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 July, 2009


 A Call to End Notions of "Bipartisanship"

No More Mr. Nice Guy?

Lately, I’ve found myself at odds with President Obama.

He still believes that bipartisanship is attainable. I don’t.

It is time for the president to fight back, but he won’t.

When the unemployment figures hit their worst level in 26 years, Republicans tripped over each other rushing to microphones so they could blame the president for them – even though he’d only been in office for six months.

Those same Republicans could have (but didn’t) use basic arithmetic and count back 26 years to reveal just who was the president back then. It was Ronald Reagan.

While under Obama the unemployment rate has risen to 9.5 percent since he’s been in office after only a half a year, under Reagan it managed to rise to 10.8 percent after he’d been in office for nearly two years during the late winter of 1982.

In fact, Reagan had only been in office two months when he claimed he’d discovered the cure for the rising unemployed in 1981.

He’d scanned 33 1/2 help-wanted pages in his Sunday Washington Post and he found lots of available jobs. He failed to note that many of those job openings were for computer specialists, when only a relative few were available for members of the lower economic scale.

Yet, his message was clear. There are lots of jobs out there for people, if they only wanted to work. There was no reason, to him, why out-of-work dishwashers didn’t rush out and apply for nuclear physicist’s jobs.

Can you imagine what would happen if Obama would hold up a newspaper and utter the same ideas today?

That’s why he should get out in front of the criticisms and put aside those honorable fantasies about “seeking common ground” with his political adversaries on the right. Nothing he does will suit them.

It’s time for him to respond to claims that it’s his administration that’s playing politics when some new revelation about the excesses of the Bush administration surfaces in a newspaper article, or some newly released intelligence summary.

In fact, he’s publicly gone on record about not wanting to investigate such claims, but he’s accused of having a political agenda, anyway.
Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, is showing his independence from Obama (something that could have never happened under Bush) and he’s signaling he’s willing to mount a criminal investigation into the Bush administration’s interrogation techniques.

I say, bravo. I’d be even happier if the president endorsed the investigations.
I’m not happy that he isn’t.

Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz have continued to attack the president, while defending Mr. Cheney’s apparent meddling in matters involving intelligence gathering after 9/11.

Once again, Cheney’s actions supposedly helped “keep us safe,” while he may have ignored that old document called, well, the U.S. Constitution.

Within weeks there have been increasing numbers of newspaper stories that have uncovered some evidence (thanks CIA Director Leon Panetta and unnamed intelligence officials) that Cheney had commenced some form of overseas assassinations program, and that he gave “direct orders” to the CIA to keep them hidden from Congress.

When asked about the program, and if her father had kept knowledge of it from Congress, Liz Cheney has repeatedly avoided answering the question by pulling out that old Republican standby – “it’s all about politics.”

Well, I can’t find a single word in the U.S. Constitution that gives the Vice President of the United States any authority to tell any federal agency to do, or not to do anything.

If Cheney did, there is a fair argument that he may have broken the law. And he may have ordered the CIA to break it too.

There’s just no reason for the current president to state that looking back at alleged illegal actions – even including those of recent presidents and their vice presidents – would be unproductive.

It’s time to look back. It’s time to investigate. It’s time for the American public to hear from Cheney and Bush themselves why they may have thought that existing laws could be circumvented in the supposed interest of “keeping us safe.”

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net