,000 I need by the end of this month. Right now I am not even on track with the suggested word count. Oh well, I’ll just have to find some time, buckle down, and get to it.
And now onto the rant.
As you know, the United States had its mid-term election on Tuesday and the American people brought the republicans back. This is not necessarily shocking, but it is stunning. Sure, there is a lot of anger toward and distrust of the government right now (and leading up to the election) but it seems a tad bit asinine to re-elect a lot of the same people who helped orchestrate the current mess the country is in. True, all the blame cannot be placed upon the Republicans–the Democrats failed too, they didn’t show their spines and they buckled as they so often do under the unified front of the Republican party. Already we are seeing strong words and posturing from the GOP and its allies (though, in a refreshing note, the Tea Party has called out the Repubs at least a little bit).
On Tuesday, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority leader from Kentucky, said something to the effect that if the Republicans hope to accomplish anything, they will have to wait until the 2012 elections, and then only if Obama does not get re-elected. That’s right, the GOP now has a majority in the House of Representatives and they picked up seats in the Senate (and they’ve pretty much been calling the shots for the past two years with their mantra of No), but they are still powerless because of Obama.
And now Eric Cantor has come out in opposition to compromising with the Obama administration, unless of course, Obama compromises 100%. Well, Eric, a 100% compromise, is not a compromise. It is a victory for one side and a defeat for the other. The word compromise is defined thusly:
a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.
See the key words there, an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims. This means, that in order for something to be considered a compromise, both sides must be willing to give things up and move toward the middle, where hopefully a solution can be found. I know, it seems simple, and something that even a five-year old can grasp, but apparently Eric Cantor, a (supposedly) well-educated man doesn’t seem to grasp that simple concept.
He too is into the blame Obama game, as you will have read in that article, if you decided to click on the link at all. If you didn’t he says,
that any lack of progress in Congress — including a possible government shutdown — will be Obama’s fault.
“I would say, Chris, it’s as much as his responsibility,” said Cantor in response to a question from Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace about who will be to blame for a government shutdown or a default on the debt. “In fact, he is the one who sets the agenda as the chief executive and as the president of this country.”
Sure, Obama gets to set the agenda, and as the President of the United States of America he does have a lot of power, and if there were any correlation to setting the agenda and actually pushing that agenda through Cantor would have a point. However, it has become pretty clear that just because a President can set and agenda, it does not mean that the agenda will be realized. Apparently, and everyone forgot to tell the Democrats this, only a Republican president can set and pursue his agenda without listening to anyone because Obama sure as hell hasn’t been able to do most of what he wants to, thanks in large to the party of no’s obstructionism.
I do agree that Obama is part of the government and as such he does deserve some accountability, but not as much as the rest of the government. He is one man. Sure, he’s the president, but he’s still just one man, and he will need the help of both Democrats and Republicans (and independents and Tea Partiers) if the U.S. is going to get out of the hole BushCo finished digging for it.
Am I surprised that the GOP is taking such a hard-line stance and behaving like a party of spoiled brats who will cry and scream and flay their arms and legs about until they get their way? No, that is how they have been behaving since Obama was elected, and there is no reason to expect it to stop now. Am I disappointed that they are still behaving in such a way? Yes, very much so. It’s not that I was hoping that they would suddenly start playing nice once they won back the House (I knew that was too much to ask), but I was hoping that they would actually get down to the business of governing rather than just repeating the “It’s all Obama’s fault (as if the GOP is somehow separate from the political process and the act of governing their constituents) and if he wants to get anything done he will have to cave to our every demand, but we don’t have to give up shit” refrain we have been hearing from them for what seems like forever.
The silver lining to their attitude, though, is that if they continue to blame Obama without presenting any new or real ideas to help fix the problems facing the U.S. they won’t be there much longer, and maybe the next Congress (either Republican or Democrat) will finally start focusing on their job, governing the people, and not just politicking for them.
Is that too much to ask? Probably, but I ask anyway.