I've noticed Howard Fineman's absence as a frequent guest on MSNBC lately. No wonder: the Huffington editorial director went to New Zealand on vacation. While there, he was exposed to several views of the U.S. from a place about as far from the Beltway as one can get. As a result, his first piece upon returning he calls "View From Abroad: Poor America, Undone By Political Gridlock, Gun Violence." Poor America.....there's implicit pity there. Fineman may have been trying to "get away from it all," but his journalistic antennae were not in total retraction mode. He's home disgusted, yet not surprised, at the vibes he felt while in NZ.Maybe I had to get this far away to see Washington for what it is: the world capital of small-minded, cowardly, selfish thinking. I tried to avert my eyes from the pathetic political non-responses to the mass murder in CT -- the reflexive knuckling under to the gun lobby-- and from the pantomime of fiscal statesmanship on display in Congress, especially by a Republican Party in thrall to the past. I could not avoid seeing us the way others now see us: as a global leader that has become shockingly unable to handle its duties, much less serve as a beacon of civilization. I'm headed back to Washington knowing what I had guessed when I left: that the so-called fiscal cliff "talks" would still be going when I got home. I'm returning with useful, nagging questions ringing in my ears....Here are some of the frank, sincere questions Fineman encountered: ...a bond trader wanted to know why America couldn't manage to pass a government budget--ever. The Maori tribal leader wanted to know how we could lecture smaller countries (such as NZ) on fiscal probity when the U.S. was $16 trillion in arrears. ("That's a lot of money, mate!"). A management consultant wanted me to explain how Obama could have won re-election so handily, but yet remain unable to crack Washington gridlock. What kind of system elects a guy, but then turns right around and doesn't let him lead? One British couple asked how in the world I could tolerate life where there are as many or more guns as people and where prisons bulge with over 2 million inmates.I thanked everyone for the sentiments and questions. I was on vacation, so I resisted trying to answer any of them. But I confess that as an American, I was embarrassed and even defensive. We are supposed to know what we are doing. Great powers are feared or loved or emulated. Great powers aren't supposed to be pitied. Right now, we are. It's not a good feeling. Time to go home.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-fineman/america-view-fr...
when one says........"especially this or the other party", especially when the party that has the majority is saying they can't lead, because of them, that not only sounds hollow, but juvenile.Both "parties" are getting exactly what they want, diverting the blame and the cost of what hasn't even put on the radar screen yet, to you and me.Meanwhile, they'll give themself a raise.
What amazes me is how interested these people are in the United States political operations and how ill-informed they are about it. They look at gridlock as a bad thing, but that's how our government is designed. It's designed to be a slow paced creature that is weak in that the people are the priority, not the government. The government is set up so an idiot like Bush/Obama (take your pick) isn't able to destroy it from within. We don't want someone who receives 51% of the vote to be able to run rough shot over the Country and impose his will.And frankly, I don't care what others around the world think of the United States as they don't care what we think of them. Unless of course they are planning harm to the US, which I doubt these random people are.
What kind of system elects a guy, but then turns right around and doesn't let him lead?Damn good question...........Want the textbook answer? Seems like nonsense in the light of things.
Very true. If you're a great leader, the majority, no matter how slim, will follow you. The fact that Biden and Mitch are working on a tiny band aid at this late hour is evidence of Obama's leadership. He has very little. As I've said many times, he may mean well, and even have some great ideas, but who would know?He can't lead his own party. As for Congress? The good guys aren't allowed to lead there either.
HMALETTER saysVery true. If you're a great leader, the majority, no matter how slim, will follow you. The fact that Biden and Mitch are working on a tiny band aid at this late hour is evidence of Obama's leadership. He has very little. As I've said many times, he may mean well, and even have some great ideas, but who would know?He can't lead his own party. Nobody can lead the Democratic Party. FDR may have been the last President who did; Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton did not. This is something Republicans have a hard time understanding: The Democratic Party is a heterogeneous alliance of several very different constituencies.The Republican Party, once a monolithic bloc representing only big business, is getting to be the same way. Boehner can't lead the House Republicans, Romney couldn't get anywhere with the voters, etc. The closest thing to a Republican leader in this century is Grover Norquist, which is just pathetic.
Nobody can lead the Democratic Party. FDR may have been the last President who did; Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton did not.This is something Republicans have a hard time understanding:and FDR had three things going for him the others did not --the Great DepressionWW-2
and FDR had three things going for him the others did not --the Great DepressionWW-2 Does WWII count twice because it has a 'two' in it?Happy New Year, all.Interesting times.Jimbo
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