Sunday, December 25, 2011

With Friends Like These

I began this piece by looking up the alleged Eleventh Commandment,  the one about not speaking ill of fellow Republicans.

I read this on   Which by now should sound familiar to all those observing current events.

Its been a couple of days now since the latest compromise by House Leader John Boehner.  I got the word while running a couple errands, a radio host on one of the conservative national shows was breaking the news, running with the press conference, and then proceeding to denigrate the actions of the Speaker for reaching an agreement with the President on the pay roll tax cut extension.

The thoughts on radio programs, on TV, and in print would be so poignant and profound if those weren't the thoughts we hear each and every time from the word smiths when compromise was reached with this president.  As facts would have it, its been going on a lot longer than during this President's term. Since I can remember the titular leaders of the GOP have been pillaged and beaten by the national press over matters of politics far more often than the Democrats.

Two points aside.  One, I'm not espousing no scrutiny from the national press, I'm just now echoing the thought that there is a bias.  Scrutiny is well, bias needs to be weighed.

Two, rhetorically.  For the biased on the right, why doesn't the Eleventh Commandment apply to you?
Obviously the left has an Eleventh Commandment too.  Never spoken however, more devoutly lived.

Oh, to be sure, and I never used those three words more seriously, to be sure,  there is a leadership deficit in America.  I just don't see it as a deficiency in John Boehner when he compromises on any of these issues.  I see it as a deficiency in John Boehner when he can't grasp the correct tact to use so that when he does compromise its accepted as not a capitulation, but as a reasoned response to unreasonable leadership.

John Boehner's position wasn't a two month extension, it was a year extension.  What's more reasonable?  One year, two months, or nothing at all?  I'm going to allow for the opinion that nothing at all would be more certain for the markets than two months, but most Americans would likely take two months of tax cuts over none.  One year would be the most reasonable.  Obviously?  I guess not, 'cause someone in the White House thinks two months is ideal, and he got an awful lot of support for this idea.  He's also gets less scrutiny on this short term solution.

We do have bias in the media, as a result, truly, I only see what they let me see.  I don't have time or patience to listen to and watch C-SPAN to catch all the words and actions Mr. Boehner threw at this.  Did he say the words that I would want to hear and it just so happens the press didn't convey those words to me when I went looking?  I don't know.

That's part of the problem then too for Mr. Boehner.  While acknowledging he does have leadership weaknesses, and who hasn't, I reckon he has argued well enough for me at times, because he has argued well enough for me at times, that his one year plan is more reasonable than Obama's two month plan.  That problem is the press general isn't giving him the air time and gravitas as the President gets.  Part of that problem is contributed by his own right leaning air wave mavens.

For all the rhetoric that is heard about how stark the contrast is between the right choice and the left choice, when issues get decided, far to often the right pundits sound so much like the left in bashing the GOP leadership, that I've begun to tune them out all together, they aren't helping.

I'm not against scrutiny of Mr. Boehner, yet if we are going to engage in political battle by choosing sides and making careers out of it, as some have don't quite well with,  lets artfully, politely too, lay leadership failures at the feet of those who truly deserve it.

A President who promised so much and spends so much, as to be expected, on his programs and politics is the real amateur in this deal.  A two month extension is the leadership and dramatic change he professes to personify?  Is this where the smart money went in 2008?  I'd laugh if it wasn't so unprofound and less poignant.

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