Success and tenacity go hand in hand.
The U.S Senate passed the Economic Recovery Act of 2008 which used to be called the Bailout, proving that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Call it Bailout or a Recovery Act and it smells the same. To the supporters, it is a life raft to the drifting economy. To detractors it is a future burden to taxpayers and government spending out of control. Choose for yourself.
Or is there another possibility? Of course! They could have called it the Re-elect me CYA Act of 2008.
However, it provided some Senators with a wonderful opportunity for self-aggrandizement, falling all over themselves and each other before the TV cameras, to reassure us little citizens that we are lucky to have them steering the ship of state. You can’t help but wonder how 100 Senators can all be steering the same wheel. But in politics anything can happen.
Senators Reid, McConnell, and Dodd, to mention a few, hailed the bipartisan effort, congratulated each other, and took personal credit in the media love fest. There was so much backslapping that someone could have been hurt. Also encouraging was the return to Washington of Senators McCain and Obama to vote, thankfully sans “suspending my campaign” announcements. Kudos to you guys for doing your job! I wish all Americans the same level of recognition for simply showing up.
But again, the question rears its ugly head, why are they so excited about doing the job we sent them to Washington to do? How many times, in an election cycle have you heard the commitment to “break the deadlock of partisan politics and bring parties together” only to return to the same old thing once the election is done? So they act responsibly one time and expect congratulations for doing so. It’s like the boy who, having broken the cookie jar while stealing a cookie, confesses the theft, hoping no one will notice the broken jar, and expecting congratulations for his honesty.
It is clear that this is a serious situation. It is complicated. I don’t believe that any one has the perfect answer. But questions remain.
Where was the oversight that could have prevented this from happening? We have been mortgaging our economic future on house of cards and no one did anything to stop it. Big business and lobbyists were allowed to get their way against the best interests of most Americans, while politics prevailed over responsibility.
Why isn’t bipartisanship the rule of the day in Washington? We pay big money for our government and expect results. We want you to put the country first, work together and represent our best interests.
Why all the self-congratulations for doing the expected and appropriate? Most of us, seeing someone in need or in crisis will try to help. We do it without expecting recognition. We hear about heroic acts committed by anonymous people all the time. Someone stops along the highway to help a motorist change a flat tire. Someone clears snow from their neighbor’s driveway. Someone finds a wallet and contacts the owner to return it to them.
Most of us have jobs to do. We wake up in the morning and do them. If we’re lucky, the boss says “good job” once in awhile. Usually the paycheck is the only reward. Let’s stop all the hoopla when our elected officials do their job.