Enough Is Enough

I would respectfully like for everyone on Capitol Hill to shut the $%&! up already.

If you’re a regular reader, you know I actually really like politics. That said, this whole debt ceiling debate has driven me to the brink of showing up on the steps of the Capitol and throwing shoes at the doors. Really hard.

Let’s establish something right away: none of you people in Congress have any idea how to fix the economy. You don’t. Nobody does. It’s an indescribably huge and complex beast that nobody can decode. It’s an animal of its own creation, and none of you knows what to do to get it back where you want it. So stop acting like you know, and stop acting like it’s as simple as doing what you want, if only the other side wasn’t so petulant. Just stop it.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me say this to you: you are annoying the crap out of me, and I’m one of the few people who isn’t continually disgusted by everything you do. If you’re losing me, you’re losing everybody. I know you don’t know who I am, but I should matter to you for a few reasons:

  • As previously mentioned, I actually like politics.
  • I’m old enough to know a substantial amount of history and young enough to still have lots of elections left in me.
  • I’m a woman.
  • I’m a registered independent.
  • I’m well-informed.
  • I give a damn.
  • I’ve got chutzpah (pronounced recently by Rep. Michele Bachmann with every bit of the C… oy vey). Which means I am completely capable of calling you on your BS. Not because I’m smarter than other people, but because, as my parents can tell you, I have zero problem speaking truth to power. Zero.

I was away from these shenanigans for ten days – four of them on the Mickey Boat and the rest by self-imposed news exile – and when I came back, I swear to Buddha, not a single thing had changed in this debate. Not a thing.

You’re all a bunch of feckless punks.

Alright, maybe not all of you. Maybe just the ones who keep showing up on television.

My job requires me to be well-informed (except when I’m on vacation). So I’ll grant that I might be more up on what’s been going on than the average American. It’s not that I’m better or smarter; it’s just that I have to be informed. So I realize, Mr. President and Mr. Speaker, that you probably weren’t talking to me when you carved out 30 minutes of time on every network Monday night. But let me talk to you for a minute, ‘kay?

KNOCK IT OFF.

This is crap. You go on television in prime time, which was a time during which people used to have metaphorical or actual coronaries if the president broke in because clearly it meant lives were at stake in some immediate fashion… and you spend that time, essentially, spouting absolutely not one new piece of information. Not. ONE. These prime time, East Room appearances used to be for announcements. Major announcements. Wars. Resignations. Deaths of global significance. That’s what they’re supposed to be for.

Instead, Monday night, you gave the American people, who are already sick of seeing your faces and hearing your voices, what amounts to 30 minutes of campaign ads.

This makes me furious. I’m not kidding; I’m angry, and that rarely happens when it comes to politics. Usually I’m bemused at worst, because I find the machinations so eye-rollingly predictable, and I tend to make a poli-sci wonkish game out of predicting what you’ll do. But frankly, even with my incredibly high level of cynicism, I never thought you people would push it this far.

You’re all idiots, you know that? Are you trying to piss everybody off?

And yes, Mr. President, I’m talking to you right now just as much as I’m talking to anybody on the Republican side that irritates me far more often. Because you took Monday night as an opportunity to condescend to the American people. It was the first time I’ve seen you behave in a manner not above the fray. I have no problem, sir, with you holding meetings with the leadership and trying to get people to do what you want them to do; you’re the president- that’s how it works. I have no problem with you acting like you’re above them, because by virtue of your office, you are, and those who don’t respect it should go home. I respect that your position is always a difficult one, even on the easiest jobs. I understand that you are the leader of your party and sometimes that means you have to poke everybody and get them in line. But do not, sir, talk down to me. The debt ceiling is not that simple. I know it. You know it.

As for you, Mr. Speaker: most of the time I try to give you the benefit of the doubt. Despite the ridiculous rancor that permeates every freaking thing that comes up on the Hill these days, and the fact that I blame the Republicans for about 80% of it, I think you’re probably a good guy and you want to get things done, but you’re held hostage to some degree by some wackaloons who don’t understand how the world works. And I admire that you are respectful enough of them that you don’t call them out. However, I am not seeing much respect from you, in a public forum, for the Office of the President. You don’t have to like the man holding that office right now. But you are not a patriot, sir, if you do not respect the Office, and neither are your colleagues. You come across as arrogant and difficult and immovable, and sir, that will not get you re-elected at this point, and having several members of your party declare that their mission is to make Mr. Obama a one-term president will not get you re-elected, either, because it misses the point and looks to all the world like you’re just schoolyard bullies. And I will tell you right now, Mr. Speaker, that your party is the one that has not given an inch. And the American people do not take kindly to suits who walk out of meetings.

There is a point at which digging in your heels and insisting that you, and you alone, are standing up for what the American people want becomes less heroic and more arbitrarily, unproductively contrarian.

So I would like to propose this to you, sirs:

Stop talking.

Do not go on television or the radio, do not give quotes to newspapers or magazines or blogs, until you get. This. Done.

Stop inflaming the rhetoric and stop, for God’s sake, using the phrase “kicking the can down the road.” I honestly don’t even care if it’s an accurate metaphor at this point – it’s tired. Get over the talking points and get the job done. And listen well to this point: I’m not some cute, quaint girl who acts on emotion and doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I love this country and I respect your offices and the work you do. I do not in any way respect the way you’re doing it.

As for my fellow Americans, I have a few messages for you as well.

You know how we got into this mess? You’re not innocent. Stop believing that you are entitled to more than what you need. That goes for houses, cars, income levels, new-every-two smartphones, material goods, food, fuel, energy, designer coffee and everything else you’re hogging. You’re shameless, greedy gluttons. You always want more, or better, or bigger, and you expect your government to make it easy to get it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting something rewarding or reflective of how hard you’ve worked. That’s the American Dream, and it should stay. But the American Dream that was once about owning one’s own home is now about owning one’s own home that’s at least 50% larger than what one needs, with a three-car garage and at least one luxury SUV, financed 103% and oh, by the way, brand new. So much of what you do now is about status and impressions. Get over yourselves. Your selfishness contributed mightily to this. Maybe somebody sold you a false bill of goods, but baby, you bought it, and it’s time to come to Jesus.

Now. This next message might be difficult to hear, but I’m going to say it because I believe it’s true: You need to get informed and stay that way. I know you’re sick of hearing stuff, but trust me, I’d wager dollars to doughnuts that I hear far more of it than you do, so there’s room for you to max out a little. It’s not that hard.  You have more information at your fingertips than any of your ancestors ever did. You do not get to live your life oblivious to the decisions that are being made and expect there to be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You do not get to use the excuse that you need to focus on your children and don’t have time for the things you deem unessential to your livelihood and theirs. Wake up. Teach your children well by knowing that there are 537 people in Washington, DC (I’m counting the president and vice-president, and not counting the cabinet) who are making decisions that will affect their lives. Taxes, tuition, interest rates, international affairs, education policies. It’s all related. It matters. Get on it.

Next: vote. No excuses. Get informed, and get to the voting booth. Do it. This country asks nothing from you. Pay your taxes and be a decent human being and you get to live here without going to jail. Everything else is up to you. Most of my readers had mothers or grandmothers born in a time when women were not allowed to vote. We all have an immediate connection to a time when African-Americans were not allowed to vote. They had to fight for the right you throw away. We’ve got thousands of kids fighting three conflicts on the other side of the world right now, and exactly what effect has it had on your life? Unless you’re related to one of them: not a single thing. Step up.

Now: when you’re informed, and you vote, do not vote for any person who represents you if he or she has spent any time trying to blame the other side for something he or she should just shut up and fix. The only way politicians learn lessons is through elections. Congressional representatives are elected every two years. Senators every six. (Yes, six.) Presidents every four. They work for you, but if you’re a lazy, bad boss, you can’t expect them to do anything.

It’s everyone’s fault, and it’s everyone’s job. Shut up and get to work.

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31 thoughts on “Enough Is Enough

      • You’re quite welcome! As for being back, I didn’t go anywhere, but I don’t blog or comment nearly as often as I should. I’ve been reading/appreciating all of yours from the shadows, though. This is one of the best things I’ve ever read, and I suspect you’ll be going viral. Several people have commented and/or reposted subsequent to my sharing it on Facebook, and I’m betting there are lots of other subscribers who shared it and are seeing similar comments. If you have a Facebook profile that maintains your anonymity, feel free to friend me. If you don’t, you should get one! I know other anonymous bloggers who’ve created FB/Twitter profiles to expand their readership, without giving themselves away. Regardless, keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, Dan Bain, for sharing this. I plan to blast it as reflecting my own sentiments 100 percent. I’m a native Washingtonian, weaned on the political machine, and have been wretching through all of this. Reading your piece was therapeutic for me; I hope writing it was for you. Thank you, Single Cell.

      • I’m glad you liked what you read. I guess it was a little therapeutic to write! I have such a long fuse for politics that when the prime time stuff pushed me over the edge, I knew that meant something. Thanks for the visit and the comment!

  1. Well written and very entertaining and although I mirror your sentiments regarding the futility of the political machine I also must respectfully disagree with your assertion about 80% of the problem being Republican based. I think it could be more evenly divided and I would submit that for many previous years the congress was a Democratic majority and did little to repair or change the direction of massive over spending that our politicians now so enjoy.

  2. I’m an Australian, and I’ve grown frustrated and tired with the ongoing dialogue I see on my news every morning, and evening about the US financial Situation.

    I, also have been in a position that requires me to be very well informed about the politicial climate (here in Australia typically) and I usually enjoy watching as things work out, and fundamentally decisions are made, changed, or dropped in the interests of the public. – This process sometimes takes longer than others.

    Before I make this statement – I KNOW having an opposition is the way it all works – HOWEVER… there comes a point – especially with problems that are so insummountably complex, that there is a real need to pull together.

    No ONE person has the answers, and rather than spending (and WASTING) whats left of Obama’s term trying to ensure he doesnt get re-elected, – and him trying to make sure he does, it would be wonderful (essential) to PUT some effort into doing SOMETHING about the situation at hand – a SITUATION that has not resulted from ONE mans time in office.

    • G’day Miss Louella! Where you been? You are so right! Most Americans are up to — here — with the constantly running for office instead of doing their jobs. It’s a cliched way to put it, and I hate that, but it’s true! Thanks for your perspective!

      • Our Prime Minister – who I really have a lot of respect for and admire, recently went back on an election promise, and decided to implement a Carbon Tax.

        I have been disappointed about the ongoing banter of back and forth I keep hearing in the media between her and the opposition leader.

        I understand, and I think most people who are reasonable understand that sometimes, courses of actions need to change, because new information comes to hand or the circumstances change and it is in the best interests of the nation to do so.

        I wish someone would just say that.

        “Yes, in September 2010, the stance of our party on the [INSERT DETAILS HERE] issue were [INSERT STANCE HERE]. Since that time, the following information has come to hand [INSERT CIRCUMSTANCES THAT LED TO CHANGE]. For those reasons, our stance is now [INSERT CURRENT STANCE] , and it is so because we honestly believe that this course of action is now in the best interests of you, the Australian People.”

        Oh and.. *chuckles*… I have been about… just not as much time surfing through bloggies as I would like.

        Thanks for another good read.. 🙂

      • Agreed. Hoping for honest and informative positions from politicians is universal, I guess. I think those kinds of “changes of mind” do them in with the punditry and sometimes hurt them in elections (see also: Senator John Kerry: “I was for it before I was against it,” 2008.) Politicking becomes so inherent that they forget people can change their minds. I think most citizens can understand a rational argument to that end.

  3. Standing up and fist-pumping in the air in righteous support! (except for the conservative attack part – I’m with commenter Peter). You’re already elected, so stop campaigning and do your jobs, EVEN IF IT ISN’T ALWAYS POPULAR. Can’t we look across the sea at our Greek brethren and see our future if we don’t get together to get this spending under control?

    About the get out and vote part, I would stress your “get Informed” beforehand. If you’re not – stay home. Sorry, but I’ve had it with idiots who know nothing about the issues but slogans getting to drive our ship of state.

    • I love the fist-pump! And I respect your disagreement. And yes, I do think being informed is an important element of voting; I’m just tired of hearing people use being uninformed as their excuse not to vote. As I pointed out – it’s easier than ever to get informed.

    • Funny – I thought the same thing when I was writing. But truthfully, there are 535 people in the House and Senate and we see the same eight or 10 over and over. There may be plenty who aren’t placing blame, and we just don’t know it.

  4. I, also, am yelling a hearty and hail, AMEN. Very well put. Especially noting the part about people needing to be informed. I am sick to death of the blame game. It wasn’t just one party that did all the damage and not all of the other party were totally exempt of fault. This choosing one side like they would all be heros if only the other party weren’t holding them back is insane. Finding a way out of the mess is going to be complicated for sure. They need to get back to work, take your advice and shut the $%&! up.

  5. Good rant. The Dems & Reps go through their mummery, pretending to be enemies, following a script written by their bosses on Wall Street. Meanwhile, nothing of substance gets addressed.

    • Every once in a while I can really get one going. 🙂 I think they have a lot “of substance” to do, and no real idea of how to do it, in these cases. Sort of a perfect storm.

  6. Oh, yeah !!! Now I know where my curmudgeon went. You kidnapped him and you turned him political !! (Yikes, that’s five exclamation points).

    You probably know (maybe not) that we differ with respect to political leanings, but other than that, I’ll add my own bravo. Unfortunately, I reached the point where I lost respect for most of these guys long ago. I just don’t see any leadership anywhere, just talk (not even oration) and partisan preening. We elect people with few real qualifications based on soundbite campaigns, then … hello … we’re surprised when they aren’t up to the job. That’s why Bud’s Blog is apolitical. I agree with what you say but I’m afraid it does no good. Hopefully, the next election will offer something to restore my faith in the country I love.

    • I did not touch your curmudgeon, sir. But yes, I do know we differ, and that’s completely fine with me. I haven’t totally lost faith in our political system; I believe there are leaders and workers burrowed in the hallways of the office buildings on the Hill, trying to get good work done. They stay quiet, which is as it should be. Unfortunately, that leaves an echo chamber for those who do the politicking. I do agree about soundbite campaigns, though – wrote a post about it some months back. March, I think.

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  8. I think so often about Jefferson and Adams, life-long friends, who passionately disagreed about the best way to run the country. They left us letters and then died on the same day in the same year, July 4, 1826, leaving us a message. Preserve freedom.

    The two-party system was designed to do just that. The philosophies differ and that’s why they argue. They are supposed. However, I’m with you, enough is enough. Let’s solve the problems.

    But then the conundrum. They disagree because they are supposed to but instead of simply recognizing that and hammering it out the way they are supposed to, they start blaming and playing scare games and freaking everyone out and going on TV in primetime with their campaign ads.

    Then the media blames. And then the American public, who in large part is not well-informed, begins to blame and misunderstand.

    But discussion is good. Arguing is good. Hammering it out is good. Becoming informed and voting is good. Blaming is not good or productive.

    I disagree with you about the Republicans being 80% at fault. Like any marriage each side has 100 percent of the responsibility. As do the rest of us who are armchair politicians blaming someone for a philosophical difference they are supposed to have.

    If we didn’t have the two parties…as screwed up as it seems–we’d really be screwed. And Jefferson and Adams knew that. That’s why they left us a message.

    • Discussion and argument are absolutely good. It’s fine to disagree but it’s useless to stonewall. I’m happy to have two parties – it would be so boring with only one… even Jefferson and Adams were often bitter adversaries. But nobody back then ever thought things would come to this.

    • I tend to side with Washington on the two-party system: “It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”

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  10. Very well put.

    I didnt even mention (or go into detail) about Americans’ thought of entitlement. If my blog wasnt food and fitness themed, I could base an entire post on that alone!

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