Reading time – 46 seconds; Viewing time – 2:46 . . .
Said Edward R. Murrow, “Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”
Imagine if Donald Trump understood that. Or Ted Cruz. Or Mitch McConnell or Chuck Grassley or Sarah Palin or any of the long list of people whose notion of public service is:
- To block any progress on anything other than bulking up the wallets of already rich people, and
- Saying ludicrous, flagrantly false things designed to stoke fear and anger in people who are already fearful and angry.
It was during Bill Clinton’s presidency that the Republican party went full bore obstructionist. It became the party of “no” and offered absolutely nothing that would make America better, nothing to “form a more perfect union.” Republicans were solely about clawing for power via public confrontation, even opposing things they had previously championed.
Their philosophy was perfected during the Obama presidency, as Republican lawmakers and a few others gathered at an exclusive DC restaurant on inauguration night, January 20, 2009. The purpose of the meeting was to declare their strategy to defeat Obama in every way, to deny him any victories, regardless of the stupidity of their actions and the cost to our country.
Mitch McConnell went public with that, telling us his number 1 goal was to make President Obama a 1-term president, making clear that anything to make things better for the country or for the American people was secondary. It was all about a Republican power grab. Indeed, they would refuse to do the very jobs they were hired to do and instead would focus solely on partisan warfare. For them, cooperation and compromise meant that everyone else must cave in and agree with them 100%.
None of that strategy would have made sense or been wise had it been heard at the end of the bar. It surely was a clarion call to self-destruction that was heard halfway around the world and that didn’t make it any wiser.
It still isn’t wise and we’re living with that stupidity right now, as McConnell refuses to vet a Supreme Court nominee. He claims that presidents in an election year never make such appointments. That’s absolutely true, except for Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed in Reagan’s last year in office. In fact, one of every three presidents has made a Supreme Court appointment in an election year.
Sadly, Murrow was right.
Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.
YOUR ACTION STEPS: Please offer your comments below and pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe. Thanks! JA
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.