For most of the past two years, we have had a President who has been trying to make changes and an opposition party that has been blocking everything, leveraging 40 votes with arcane senate rules to block the majority in both houses of Congress.
The country is in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. But the Party of No spurns efforts to bring us out of it.
One in seven Americans are now on food stamps and millions more rely on food pantries. But the Party of No says we’re spending too much on social programs. Everything costs too much except tax cuts.
People are being pushed out of their houses. But the Party of No spurns efforts to deal with abuses in the housing market. I suppose people can find cardboard for shelter.
It‘s getting toward winter. But helping fellow Americans isn’t big on the Party of No agenda. I suppose people can burn the cardboard in trash barrels.
Pension plans and retirement savings are shrinking. But the Party of No wants to privatize Social Security so everyone can play economic roulette with their old age.
The number of people without health care rose substantially before the recent changes. But the Party of No objects to our putting all of us into the insurance system. People can die with dignity.
More people are living in poverty than at any time since 1994. But the Party of No spurns programs that would provide work for people to do. If people are desperate enough they’ll find something to do.
The Great Depression saw a serious increase in crime. But the Party of No spurns efforts to pull us out of this depression. Adversity is good for the soul.
The climate is getting harsher. But the Party of No resists effective measures to bring it under control. After all look how people helped each other after Katrina.
Global warming is making lands unfertile and helping diseases spread. But the Party of No belittles the problem. After all, global warming will be good for the chemical companies that make genetically modified seed, and the pharmaceutical companies that make pills. I suppose we should cheer global warming.
But the Party of No has a platform. They would like to bring back Herbert Hoover and the good old days when it was everyone for himself and we all starved together. Some platform. You can’t even burn the platform to stay warm.
Obama wants to invest in green technology. But the Party of No wants the Chinese to do it for us.
Obama wants to invest in roads, rails and bridges. But the Party of No wants to let our national patrimony crumble.
The Tea Party calls it freedom. Yes. The freedom to let our country decline.
Saying no to everything is like deer caught in the headlights – they won’t lead us to safety.
This commentary was broadcast on WAMC Northeast Report, October 12, 2010.