Dear Mr. President:
To set the record straight from the get-go, I did vote for you – in the general election – but not in the primary. Truth be told, I was not happy when you won the Democratic primary. In fact, I was downright disappointed.
But I supported you. You were the party candidate. (And who else could I logically vote for? John McCain? *shudders*) Disappointed, I consoled myself with the knowledge that you are an intelligent, charismatic guy who came from middle-class stock. Being middle-class and mixed race, I know you knew what struggle is all about. It hasn’t always been easy and it seems that you genuinely care about people who come from backgrounds like yours as well as for those who were unfortunate enough to come from even less.
But what’s happened to the guy I cast my vote for in the past two years? Will we ever see him again? I know you’ve been set upon by all sides and, for the most part, I’ve sympathized with you. You inherited one hell of a mess and are faced with leading a nation who, in large part, quickly and easily deleted 2001-2008 from their memories. And, in doing so, conveniently forgot just who got us into this mess to begin with. It certainly was not you.
This tax debacle though? I have NO sympathy for you on that one. You should have been smart enough to see this coming. Everyone knew that these budget-crippling tax cuts were ending this year. Everyone. Several months ago, it might have been prudent to have started to rally the troops – long before the mid-term elections. Rally your troops, rally your base and push through the cuts as you wanted them. But this was not done.
Instead, in the weeks AFTER the mid-term, you go to the Republicans, hat in hand, and give them the keys to the kingdom. Nary a voice raised, much less a shot fired. WHAT THE HELL?!
I appreciate that you wanted to try bi-partisanship, that you wanted to not immediately give up on being able to bring everyone to the table and work together. I really do appreciate that. It’s definitely something they won’t do or even consider doing come January, so kudos to you for the effort. But pacifism, while preferable, is not always the best course.
What glimmer of hope could you possibly have interpreted from the Perennial Party of No? You tried that route for six months, a year, 18 months … and still you think you can compromise with them? Do you not see that that is completely irrational? There is no compromise with these people. Not when they’re the minority so how in the hell did you think it would be possible with them as THE MAJORITY?! How?! Did you really think that you’d strike a good agreement with them, then sit around back-slapping, smoking cigars and singing “Kumbayah?” Really?
Republicans don’t operate with democratic (small “d”) principles. How can they maintain that they do – when their interest is clearly in doing the most for the least – at the expense of the most? Was I the only person who heard them VOTE DOWN the tax cut extension for everyone making $250,000 a year or less – and then vote it down AGAIN when that threshold had been increased to $1million? If they’re so worried about a “down economy” and “reining in the deficit” how do you reconcile that with burdening people who don’t make salaries like those, or even close to them, while digging the hole a little deeper to fund lower taxes for people who don’t really need it? But now the game is truly afoot.
Now that some of the Democratic party is doing what it – and YOU, Mr. President – should have been doing a YEAR AGO. I wish that some of the anger that you’ve expressed toward them would be directed in the right direction for a change. (Maybe if you did, you’d have their support.) It’s still going to end badly. The Republicans aren’t going to renegotiate your white-flag arrangement now. And their aren’t enough Democrats with spines to make them. No. There are only two options. The deal will pass as you agreed to it, Mr. President.
Or the tax cuts will expire. This would make the Democrats look bad and the Republicans look just as bad, right? WRONG!
Because when they take over next month, that will be the first order of business: Extending the tax cuts for all. Heroes! *excuse me while I gag* That’s what they’ll declare themselves, all the while declaring you a tax-raising villain. What a great first order of business AND, as a bonus, what a great way to help nail down the self-proclaimed No. 1 item on their agenda: Making you a one-term president.
At this rate, it shouldn’t be hard.