Outrage seems to be the mood of the day, every day. Cable news networks are awash in stories of federal dollars flying out the window as anyone questioned about the distribution of said dollars points to the next guy and says, hey, it wasn't me. The President himself says in one breath that he'll take full responsibility for the economic recovery efforts as he then in the next sentence bemoans the mess he "inherited" from the previous years, as though it isn't a mess created by both parties. Perhaps he forgot that the Congress has been run by members of his own party since 2007. Perhaps he forgot he voted for much of this mess, as a U.S. Senator.
Both parties have created this mess. True, it began with the meltdown of the real estate market and mortgage financing with policies that trace back to the days of Jimmy Carter (Carter, again!) and the ramping up of lending policies insisted upon by the Clinton administration and continued on in the G.W. Bush administration - all in the name of minority home ownership - but both parties moved it along to the point we found ourselves in last fall.
The height of political theatrical fake outrage occurred when the man who came out of retirement to try and salvage the recovery of the AIG mess, for the sum of a token $1 per year compensation, was grilled like a piece of meat for a weekend pool party. Edward Liddy has been threatened and his family is in the sites of outraged Americans, too. Who will ever come forward voluntarily and try to help the country with treatment like he received from the House committee? The worst part was Barney Frank - a man directly involved in our economic collapse - as he demanded the names of those who have received bonuses. It was a very McCarthy - like moment. I thought Frank and his ilk didn't approve of such tactics. It was truly disgusting and scary, too. If Frank feels entitled to put at physical risk those receiving bonuses for the sake of a dramatic moment for the television cameras, who will he come after next?
The disgust and frustration of the American taxpayer is understandable. The Obama administration - when not complaining about inheriting the mess - has fumbled mightily. Tim Geithner was chosen to be Secretary of the Treasury though he was an integral part of the original taxpayer bailout in October, 2008 - and he is a tax cheat now heading up the IRS. Now he is having trouble finding deputies to serve in his department. Why can't they find capable people who are not afraid of the vetting process? Is there no one left from the world of economics who pays their personal tax burden?
Outrage is the mood of the day, every day, with verbal gaffes from both sides of the aisle, too. Senator Chuck Grassley, (R-IA) demanded executives bow deeply, apologize and resign, or commit suicide. President Obama compares the economy to suicide bombers - it's blowing up and has to be stopped. President Obama compares his bowling game to that of someone in Special Olympics. Many are offended by all of these statements. Those of us who have been personally affected by suicide within our own families, people who feel Obama doesn't take the war on terror seriously enough, parents of special needs children all have a reason to flinch.
There comes a point, however, when we all just have to take a breath. Times are tough. Everyone is feeling the stress. People are on edge and nerves are on the raw side. Political correctness continues to wreck havoc on normal conversation. We are all a bit too sensitive. Do people really think any of these statements were intentionally uttered to hurt someone else? We are all just human beings, no more, no less.
Yes, I think there remains a glaring double standard of what a conservative can say and what a liberal can say with predictable outcomes. That has been the truth forever. Life goes on.
Daily, nonstop wailing over remarks are not helpful. It's time we all just step back and breath.