Weekly Update (9/1-9/7/12)

Several things came to mind this last week that I want to address.  Speaking with a right leaning moderate last weekend on the eve of the Hy-Vee Triathlon, it was opined that Obama is very similar to Jimmy Carter in that he is a really nice guy, but nobody will work with him.  I had to wonder right away why this is a reason to vote against Obama, and not against everyone that refused to work against him.  There are extreme obstructionist Republican politicians that the American people should be concentrating on ousting from their House seat.

Reflecting on the RNC that closed last week with Mitt’s acceptance, and seeing a lot of footage of many of the speakers, I noticed a “We built that” or a “We did build that” theme going on. This is in response to the president’s remarks at a campaign event in Roanoke, VI.  I will admit that his choice of words at that particular time was not the most eloquent way he could have conveyed his point.  While giving his speech, I think Obama knew that what had just come out of his mouth didn’t sound the best, and came right back with something much better.  Here is a transcript of his speech with my emphasis added.

” If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
     The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires. “
The bold print above wasn’t part of a correction that he made in an interview later after trying to explain what he meant.  This came instantly after.  Yet the entire Republican convention and a lot of their campaign is built on what he spoke three sentences before the one in bold.  To my knowledge, Mitt Romney hasn’t yet come out and said anything to take back his “Corporations are people” statement.  Todd Akin only came back from his “legitimate rape” comment to say he meant “forcible rape.”  Sorry, Todd, but that really isn’t that much better.  

Some final thoughts of the week came with the question “Are you better off now then you were four years ago?”  This was a tough question for Democrats to answer at first as it created a little stumbling block.  However, I did like the analogy that Timothy Noah gave in his article for the New Republic: “It’s like asking a firefighter who has just extinguished a fire whether the house is in better shape than when he got there.”  If one were to use only the “misery index” that Reagan created for Carter in 1980, then the answer is no.  So, obviously, this index will be what is used by Republicans to answer their resounding, “NO!”

If one actually thinks about (or reads about) what was actually going on at the end of 2008 and compares that to right now, the answer becomes VERY CLEAR.  Nobody wants to go back to a time when we were in collapse.  Paul Brandus gives some great points on why we would not want to go back to four years ago in his piece for The Week.  He says there, “Job growth nearly four years into the Obama presidency is still lousy, mediocre, tepid, weak — pick your derisive adjective. But isn’t it better than the bloodletting of 2008 and early 2009?”

I do not believe a complete switching of administrations in the White House is what this country needs right now.  I do not believe Mitt Romney or any administration he builds could do better or more efficient work that the current one.  I do believe that Obama can do better work than he has in his previous four years.  I am a left leaning fiscal moderate.  Since I am a social liberal and absolutely despise social conservatism and wish it would get squashed and die, my choice for president is easy.  I believe in Obama.


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