Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On David Brooks' Editorial - Taking a Depression Seriously

Mr. Brooks, while on the whole, I am in agreement with your thoughts and sentiments regarding the pathetic, counter-productive, and toxic approach to this financial crisis that the Republican party has embraced, I have to say that your criticism of President Obama's pursuit of a social agenda in the midst of this financial crisis, I find fundamentally objectionable.

First of all, let's first recognize and acknowledge that this financial mess that we are now mired in is largely the direct result of misguided Republican policies and initiatives. Specifically, aggressive pursuit and endorsement of deregulation, in combination with Bush's profligate spending (and the Republican party's rubber-stamping of said spending), have all contributed mightily to our present financial crisis.

So, what you are essentially asking is that the newly elected Democratic majority, who have been patiently waiting for several decades to finally be in a position toexert its influence in the public arena, forgo its plans to address some of the obvious and glaring social inequities and political deficiencies that have resulted from years of a Republican-imposed perspective and political posture on social, economic, and environmental matters.

You are essentially asking us to sacrifice the one opportunity that we've finally earned to make a difference on the political stage in order to -- once again -- fix the problems that your party played an instrumental role in creating. Is that the gist of it, Mr. Brooks?

Well, let me be brief with my answer. "No!".

We are sick and tired of having to clean up the messes that your party leaves behind which only serves to inhibit our ability to pursue policies and social programs that benefit the greater majority. One can easily begin to think or suspect that these inherited deficits that your party seems to have a special and unique affinity for producing is actually nothing more than an effort on your party's part to make it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for the Democratic successors to implement a Democratic agenda.

So, you are asking us to sacrifice universal health care, and a much needed green technological revolution, so that we can exclusively focus all of our time, effort, and money on fixing an economy that you party left in tatters (after having inherited a surplus from us)?

And if we were to follow your advice, what guarantees will we have that we'll ever again be in a position to exert the considerable political power that we now enjoy (largely as a result of Republican greed and incompetence, I might add) in bringing about a much needed progressive, social agenda again?

The simple answer is that you can't guarantee it. So, in the absence of that guarantee, we've decided to walk and chew gum at the same time. It's really not that difficult if you are committed and resolute...sort of like your Republican party's single-minded commitment to obstructing anything and everything that the Democratic party pursues -- only in the case of the Democrats, it's for the public good and not for political power for political power's sake, alone.