Friday, February 27, 2009

The Have-Nots

I talk to my folks at least once a week, just to find out how they're doing, family news, etc. Of course, we usually end up talking about current affairs, and yesterday was no exception. When I was talking with Dad, after the requisite Notre Dame hoops discussion and a little talk of the "Octo-Mom" (Why does that always make me think of Doc Oc?) and her freaky lips, we ended up on the economy.

A lot of things with the economy and some of the criticisms of our new administration have been weighing on my mind lately, and it's always good to talk with Dad. There are some things that I don't think we'll ever agree on, and I usually end up saying, "You know I don't agree with you on that" and we move on. It's cool. In what was a major coup for me, yesterday Dad had to admit that President Clinton did some good things with welfare reform. *gasp* I know!

In watching the coverage of the C-PAC and various news stories, as well as things I've been reading on the Interwebs, what strikes me the most about the GOP and the conservative right is how incredibly cynical they've become. Whether it's that gasbag Limbaugh saying that he hopes Obama fails (and cut the spin, said it, and you meant it), Palin calling the Defenders of Wildlife a "fringe" group, or the continued denial of any culpability on their part for our current situation, the GOP seems like a bunch of grumpy old men.

I'm not unrealistic. As Dad and I were discussing yesterday, I realize that there will always be greed, and people who try to play the system. Even Dad agrees that a completely unfettered market is part of what got us into this mess and that there has to be some government oversight going forward. But while so many on the right seem to think the worst of humanity, I have always tried hard to see the best. It's not always easy, and there are times that I really have to work at it...but for the most part, I believe that if you raise the bar people will rise to meet and exceed it. I believe that the majority of people want to work; I believe that the majority of people love their country and want her to succeed; and I believe that the majority of people are willing to help their fellow citizens in a time of hardship.

Why is it so hard to believe that there are people out there that might have the greater good in mind and be willing to do their part, and more? And I believe they should. When Ken and I heard Mike Huckabee speak last fall, he spoke of his belief that a flat tax is what our country needs. That seems like a decent idea in theory, but it doesn't hold up because it ignores proportion. Look at it this way...say there's a flat tax of 25%. (I don't know the exact number that Huckabee proposes.) Someone making $2 million a year is going to have $1.5 million after taxes. The person making $20,000 a year will be left with $15,000. I don't know about you, but I could sure support a family a lot easier with one and a half mil than I could with $15 grand. The millionaire should pay more. That's not being penalized for working hard and being successful--it's realizing that you're in a better position than most and being willing to help your fellow citizens who are less fortunate. And for God's sake, you've still got one and half million in your bank account!

We have a long history of philanthropy in our country. Philanthropy doesn't need to be the domain of billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. We can all recognize that we are in dire straits in our country and if we are in the position to do so, we can do our part, even if it's a small one.

One final thing. Is it really necessary to ridicule President Obama's heritage and name by calling him things like Nobama and Obamessiah? Isn't that a tad bit junior high? Even as President Bush showed himself to be increasingly incompetent and dragged us all down into the quicksand with him, I still referred to him as President. (Although I have to admit that one of the funniest nicknames for him that I saw was The Evil Shrub.) Sorry, but if you keep calling our President "Obamalamadingdong" and continue to reference the "street monkeys" who voted for him, you've lost your non-racist cred with me.


  1. Not even 45 days in office yet, sorry, you cannot blame Obama for the situation we are in. It took us more than 8 years to get to this point, it will take us years to get out of it. There is no quick fix.

  2. Excellent post! I can't think of a thing to add except to say that I agree!

  3. I've often found those who screams how unrighteous and unfair are the ones who rarely bow to help another. It's a selfish world on some levels. Yet I've seen some decent good in people. For me coming from what I have to say's something. (Hugs)Indigo

  4. Hi Beth,
    Octo-Mom reminds me of a local "tragedy" that occurred in my neck of the woods this week: An Octopus -- called Flo -- figured out how to flood the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium by diverting one of the water tubes in her tank.

  5. You go girl! I hate hearing negative things about Obama after only in office for such a short time like Ken said.

    Wow, the burden on his shoulders are quite heavy.........but I have faith in him and his intellegence. I know in my heart he will do well and let the the others eat crow.

    Hugs, Rose

  6. I'm so sick and tired of hearing ALL the negative things about Obama too! The names I've heard are all childish - immature. I was never a fan of President Bush but he was ALWAYS President Bush to me.

    It's taken YEARS for us to get where we have gotten and it will take years to recover and hopefully people will give him that opportunity. Basically I can't argue anything you wrote. :-)

    As for Octo mom ... ::sigh:: Isn't her 15 minutes up yet?


  7. It's infuriating to hear the Republicans act like the economic meltdown just happened. Fortunately 2/3 of the public know that they are full of crap.

    Personally, I love how they all of the sudden think they will become the party of choice for minorities since Michael Steele is their new "leader." The most inherently racist political group in the world is now all of the sudden hip-hop.

    Or should it be changed to GIP-GOP?

  8. I like the picture with the sign in the window- WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.

  9. I am with you Beth and that is an excellent entry. One thing that really tics me off is CNN 's Anderson Copper kept call ing him Mr. Obama or Obama. I told Joe I was tempted to send an e-mail telling all of the commentaters that is very disrespectful. I think someoine did because all evening lasst night Cooper called him President.

  10. It's great that you have such a great relationship with your family, & that you can get advice & have discussions like that. Enjoy it while you can.

    Congratulations again on you & Ken's smoking cessation! Two & a half years!! Glad you two did - would like to have you guys around for a long, long time!

    The Evil Shrub???? I hadn't heard that one!!


  11. I agree "We are all in this together" even over here in the UK ~ Ally x

  12. The cartoon with the watermelons growing on the white house lawn just infuriated me. I just dont understand the constant need for the people who didn't like him to keep on with their shit, ya know?
    Yes, the times are scary...but I honestly believe he is an honest man, and has ALL of our best interests at heart. We are all in this why can't we all act like it?
    I just dont get it.

  13. Great thoughts, Beth. I find it funny that those who are so critical of Obama seem to forget the fact that he just arrived on the scene and isn't the one that got us here.

  14. I don't blame Obama for the financial crisis, I just think he's using it to push the country down a path of nationalization and foolish unchecked spending. We disagree, I know. It doesn't mean I'm wrong ;)

    But as for the name calling. . . I haven't called him anything because it doesn't interest me to do so, but the Left has no credibility on the issue. The number of insults, names, cartoons, and despicable comedy skits waged against Bush leave that door wiiiide open. Calling someone 'racist' for using his name as an insult doesn't hold water, although I presume you mean soley the 'street monkey' comment.



I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?