Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday's Quote: Confidence, despite the insolvency

c/o Business Insider (via David Silver)
You know the overall political climate is in rough shape when people suddenly become nostalgic for the good ol' days of Clinton – who, like it or not, was the last to balance the budget – when the federal deficit was about $9 trillion less than it is now.  In fact Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) was on the Congressional floor last Friday night begging his Democrat counterparts for a course of action to bring the practically endless spending debate to a beneficial close.

Instead, 10-term Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) was busy goading President Obama to invoke an obscure clause from the Constitution stating that the government's debt "shall not be questioned."  Never mind that Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, on which Clyburn hopelessly camped, was a Civil War measure that retains no bearing on the current debt.  Implying otherwise, of course, would be racist.

Appearing all but deadlocked on a bevy of issues, the two warring factions – Donkeys and Elephants – arrived at an 11th hour agreement just as I was arranging to publish this post.  While both sides will claim victory, it's clear that Obama needed this settlement to curtail his diminishing approval rating among the electorate, which was in danger of dropping into the high 30s – once unthinkable – for the first time.

That's Bush country.

Although our current President is struggling, his defeat in 2012 is not imminent.  At present, conflicting poll data shows Obama losing to a "generic" GOP contender, but edging past all presently declared candidates, the latter of which appears to assert that many voters are longing for a certain kind of challenger who has yet to make himself known.

Whatever the next 12 months may bring, we can be certain the nauseam of sociopolitical partisanship will reach a fever pitch that is likely stretch far beyond the coming election season.  Indeed the drama that culminated with tonight's budget deal is only the tip of the iceberg.


"In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant."
– Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), French general and statesman

"Truth is not determined by majority vote."
– spoken by many; most recently attributed to Douglas Gwyn, a Quaker pastor and author

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy."
– Sir Ernest Benn (1875-1954), British writer and political publicist

"If God had been a liberal, we wouldn't have had the Ten Commandments; we'd have the Ten Suggestions."
– Sir Malcolm Bradbury (1932-2000), English author and academic

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