SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK

 

            I assume, since the Presidential election was so close, that President Obama understands he doesn’t have anything that could be called a mandate for his next four years. What he has, in fact, is a nation more divided than Dolly Parton’s cleavage.

            (And yet, before the election was officially called, an Obama supporter said on network news that the President did, indeed, have a mandate.)

            (Wait, Dolly Parton? Should I use a more modern well-endowed celebrity? Snooki? That fat guy from Pawn Stars? How do I know they’re not both using push-ups?)

            (Why do I use parenthesis so often?)

            Maybe, then, he’ll listen to me, a person who according to internet questionnaires is a right leaning moderate. And those things are never wrong. So I’ve drawn up a list of questions that, I hope, will make the President think about the challenges we face, and how we can solve them using reason and common sense, rather than partisan politics.

            Stop laughing, he’ll listen.

            First of all, while ten years ago the greatest threat to our country was the war with extremists who hijacked the Muslim religion, that’s now fallen to second place. Third place, if you count Congress.

            Mr. President, what will you do about our crushing federal debt? Your Vice-President once suggested we could spend our way out of it. I do hope you keep him in his Hannibal Lector mask when he isn’t medicated. Spending your way out of debt is like trying to escape the Titanic by drilling a hole in the ship’s hull.

            (No, that’s not a partisan comment: If Joe Biden turned Republican, he’d just be the same moron with a bigger flag on his lapel.)

            Taxing your way out of this much debt is impossible. Not only that, it’s unfair to ask anyone – even rich people, who are clearly all evil for being rich – to pay more taxes without the government also making a real attempt to cut red ink. The word “unsustainable” was actually invented for this situation. What will you cut? How will you stand your ground when the special interest groups start screaming? When Congressmen start losing their pork-barrel vote getter projects, will you have a yardstick big enough to rap their frightened knuckles with?

            On a related note, what are you going to do about all the things the federal government does that aren’t allowed by our Constitution? Are you going to try to change the Law of the Land? Amend it? Ignore it? There are entire federal departments dedicated to areas that are the responsibilities and rights of the states, a myriad of things Washington should have never dipped its fingers into.

            If the states kept all that money and the bean counters in Washington had to go find a real job, would that not shrink government? And thus help control spending? And if you’re not going to go by the Constitution, why not just use it as paper for your little ankle biter to do his business on? (But enough about Joe Biden.)

            What are you going to do about illegal immigration? Canada hasn’t been too much trouble, but Mexico is getting more violent than an episode of Jerry Springer. People keep saying we can’t keep all drug runners and gangsters from crossing the border, but why don’t we at least keep most of them out? Why are we letting innocent people of many nations endanger their lives and become criminals in illegal border crossings? (Yes, when you commit a crime, that makes you a criminal. Kinda the definition.)

            If we need immigrants to do jobs citizens won’t do, why aren’t we making changes to our immigration policy and letting more people in legally? On a related note, if there are citizens who refuse to do jobs that are available, are we making sure they don’t get welfare or unemployment benefits?

            If we’re not going to even try, then why not just throw the border open, make Mexico the 51st state, and save money on INS agents? (Or the 52nd state, after Puerto Rico.)

            What are you doing to combat fraud, and make sure people don’t abuse federal benefits? The helpless should be helped, and the hopeless given hope; but honest people should not have to pay for dishonest people.

            (No, I don’t know a good way to tell between the two: Dude, you wanted the job.)

            Why do we have military bases in countries we defeated three quarters of a century ago? Tempting as it is, America cannot be isolationist in a modern world; still, I can’t help thinking World War II is pretty much over.

            On another related note, why are we sending money, arms, and even troops to countries where governments hate us? If they want us out of there, we should leave. If that leads to chaos, they asked for it. With our financial situation, we shouldn’t be getting involved unless it’s part of a coordinated effort by every nation, and they bring cookies. We have the power to be the world’s policeman, but we don’t have the money. Whether we have the right is a whole other debate.

            Back to our second most serious problem: How are you going to handle the threat of Muslim extremists? Despite your early efforts to make it seem otherwise, the war’s still on and they still want to kill us. Do we kill them first? (Congrats for offing some of them, by the way.) Try to convince moderate Islam and other governments to help fight? Try to reason with them? (And while we’re at it, hand feed rabid attack dogs?) Close off the borders, increase security, and wait for the next 9/11? Send them cute bunnies?

            What are you going to do to get government out of the way of private enterprise? How will you balance reasonable regulation against job-killing government intrusion? How will you protect individual liberties?

            And can you do something about reality television?

            These are the questions some people are asking, Mr. President. We wish the country good luck – and you good health.

            (And that’s worth a parenthesis.)

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Tags: era, mark, new, off, politics, slightly, the

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