Just Stop It!
Enough is enough.
This constant carping from both sides of the political spectrum over who is to blame or who gets the credit is tearing us apart.
Are we not able when we see something good happen in America to simply step back a few moments and enjoy it? Or does each side of the political aisle have to look for way to score points?
It is as if people immediately fall into some type of Alice in Wonderland wormhole when their candidate, or party, is not in office.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
In early 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn in, GOP partisans instantly began calling the economy his, as if there had been no involvement, good or bad, from President Bush and the largely Republican Congress that had been in charge for 6 of the prior 8 years.
The Democrats, feeling outraged, chimed in almost immediately that perhaps it was unfair to criticize the new President for the economic anemia that had its roots in an earlier day. President Barack Obama was about as responsible for the economic failures of the US when he took office as I was.
And yet that did not stop the partisans from making that accusation. Barack Obama was almost singularly responsible for every financial problem we had and had personally wrecked this once great economy.
Fast forward a couple of years and let’s look at a more recent example, the successful raid and killing of Osama bin Laden last week.
I have watched the predictable back and forth since then and I am as disgusted now with the Democrats as I was then with the Republicans.
Beyond the facts that are known, and they are many, the blatant rush to claim political credit for the killing of this little turd is little more than another fine example of political revisionism and convenient memory loss.
It is as if, for many, George Bush and his team of people who worked tirelessly to find Osama bin Laden, streamline and connect our 12 million intelligence agencies never existed, or spent their days in office sipping margaritas on the beach.
If in 2009, President Barack Obama cannot be held responsible for all of the economic woes of our country, because of the policies of the past president, it would seem to follow that he also cannot get all of the credit for getting bin Laden, as much of the groundwork that led to his demise was begun during the Bush Administration.
But perhaps I am the one who has fallen into some other parallel universe.
Maybe my fervent hopes that as a people, we Americans of all political stripes could set aside our ideologies for the sake of compromise, pragmatism and a mutual search for the common good are just a pipe dream.
For more on this, check out this excellent piece from Tim Rutten, “Snapshot of a Split America.”
And then if you need a laugh, check out Bob Newhart's excellent advice in this video to someone suffering from psychological distress and apply his remedy to our politicians.