If self-righteousness and sanctimony created prosperity, America would be thriving beyond our wildest dreams. There would be no worries about Medicare, Social Security, or debt. Full employment would be the norm, instead of an abandoned memory. Billions in social spending would be unnecessary. Life would be good, and we would have a future to look forward to.
In the real world, self-righteousness and sanctimony are the province of those with nothing worthwhile to offer, or worse, something to hide. We hear far too much of it from Washington. Despite angry displays staged for our benefit, members of Congress know that life, for them, has never been so good. What could be difficult about a job where you never have to accomplish anything, and always have a ready excuse for failure?
Democrats are amassing a growing stack of stimulus bills rejected, or soon to be rejected by the GOP. We went from the American Jobs Act, to the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, to the Rebuild America Jobs Act, each one guaranteed to fail. This is not a problem. Passing these bills was never the point.
Charges of obstructionism rule the day. Democrats blame the GOP for blocking their efforts, even though the public sector employees they claim they will save will go back to being jobless a short while after proposed stop-gap spending measures exhaust their funding. The president tells Americans that “We Can’t Wait,” but his half-hearted measures for mortgages, student loans, and other problems give only the appearance of action, and are receiving dismal reviews about the number of people who will be helped. No matter. Barack Obama’s campaign appearances are not about solving problems. They are about excusing failure, placing blame, and staying in front of the cameras.
There were a few good ideas in the president’s jobs bill, but with the exception of a 3% contractors’ tax repeal approved by the House, Democrats have cast business aside in favor of the public sector. We are not hearing many stump speeches about substantive measures to get small businesses back on their feet. We are hearing about GOP obstructionism, a predictable response to Republican rejection of administration demands to fund the public sector first, and worry about private sector growth later.
Republicans hit the ground running in January. They talked about the Pledge to America, and about cutting the legs off of the health care bill. They voted to repeal Obamacare. They presented their ideas on debt reduction, and made sure that Americans knew what they planned to do to fix Obama’s mess. What happened? The GOP lost its momentum. What Americans see now are Republican presidential candidates pointing fingers at each other. Voters need to hear about the Democratic blueprint for ruining this country, not restrained Saturday morning speeches about cutting regulations. Americans need to know about a president assuming quasi-legislative powers, about union favoritism, about pushing Americans aside in favor of illegals, about Democrats intent on growing government instead of jobs, and about a debt reduction scheme that, by all appearances, has been doomed to fail from day one. The GOP needs to take the gloves off, and to do something nobody expects. Think of the press that would come from Republican legislators challenging Democrats and the president to join them in taking a pay cut, or donating their pay to debt reduction.
What we are seeing from Washington is the illusion of progress from a Congress that has thrown in the towel. Lawmakers have given up, resigning themselves to doing nothing until January 2013, lest they anger constituents and share the same fate as America’s 14 million unemployed. They are asking voters to accept inaction, and to listen to blame and charges of obstructionism from a worthless, self-interested, do-nothing government that recently rewarded us with a credit downgrade. Both parties like to talk about the American Dream, but other than securing Washington’s dreams next November, the American dream is on the verge of becoming a relic.