A Time for Leaders, Not Partisans

Discussion in 'Congress' started by The BKP, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. The BKP

    The BKP Grand Inquistor

    Jul 15, 2008
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    India and Turkey.

    As the dust cleared on Wall Street Monday after a breathtaking 777 point drop, an unsettling realization set in among the shell shocked survivors of the day’s carnage.

    In one day, the S&P 500 had lost 9 percent of its value.

    That’s roughly $1.2 trillion or the equivalent of the entire economy of India. Yes, you read that correctly. On Monday, American corporations and stockholders lost value equal to the economy of the second most populous country on Earth.

    And what triggered this calamitous event of geopolitical proportions, you ask?

    The failure of the House of Representatives to pass a bank bailout package that was a little more than half the cost of the day’s losses on Wall Street.

    After days of negotiations; the suspension of Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign; dire warnings of impending economic doom from the Bush administration – including a primetime nationally televised plea from the President himself –; glaring inaction punctuated by repeated alarmed declarations and offers to help should he be needed by Senator Barack Obama; anguished calls for bipartisanship and compromise; the House rejected the $700 billion package Monday on a vote of 228 to 205.

    The result - the largest single day loss on Wall Street in history.

    That begs the question – After so much handwringing, warnings of impending economic collapse, calls for bipartisanship and pledges to put country before party, how on Earth could this happen?

    As the economy and the hallowed American Middle Class teeter on the precipice’s edge, there is more than ample blame to go round.

    First, the President. At this point he must abandon his detached MBA leadership style and cryptic language, roll up his sleeves and provide bold and decisive leadership. He must explain the ramifications of inaction to the nation in clear, unambiguous terms everyone can understand.

    He must likewise tell Congress in no uncertain terms he will not allow them to adjourn to campaign to keep their jobs on our dime until a package is based. Period, end of story.

    The President has the constitutional power to call Congress back into session, particularly in emergency situations. I dare say this qualifies. If he needs to lock the leaders of Congress into a sealed, windowless room along with himself, so be it; if nothing else will inspire them to reach a passable compromise, surely that will.

    Next, both the Democratic and Republican Parties and their members in Congress are rudderless and lack any semblance of leadership. They have failed us – you, me, my grandmother, your father, our children and our fellow 300 million Americans – miserably.

    A pox on both their houses is too light a curse for the disdain that courses like molten lava through my veins.

    As the de facto leaders of their respective parties, Senators McCain and Obama have failed to take up the mantle of leadership even as they campaign for its crown.

    Leadership is more than glory and praise, Senators. It is risk, grit, determination, tenacity, commitment, lonesome, strenuous, sacrifice and often painful. While I understand Senator Obama may have no appreciation for many of these concepts, one would think they would be seared into Senator McCain’s very bones after bravely demonstrating them while enduring years of imprisonment and torture.

    You have been selected as your parties’ leaders in the hope of leading us all, Senators. This was not foisted upon you; you freely sought this honor of your volition. Man up, lead your parties and leave no question as to your quality and character; failing that, step aside.

    And finally, there is the Madame Speaker herself, Nancy Pelosi. Spitting her vitriolic partisan venom in the face of Republicans at the last minute before the House’s vote on the package, she bears personal responsibility for its failure. She has made a mockery of bipartisanship. Her use of the word is contemptible and blasphemous.

    Speaker Pelosi is the embodiment of the fact that by blindly embracing the dogma of partisanship, we have abandoned the virtues of patriotism. Truly we stand on the precipice of destruction. Not because of the guile or cunning of foe and adversary, but rather for having forgotten Lincoln’s admonition that a house divided cannot stand. When amity and genuine compromise for the good of the nation is considered heresy and worthy of disdain, where in God’s country is hope?

    A glimmer of it is found in the rebounding rally that surged across Wall Street Tuesday.

    Closing up 485 points, the Dow Jones Industrial average posted a 4.5 percent gain a day after it had experienced its largest single day loss in history. In the process it regained more than $600 billion in value; equivalent to the economy of Turkey.

    So, Mister President, Madame Speaker, Senators McCain and Obama, esteemed members of the House and Senate, there is hope in the heartland, if not in its Capitol. Hope that lifts the stock indexes of Wall Street and steels the resolve and will of Main Street. It is an indomitable force that has shattered the yolk of empire, saved the flame of freedom from extinguishment, freed millions, inspired billions and placed men from one nation alone on the moon.

    But be warned. Left unharnessed, unfocused, rudderless and without leadership it is ephemeral and fleeting as quicksilver. The American people will march to the gates of Hell and storm them in short order, but they need leadership to do it or any other feat of circumstance and significance.

    Regardless of what tomorrow may hold, America looks to you for leadership today. It is the sacred trust and lonely responsibility you have sought and we have granted. The bell tolls now as the eyes of the nation look to you. Will you ignore it and choose partisanship over patriotism or will you answer its call and rise to President Kennedy’s challenge?

    Lest you forget, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.
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