Wednesday, December 16, 2009



Bill Cosby once told a story of a karate expert who tried to break too many bricks at one time. All he ended up with was a very badly broken hand. After that, he used to perform karate on marshmallows. It was only the illusion of power that remained.

When Barack Obama took office on January 20, 2009 there was the feeling that he could break through more bricks than you could possibly put before him. He had received a mandate from the people. The House and the Senate were aligned. Everything was in place. We would see a system perform on all cylinders. All the wrongs committed that had helped diminish this country would be eradicated.

Yet now, as the year comes to a close, we are astonished at how little we understood. We sit and wonder how an 'independent' Senator from Connecticut can wield such power to further emasculate an already watered down version of a health care bill. We cringe as we watch the leaders of those banks whose very life is owed to government intervention, act with such impunity. They return our money with not a thank you, but with a 'sorry I can't be there to be lectured by you on my responsibilities'. While the President talks to them by phone and almost begs these titans to do what is right, Rome continues to burn, and the Wall Street bonuses continue to escalate.

With each passing day, we see the obstructionists, the lobbyists and the ones whose actions led to our financial undoing all continue to game the system. How could the government always be on the defensive?

We may well get a health reform package. However, with the public option stripped, the medicare buy-in gone, the abortion coverage on life support, and so many other pieces of the puzzle being eaten away, we are left with a hollow shell. Some in the Democratic party are already suggesting this legislation be scrapped, and that the Democrats use a procedural maneuver to be able to pass truly effective legislation with only 51 votes. I wouldn't stay awake at night waiting for that to happen.

We may also get financial reforms, intended to reign in the excesses of the last decade, but we know the legislation will be more window dressing than substance.Those in the financial markets have already escaped from the clutches of government control and will maneuver around any future attempts to limit their greed.

It is with sadness,frustration and anger that we look at opportunities wasted. I am looking for even one brick to break but all I see around me are marshmallows.


Jack said...

Tis a pity, but in every corner of Washington and Wall St. it seems it's just the same old business as usual.
Where's all the change Obama promised?
As an aside, while Rome's burning one is best advised to roast one's marshmallows in the flames. My own personal favourite is Mallomars.

PickleBiz said...

There's a tsunami coming, and our lawmakers are on the beach, watching the wave building in the distance. They are standing next to a car holding our metaphorical country in the trunk. The motor is running and we need to get to the high ground ASAP, but our self-centered idealogue idiot lawmakers are bickering over who gets to sit in the front.

Anonymous said...

My only comment is that I agree with everything you said. So, what do we do? Ted

Robert said...

Clearly, we are all different shades of unhappy. The political system seems to lend itself better to disintegration than anything else.

I don't see a time where things will be much better, no matter who is running the ship.