The twilight of the Bush administration is causing a bit of a problem for the congressional Democrats. Calls for the president-elect to 'step up' on issues like the economic policies forming now due to the bailout mentality that Washington has embraced sound a bit odd, don't they? While most Americans are watching the new administration form more than we are paying attention to the current one, what would the Democrat deranged have Mr. Obama do? He has no authority to do anything until January 20. If he did anything other than answer the occasional question from a reporter, if he issued continual policy ideas via press releases from his office in Chicago, he would be way out of line. He knows that. He rightly reminds that there is but one president at a time in this country.
Maybe the congressional Democrats really believe there is an 'office of the president-elect' like the fake seal says on Mr. Obama's podium. Perception. According to an advertising expert on television recently, the Obama people know the value of perception and theatrics.
It gets to be a bit much. Can you imagine the howls that would be heard if the shoe was on the other foot? What if the Congress was ruled by Republicans and an incoming Republican president-elect was waiting in the wings? I think the likes of Barney Franks and Chris Dodds, both of whom have recently demanded Mr. Obama to 'step up', would probably see the folly in such demands.
Times are difficult. True. Sometimes perception is reality. Sometimes situations are made worse if we allow ourselves to fall prey to the naysayers. For the past eight years, the Democrats have told us, for example, how bad the economy is out in middle America. That wasn't the truth, in most cases. After the devastation of the 9/11 attacks on our economy - the result hoped for by the terrorists - President Bush and his administration presided over an unprecedented economic recovery. The stock market rebounded and most Americans, when polled, answered that they were doing ok. The tech bubble that burst at the end of the Clinton administration, conveniently never mentioned that the incoming Bush administration inherited that, was dealt with by tax cuts. The tax cuts proved once again to stimulate the economy. Democrats used to know that was true in economics. Tax cuts encourage growth. Even JFK knew that and was a tax cutter.
Today, as the CEOs of the big three auto makers were appearing before the House committee chaired by Rep. Barney Franks (D-MA), Franks felt free to do some historic rewriting of his own. For the deranged, there can be no satisfaction unless everything is the worst ever right now. Franks said that unemployment is at levels not seen in 70 years. Well, that is nice for drama but the truth is that the unemployment rate is up, yes, but to a level seen 17 years ago. Perhaps it was a slur in his speech but it sure sounded like 70 to this listener.
It is easier each day to think that on January 21, a whole lot of the doom and gloom will stop in grandstanding speeches. It will be much easier for consumer confidence to rebound if a more positive attitude is shown in Washington by policy makers. The election is over. The old policies implemented by Democrats as they reigned unchecked for all those years in Washington came home to roost while a Republican was in office. The Republican in office was no fiscal conservative. And, the very ones most vocal now trying to encourage Mr. Obama into unseemly behavior are the ones who most benefited from the real estate market engine segment of the economy. The incoming president benefited handsomely, too.
Sometimes the old adage of "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" is good to remember.