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We'll Eat Crow, But There is Enough to Share

By       Message Drew D'Amato     Permalink
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So in this last election the Democrats got their ass handed to them. (They do have a jack-ass for their mascot.) The Republicans will sell it that this is a mandate that the American people are not happy. That they want a change and this Democrat leadership is not working for them. And that would be true if the American people really do not want what is happening right now. If Americans were given the truth of the situation here in America they might find that they are not as bad off as the Republicans have painted it.

But of course if you are Republican you have to distort the truth, because if Americans were aware of what is actually happening the Republican party would not stand a chance. Because the facts are that what the American public wanted, the Democrats are delivering on. They are just having a horrible time getting the message out. The news outlets leaning to the right, Fox News--AKA Hitler's wet dream--is yelling the loudest, and like parents, the child who yells the loudest is the one they pay attention to. Also most Americans are just not happy with their own life. This is the generation of no accountability. So why not blame the government for their personal shortcomings? The federal government cannot get you a job, or make your house a home. But what they can do is make the nation as a whole better. And that is what the Democrats in the last six years have accomplished. But conservative pundits won't let you know that. So yes, in this last election the Democrats lost 15 seats in the house and 9 in the senate. But this just shows that Democrats are failing in getting their message out. If you look at their results they are far from failing, and the doom and gloom the Republicans have campaigned since President Barack Obama took office has not proven true. He has not fallen short on economics, diplomacy, and the social issues. So yes, we will eat crow, but there is more than enough to share.

So what were the major issues that caused the American electorate so much unhappiness to make them feel it was time for a change with these midterm elections? Well the first attempted answer that will pop up is the economy. But is the economy really that bad? The answer is no, in fact it has been on a steady improvement from the mess Obama inherited when he took office in 2009. The dollar is the strongest it has been in years, the stock market has reached record highs. Interest rates are the lowest they have been in 30 years. Our GDP is the best out of all the OECD countries--Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The country is making money. So how could Americans be unhappy with the economy?

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Well most of these numbers affect Wall Street and not John from Main Street. The average American's life does not feel the benefit or understand the benefit of the GDP, the stock market, or the interest rates. What they need is to put food on the table, and have a steady job. Well, that's not the issue either. We are adding 200,000 jobs a month in the U.S.A. The unemployment rate is less than 6%, almost cut in half from the double-digit rate when Obama took office in 2009. So the jobs are out there. If you can't find one, it is no longer the economy, or the government's fault; it is your own fault. Cutting unemployment in half in six years is a great accomplishment, especially with little to no help from the republican congress.

So then what element of the economy is the issue? Well if there are jobs out there, and the market is doing great it must be because of high taxes, right? The government and the American tax dollars have to be subsidizing it. That is also untrue. Federal and state tax rates are at record lows. The lowest they have been in 50 years. Go ahead google it. Obama's tax rate is half that of the republican messiah Ronald Reagan. The average family of four under Reagan was taxed 11% in 1983. In 2010 it was 5%. But you know when enough people say the taxes are higher--without say looking at any reports, or even looking at their own actual taxes, or paycheck--it has to be true. (Side note, next time someone says Obama is taxing them to death ask them, "Really, what was your rate in '06 compared to your rate now?" You can only look at their blank stare for maybe 15 seconds, and then turn away or you will uncontrollably start laughing in their face.) But with low taxes then that must mean the budget is not balanced. Also not true. The deficit is declining. So try crow it's kind of spicy.

Okay well then how about diplomacy? The fear that we look weak in the eyes on the world. Really, you want to try that argument. Do any of you really not feel safe? Do you fear a terrorist attack like you did in the early 2000s? Have we had any terrorist attack while Obama was in charge? Yes, there was the Boston Marathon bombing, but that was more or less like an Oklahoma City bombing by Americans. It was an act of terror, but not committed by the Taliban or other extreme Muslim groups. Do any of you fear Isis? When the best a force can do is kill journalists, how powerful can they be? Benghazi, yes it was horrible, so if an attack on a US embassy is such a horrible event, you had to have been a mess when 13 embassies were attacked resulting in 60 deaths under W's presidency. No, no major outcry then, would you like a wing or a leg?

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So why do you think we look weak? Because Obama isn't a warhawk? I think he learned from our mistake with Iraq in 2003--an idea he also voted against when he was a senator. When Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Ukraine, what got him to pull out? Not the threat of an ill-advised war with Russia, no it was sanctions. He got Russia to pull out of Ukraine and not one shot was fired. Putin does respect Obama's diplomacy, he and the president did work together to get chemical weapons out of Syria in 2013. Putin isn't the only one who respects Obama. In Japan and countries across Europe, US approval rating has gone up around 25% since Obama took office. So it seems like we look pretty good in the world's eyes. But you think he still looks soft. Why, because he keeps bringing troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan since he has been in office? Keeping them safe from an endless war is the way to really support the troops. Some conservatives would try to sell you that he is a Muslim, or supports Muslims extremists. And he supports them by ordering the hit on Osama bin Laden, right? Remember bin Laden? Never forget 9/11. Well Obama was the man who finally got the b*stard behind those horrible attacks. We have not had an enemy we hated so much since Adolph Hitler (Ivan Draggo not included). But even when we finally got our enemy, and the mastermind behind the deadliest attack on American soil, Fox News still tried to spin this as a bad thing. His death will spawn another attack on American soil, was the spin they tried to use. So what should we have done Mr. Bill O'Reilly, not kill the b*stard? Is that something a patriot or a pinhead would do? No, Obama does not have a bad record on foreign policy. He is bringing our troops home, avoiding conflict that is not necessary, has respect in the world's eye, and still managed to get our sworn enemy. Do you like horseradish with your crow?

So what is left then social issues? Can this argument really come from the conservative base that a few election cycles ago argued the raped women should not have the right to an abortion? That when a woman is raped her body will just shut down to avoid a pregnancy. In all the political arenas out there, social issues are not where the conservatives want to battle our president. The Republicans' idea of immigration reform is a bigger fence around the border. Under Obama we have seen gay marriage legalized in 32 states out of 50. Can you guess what region of the country those other 18 are in? Ten years ago the fear of gay marriage was used to help George W. Bush win re-election. Even though that tactic won the battle, it allowed them to lose the war. Before 2004 no one was really thinking about the idea of gay marriage. Most Americans' first response was shock, and against it. But over the years as the issue became part of the political dialogue a majority of Americans started to feel, Yeah, why is it not legal? And so like everything else in history, the progressive party turns out to be right after enough time, as the public moves toward enlightenment, the conservatives again appear behind the times. The legalization of gay marriage was a victory for the Democrats. How about the legalization of marijuana? In no way can that be construed as a platform for the conservatives. Yet that change is happening across the nation. The generation in power remembers the time they used it when they were younger. They know alcohol is far worse the marijuana, and like gay marriage, the majority of Americans are again feeling, Yeah, why is it not legal? But how about the big issue that crosses social, and economical lines? The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Now for a moment consider why the Republicans and not the Democrats chose to refer to it as Obamacare. Is it because they knew it would be a failure, and they wanted to tie the president's name to it, tarnishing his agency? I think it was the opposite. The Republicans have showed so much hate to this president--unfounded hate--that they felt that by alone tying his name to it, people would simply dislike it. Do not think for a moment that they have not used people's instinctive racism to distort people's views on him. How could Obama care with such a name be a good thing? But like the way they were paid back in spades for being against gay marriage, the same will happen with Obamacare. You see here are the negative myths versus the hard facts about Obamacare. 1) Myth: only sick people will sign up. Fact: 10 million people who did not have it before now have insurance under Obamacare. 2) Myth: you won't be able to choose your doctor. Fact: out of 260 million insured citizens, only 6 million changed doctors, and a percentage of them changed plans for a better doctor or for cheaper rates. This is not socialism, this is capitalism baby. 3) Myth: Obamacare will crush the deficit. Fact: It is estimated to reduce the deficit by $124 million in its first decade. It has already had no negative affect on our deficit, that is shrinking daily by the way. 4) Myth: Premiums will skyrocket. Fact: Premiums always increase annually. In 2008 they increased 9.9%, in 2009 by 10.8%, in 2010 by 11.7%. What is the expected increase for 2015? A lesser increase of 8.2%. There are so many leftovers, tomorrow you can have some crow sandwiches.

So what have we learned? Americans are not happy, but happiness is just a state of mind. There is no empirical requirement for what happiness is and isn't. Democrats have a problem expressing why they should be happy. The great conservative prophet Ronald Reagan, said when ran for re-election in 1980, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Well if the Americans were truthful with themselves could they really say they are not better off now than they were six years ago? We are out of the Great Recession. We have gotten bin Laden. Our deficit is decreasing. We have healthcare reform. We have lower taxes. And we have more civil rights for our citizens. Are we really worse off? Has Obama just become everyone's scapegoat for their own personal lives, when? Things are better than they were when he inherited the mess left from W. The Republicans will never cheerlead for this president. They are not supposed to. But he doesn't need them, all he needs is the truth. So again, we will eat crow for what happened in this past election. But for the taste of crow in our mouths, there is a whole murder of crows on your table. Because for every false fear you used against the president, he has turned it into another example of his good will. For every time you thought he would fail, be succeeded beyond even his supporters expectations. For every time you used misinformation on your side, the truth has been on his. But enjoy this victory because now you control congress. So now when even less is done than before, you have one less person to lay your blame on. You control both houses now. You have the power, and when you do nothing with it--when American's lives do not turn for the better--2016 will be upon you with nothing accomplished. And the American electorate will see through the emperor's clothes. So we will save those crow leftovers for you. There will be more than enough to feast on in 2016.

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Drew D'Amato is the author of the novels Social Studies and Bloodlines. He also has a masters degree in history, and has taught at the high school and college levels. When not writing he spends his time getting himself into trouble.

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