Monday, March 9, 2009

Some Good Ol’ Straight Talk

With the nation’s economy in flames, we finally have someone in the GOP who will be frank with us about the Republican Party’s priorities.

That person is Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina:
"We will lose on legislation. But we will win the message war every day, and every week, until November 2010," said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., an outspoken conservative who has participated on the GOP message teams. "Our goal is to bring down approval numbers for [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and for House Democrats. That will take repetition. This is a marathon, not a sprint."

Glad to know you guys have your priorities straight.

What did I just say yesterday about politicians worried more about the midterm elections than they worry about their constituents who are suffering?

You folks just don’t get it, do you?

I have friends--hard working people--who are calling the electric company begging them not to disconnect the power. These are people who do not have time for your games, Congressman. They need their elected representatives to work 24-seven on their behalf, trying to fix our economic mess. They are not interested in partisan poo-flinging.

No, they just don't get it.

McHenry and the other Congressional Republicans might live in a bubble but out here in the real world it's like someone has flipped a switch. Restaurants are suddenly empty; on a rainy Sunday afternoon, the movie theater in Nashville was dead. CostCo was a ghost town. People are staying home -- there’s a real fear out there, and it’s contagious. And all politicians want to do is bring down Nancy Pelosi’s poll numbers?

Meanwhile, here’s Chris Matthews on my TeeVee just now:

My problem with this administration is not its ideology but its inability to speak clearly. The inability of Geithner to say anything I can understand. The inability of Larry Summers to get out front and make it clear.

I think we need something on the order of Japanese painting. Strokes. Clear strokes that we can get. We can figure out. Not this weird kind of impressionism we’re supposed to figure out. I mean, tell me what you’re doing. You guys have been trying to explain what your positions are, they’re not exactly stark and clear. Roosevelt explained himself, Reagan explained himself, Kennedy did. "I’m gonna put a man on the moon," I get it! What are these guys doing?

Excuse me, who isn’t speaking clearly here? You want what kind of strokes?

I remember trying to discern the meaning behind some of Alan Greenspan’s oblique speeches. I think a Ouji board and crystal ball were required.

I don’t want strokes. I don’t want to be told that the fundamentals of the economy are strong or that everything will be okay if only we’d go shopping more. I don't want lies.

I don't want the national media to get engaged in some kind of weird kabuki theater designed to entertain, not inform. Today on NPR I heard a story about the sorry state of the National Mall, America’s “front yard.” The unspoken message was that the National Mall was so neglected, repair would involve far more than just “grass seed,” but would actually be a rather massive infrastructure project.

Wow. Because I could swear I just heard NPR talking about all of the “pork” in the stimulus bill, like $200 million for grass seed on the National Mall. Way to go, NPR.

Here’s what I want. I want President Obama to get on national television and reassure the American people that we’re not all gonna die of starvation with radishes clutched in our dirty palms. I want our hopey-changey president to tell us that he sees the light at the end of the tunnel, and I want him to rebuke those on the public stage who do not take our situation seriously.

I want him to tell us that he has a vision for America’s future, that he believes we’re going to make it through, that he has faith in us, and he's not going to stand by while a bunch of idiots in Congress and the media play games. I want him to remind us that America’s best trait is that her people can put aside their petty differences and work together when they need to, neighbor helping neighbor.

I think that would help, I really do.