by L.E. McCullough
© 2010 L.E. McCullough
Mr. & Ms. America
911 Amber Waves Lane
Dear Mom and Pop,
I know you’re awfully busy cleaning up after that last spell of bad weather the climate change deniers say shouldn’t have hit you, but the midterm elections are coming in a couple weeks and, folks, we need to talk.
You may have heard that many of our media pundits have issued their official Las Vegas betting line and bestowed generous odds predicting the Republican Party will win many seats in both the House and Senate, along with some governorships.
This is the same punditocracy that predicted the housing bubble would never burst and assured us democracy in Afghanistan would be even more popular than New Coke.
And it’s the same Republican Party that bankrupted the nation from 2001-2009 with a trillion-dollar made-up war in Iraq and gigantic tax cuts for the wealthy, turning President Clinton’s budget surplus into the biggest federal deficit in our history.
The same Republican Party that during the last two years has perversely resisted and sabotaged every effort President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have made to rebuild our economy and education system, salvage our environment and introduce rational healthcare for those of us who don’t commute to work in a golden parachute.
In fact, the situation our country is in right now is a lot like the time you rented the cottage out back to those third cousins of Aunt Myrtle who were only going to stay a couple weeks till they hooked up with the next carnival passing through… but stayed for eight years and trashed the daylights out of the place: running up bills on your credit card you won’t be able to pay off into the next century, ripping out flower beds and disrespecting the livestock, selling off the silverware and stealing every light bulb and light socket to boot.
Of course, you didn’t worry that the reconstruction crew couldn’t put everything back together in six months or even two years. You knew repairing that kind of foundation-up damage took time and needed to be done right. And with a little bit of common-sense planning and patience, you could make the cottage even nicer for when the grandkids visit.
We’ve got the same thing now in Washington, D.C. — only this time the deadbeats are still hanging around the woods, throwing rocks at the new windows and stealing copper pipe at night, doing everything they can to prevent President Obama and the Democrats from bringing the nation back from the unholy mess the Bush-Cheney clan made.
And sad to say, this Republican slowdown strategy seems to be working. From the day President Obama took office they have voted no to new jobs, no to improved roads and bridges, no to healthcare, no to securities and bank reform, no to education assistance, no to tax breaks for the middle class, no to safety regulations on coal mines and oil drilling — flatout no to anything that would benefit the working people of Everytown.
Ask any economist smart enough to spell E-N-R-O-N, and they’ll tell you we’d be a lot further into the recession recovery if these Republicans had had the courage to cooperate even the slightest.
And, folks, you ought to know the Republicans are getting plenty of help disrupting our government from your neighbors down in the swamp hollow, the billionaire Koch Brothers and their Tea Party medicine show. Those oil company country club boys have spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the last three decades to defeat every idea anyone’s come up with to make life better for Americans who aren’t as rich as they are.
They’ve shoveled more money to prop up their so-called “grass roots” Tea Party groups than all the hog slurry you spread in the south forty each spring. And while you end up with a nice sweet crop of peaches and pears, all that Tea Party patch turns out is sour grapes and poison ivy.
What’s truly amazing is the amount of progress we have made since rousting those bad tenants from the White House. In just 20 months President Obama has passed dozens of bills that created and saved millions of jobs including thousands of police, firefighter and teacher positions; eliminated wasteful government spending and limited lobbyist access; expanded workers’ legal protections and closed offshore tax havens for companies outsourcing American jobs; provided affordable, high-quality child care and health insurance to working families; cut taxes for 95% of America’s working families and extended unemployment benefits to those seeking work; put in place a solid financial and banking rescue plan and curbed credit card company abuses; offered home financing assistance and tax credits for families; increased student loans and science funding along with spending on roads, bridges and power plants across America.
The President’s leadership even helped reverse a deadly downward spiral of the stock market. On January 19, 2009, the last day of the Bush-Cheney term, the Dow closed at 8,218.22. As I’m writing now, the Dow stands at 11,062.78 — a 35% increase in net worth that certainly helps your mutual funds and retirement accounts.
Oh, and President Obama also stopped the use of torture so we Americans can hold up our heads with pride once again when we talk about democracy and freedom and justice. You know, the things we tell the world that make us special.
Yet all we’re hearing from the pundits and pollsters is that the American people will ignore these stellar achievements and vote back into the hen house the same clueless elephants who gave us the longest war, biggest deficit and the worst unemployment since Republican Herbert Hoover was President.
The American people can’t be that boot-scootin’ stupid, can we?
Folks, take a minute and consider this fact: the Republican Party has proven over and over that its only skill in government is in making government not work for anybody but the very rich and the deliriously intolerant.
You wouldn’t trust John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and their Tea Party mud-slingers to count your morning egg hatch. It’s beyond belief anybody would want them in charge of running Congress.
I guess that’s all the news for now. Tell Sam the Grocer that President Obama just got a Small Business Jobs and Credit Act bill passed that makes it easier for Sam and all the Main Street merchants to get community bank loans — a bill that got passed in spite of all but three House Republicans voting against it.
And tell the Jensens and the Mendozas that the President and Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid helped pass a new Veterans’ Benefits Act that will help out a lot when their son and daughter come back from serving overseas.
Help out a heckuva lot more than the “compassionate conservatism” snake oil the Republican Tea Partiers are peddling this Fall, wouldn’t you think?
Best wishes always from Hubbard,
Your Native Son in the Big City
p.s.: just to be safe, it might be a good idea to lay in extra firewood and canned vegetables this week; if these Republicans get hold of Congress in November, it’s going to be the coldest, starvingest winter since we lived in Hooverville.