I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. - Albert Schweitzer

The day will come when you will trust you more than you do now, and you will trust me more than you do now. And we can trust each other. ... I really do believe that we can all become better than we are. I know we can. But the price is enormous – and people are not yet willing to pay it. - James Baldwin

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Buyer' Remorse

When the Truth is found
To be lies
And all the Joy within you dies
Don't you want somebody to love
Don't you need somebody to love
You better find somebody to love
I have loved this president as I have loved no other in my lifetime. For a brief moment he helped me believe, as I believe still, that the cause and the power of ordinary citizens still has a place in this world, and for that I will always love him.

The Federal employee pay freeze announced yesterday by the President is sad news indeed. It is not just that it is a meaningless policy gesture, bad politics, and bad economics. Though it is but a minor set piece of petty political theater, there is a symbolism here which is unmistakable. It is the triumph of the big lie over rationality and hope:

Here we have Eric Cantor framing the issue:

“The YouCut [The Federal Employee Pay Freeze] proposal was one of many specific spending reductions offered by House Republicans over the past two years, and we are pleased that President Obama appears ready to join our efforts.
Here is the same Mr. Cantor in an unguarded moment of imbecilic candor several months earlier(emphasis added):

From WSJ FEBRUARY 4, 2010.

GOP Chases Wall Street Donors
Data Show Fund-Raisers Begin Capitalizing on Bankers' Regret Over Backing Obama

Last week, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio made a pitch to Democratic contributor James Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of J.P. Morgan, over dinner at a Capitol Hill restaurant, according to people familiar with the matter.

At the dinner, Mr. Boehner said congressional Republicans had stood up to Mr. Obama's efforts to curb pay and impose new regulations. The Republican leader also said he was disappointed many on Wall Street continue to donate their money to Democrats, according to the people.

A spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

 "I sense a lot of dissatisfaction and a lot of buyer's remorse on Wall Street," said Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.), the second-ranking House Republican and a top Wall Street fund-raiser for his party.
Buyer's remorse indeed. I want to cry.  Actually, no I don't.  I want to start kicking ass and taking names.

While I cannot blame Obama, I cannot pretend that I am not deeply disappointed. I still need someone to love. 150 years ago, as the war effort of the Union drifted sideways, Lincoln was heard to remark, “Give me a general who will fight”. Until we find such a general, we are on our own. When the power of bold speech surrenders on the field of action, the truth itself is left weak and wounded, stripped of its power. Only our faith can restore it.

I am thinking tonight of a different leader from another land and a different time, facing the full fury of the ultimate big lie:

4 June 1940

"I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty's Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation.

The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

1 comment:

  1. I didn't love BHO, but I'm disappointed, too, Peter, for many of the same reasons you are.