Saturday, August 06, 2011

A change to keep?

I guess I have a little political fire left in me.

I just saw someone complaining online about how Obama can give their dollars back and keep the change.

I immediately beelined to my blog to make sure it wasn't 2008 again. Are people really still saying this? (The weird thing is, if they'd come up with that catchphrase now, it might actually be clever and biting. But they coined it during the election, when it was just reactionary. Now it's stale. And, despite our economic woes, still astonishingly ignorant.)

In what situation would this historically funky economy be any better? Would it have been better if we elected McCain president, didn't pull out of Iraq, possibly went to war in Iran, most likely would not have gotten Osama bin Laden and favored even more deep tax cuts for the wealthy (our main choke on revenue these days) over the incentives Obama implemented?

Would it have been better to elect someone who holds an open hostility toward government, who sees what pathetically little infrastructure and social spending we have left as THE cause for our ills? Seems to me that deeper cuts and even more unfettered wealth concentration would leave us even more down and out, and desperate.

The way I see it, it's not Obama's fault the economy sucks — faint praise as it is, he should be credited for it not being worse. And neither side can say that he hasn't tried to hear them out — not if I'm hearing the complaints correctly. "Obama is a corporate, centrist sellout!" "Obama is a socialist enacting a dangerous liberal agenda!"

The irony of the "keep the change" snark is that it comes exactly from the people who shouldn't say it. They're the people who want to "change" back to what we just had, which was great for some and a disaster for most. Republicans held control of the country's economic engine for a long time. If both sides are going to criticize Obama for "his" bad economy, then it's only fair to hold the Reagan-Bush contingent responsible for the deliberate economic decisions that Obama is now having to fix. 

My guess is that those who want their money (and occasionally guns) back have more money under Obama than they did under Bush (and, thanks to Obama, they can carry concealed weapons in national parks now). Not that they'd ever admit it. That's change they'd keep to themselves.

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