Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Week of "I Told You So's"

I've been told that people don't like the guy who says, "I told you so." Of course not. We live in a culture of ever-increasing zero accountability. People want to make bad decisions and they also want to avoid responsibility for the consequences of those decisions. What we need is a renaissance of "I told you so" and the requisite shame.

The Tea Party members of congress who refused to vote for this mangy dog of a debt deal could, if they wanted, say I told you so. Perhaps they won't. On their behalf, I will.

While they were being chided by all the "experts" who wanted them to close ranks with the rest of the Republicans and vote yes for the watered down compromise struck by Boehner, instead they held firm on their principles. Many said that their reasoning was this bill didn't go far enough to avert the impending credit downgrade and guess what, S&P just confirmed they were right. Standard & Poor's is telling all of us, "I told you so" or perhaps S&P just said, "Mr Obama, don't call our bluff."

What is really unforgivable about the way the pundits and political careerists acted is they all set aside their own logic to embrace this deal. They showed a willingness to violate the following principles that many of them espoused over the past two years.

  1. Q: When is it ever a good idea to respond to an Obama imposed, arbitrary deadline for legislative action? A: Never. -- I submit to you that the only thing that would have happened on August 3rd if we didn't pass some piece of debt limit legislation is that Obama would have looked like an even bigger $hit-heel having a birthday party with an unresolved, self-inflicted crisis.
  2. Weren't we supposed to have the chance to read all bills for five days before a vote? I believe the new Republican controlled House even made a commitment to this notion and proposed legislation or at least rules changes. And before they make the rationalization with themselves that this was a case of special circumstances; that a crisis was looming and time would not permit the nicety of a 5 day waiting period, see #1. Arbitrary, meaningless deadline and the clock was ticking months ago when they did the first debt limit extension in April.
  3. When did it become a good idea to write bills behind closed doors with Harry Reid or pass a bill so we could find out what was in the bill? The super committee selection process is a big mystery. Some were even speculating that non-elected persons could be members of the committee. Perhaps the rules are in there but see #2 and then tell me where it was posted for 5 days or even 2 days where any of us would have time to read it.
  4. When is it NOT a good idea to put automatic defense spending cuts on the table? I wasn't a General when I was in the Army but I am guessing that one of those times is probably when you are in the midst of an ongoing global war against terrorists and fighting intense conflicts with large military deployments in not 1, not 2 but 3 separate countries. This is tantamount to setting a deadline for troop withdrawals. Our enemies have to be giddily awaiting the trigger option to be pulled so they can launch new attacks when the Pentagon loses it's check book and has to budget their response to the threat matrix.
  5. When is it a conservative or even Republican (see definition of "republic" below) idea to cede, consolidate and fundamentally alter Constitutional power? The super committee in effect does all three of these. The Republicans who voted for this bill have essentially abdicated their authority and representative powers. If they are so willing to do so and so reluctant to govern, perhaps they should just leave political office.

So in this case, it's not even me saying, "I told you so." It is all of you pundits and politicians who should look yourselves in the mirror and say, "I told myself so . . . and I didn't listen."



a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.


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