Things started in September, with the mock-holiday created for 9/11.
I will probably be lambasted from now until next year for saying this, but I heard *one* person explain the idea of National Service Day in a way that made me really like the idea. Why? Because I remember being impressed by and proud of our country in the weeks following the attacks. Young, old, rich, poor -- everyone banded together to help those who needed it, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like maybe most Americans weren't as egocentric and self-absorbed as I thought they were. So the idea of creating a day in *that* spirit -- create a holiday to do good in the name of those that gave up their lives -- sounds better than just another holiday where people have the day off of work, and run errands or watch soap operas all day.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the news coverage I saw that day didn't mention 9/11 at ALL. They mentioned the service, but not the spirit behind it. If you didn't know, you wouldn't have been able to tell that it was the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, when more than three thousand people died.
Then there was 9/12. My mother sat glued to Fox News all day, watching the coverage of the march on Washington with glee. Thousands upon thousands of people stood on the mall, trying their best to show the government - who are, in theory at least, supposed to be representing the wants of the people they govern - that they strongly oppose the direction in which this country seems to be headed.
At one point, my mom wasn't paying attention to me and I stole the remote TV control from her and turned on the TV channel listings. "What are you doing?! I was watching that!!" she protested. "Hang on, I want to see something." I found what I was looking for - CNN, MSNBC, and whatever other news channels we get -- and flipped to each of them.
Not a SINGLE, SOLITARY CHANNEL -- other than Fox -- WAS SHOWING THE EVENTS IN WASHINGTON. Of course, Obama scheduled a press conference right in the middle of things, and most of them were carrying that instead. But there wasn't even a mention of the march in the marquee at the bottom! So then I went to the computer and looked up some of the news sites that are pretty generic -- CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo News, Google News, etc. -- only one of those entities (due to my rage at the time, I have completely forgotten which one) even MENTIONED the events in Washington, but there were no photos, it described the attendance as mostly rouge conservative organizations, and said that "tens of thousands of people were there."
I'm sorry, but there were a whole lot more people than that in D.C. that day. And the attendees weren't just from some lunatic fringe organization.
Then you have the ACORN scandal. There it was, the PERFECT opportunity to dig up some dirt on ACORN *and* Obama. But aside from some perfunctory reporting, there didn't seem to be much of anything - no in-depth stories, no investigations into Obama's ties to the group. Sure, Congress acted quickly to take ACORN off of the payroll - as it should have - but as far as the ties between the White House and Obama, you could have heard crickets chirping.
The worst came in December when Senator Nelson made his deal with the devil, and it looked like the bill for health care
It was about this time that I had to stop watching the news. The White House and their cohorts in Congress were pushing things through the legislative process like NFL linebackers, and when they couldn't do that, they resorted sleazy tactics like outright bribery, secret meetings, and rigged/strategically timed Congressional votes. When the people protested, it wasn't even reported correctly, much less acknowledged by anyone, but there wasn't anything that anyone could do about it. Now I know what New Yorkers felt like under Tammany Hall.
Until Scott Brown showed up. For the first time in almost a year, it appears that the country may not be going to hell in a handbasket after all -- or at least, we can slow it down.
It was clear from Obama's speech in Ohio on Friday that he has completely ignored any possible implications of the MA election:
So here's the good news: We've gotten pretty far down the road. But I've got to admit, we had a little bit of a buzz saw this week.
Now, I also know that part of the reason is, is that this process was so long and so drawn out -- this is just what happens in Congress. I mean, it's just an ugly process. You're running headlong into special interests, and armies of lobbyists, and partisan politics that's aimed at exploiting fears instead of getting things done. And then you've got ads that are scaring the bejesus out of everybody. (Laughter.) And the longer it take, the uglier it looks.
So I understand why people would say, boy, this is -- I'm not so sure about this -- even though they know that what they got isn't working. And I understand why, after the Massachusetts election, people in Washington were all in a tizzy, trying to figure out what this means for health reform, Republicans and Democrats; what does it mean for Obama? Is he weakened? Is he -- oh, how's he going to survive this? (Laughter.) That's what they do. (Laughter.)
But I want you -- I want you to understand, this is not about me. (Applause.) This is not about me. This is about you. This is not about me; this is about you. I didn't take this up to boost my poll numbers. You know the way to boost your poll numbers is not do anything. (Laughter.) That's how you do it. You don't offend anybody. I'd have real high poll numbers. All of Washington would be saying, "What a genius!" (Laughter.)
He is bound and determined to continue down his chosen path, regardless of what the American people actually want. His choice of words in that speech is nothing less than insulting. Buzz saw?! Is that what he is now calling a fair election?!?! (I suppose it didn't much resemble his presidential election, since ACORN wasn't there to help him out, so he might not know what a fair election is.) It's like someone came into the Oval Office and said, "Excuse the people of Massachusetts, Mr. President. They have no idea what's really good for them, but *you* do! They had all been given Bloody Marys spiked with LSD while they were in line to vote. Just ignore them!"
I hate to break it to you, Mr. President, but health care reform is not the only reason that your approval numbers are abysmal. As Austin Hill pointed out in his last post, health care reform is just one of many reasons that your popularity is not what it used to be. The "don't do anything and you won't offend anyone" turned out to be a fantastic strategy for Bill Clinton, so you may want to try it. I promise not to complain.
Part of me worries that the Democrats will see the writing on the wall and will try to "clean up their act" in order to prevent any further erosion of their numbers in the 2010 elections. The other part of me argues that this would require the Democrats to pay attention to what the voters want, and the idea of them doing so is laughable at best.
However, for now, it seems that it is safe to pull my head out of the sand and start watching again.
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