Dear President Obama,
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I got your email asking me to "help to spread the word and build support" for the stimulus package, and my sincerest apologies for the delayed response. I'm really trying to help out--I promise!
OK. That's a lie. Truth be told, I'm not doing much to help. Nothing at all, in fact. But that's because I'm ambivalent--it's hard to get truly excited about something that has so many questionable ins, outs, and whathaveyous. And yes, my thinking about this case has been very uptight, but did you really think your op-ed in the WaPo was going to help?:
By now, it's clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest eggs families worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring.I understand what you're getting at here, and to some extent, I agree with you. But going for the hard sell on "swift, bold" action in order to prevent a looming "crisis"? Isn't that a little pre-Iraq War retro for you? Will Colin Powell soon be showing up at the UN sporting a vial of Federal Reserve ashes?
What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives -- action that's swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis....
OK. That's not entirely fair. Your op-ed wasn't that bad. Still. Don't make me count the number of "urgent"s in there, because it won't be pretty.
Granted, we do have major economic problems. And depending on a person's current economic situation, it probably is a personal crisis already or soon will be. However, you really aren't helping me help you by relying on this obtuse rhetoric. Remember the scalpel instead of the hatchet? I want my scalpel back. Don't just argue against neanderthals like Rush Limbaugh, but argue with people like Paul Krugman who know a little something. Don't just tell me; show me. Specifically.
Look, I suspect this op-ed wasn't even really directed at me since I'm already wishy-washy enough on the stimulus package to give my reluctant approval should Gallup or Rasmussen see fit to ask. Nonetheless, I want to help. I really, really do. But if supporters like me can't force themselves to push this issue, I don't see much hope in you bringing the dittoheads around instead. I'm already almost nearly practically on your side. I just need a little tug--not a cudgel to the noggin. And at this point, cudgels are much more likely to knock me backward.
To quote CJ Cregg of The West Wing:
You get my support the same way I get yours: when I agree with what you're saying or when I don't care about what you're saying. This time I disagree.Kind of. So make me agree. Please! Or at least don't make it harder for me to agree by treating me like an idiot.
Like you, I respond to hope. Not fear. I rally behind the notion of a gleaming tomorrow and not just a less-tarnished present. But mostly, I'm a fact-lover, not a push-over. In God we trust--all others bring data (and I don't even trust God). Sorry.
Otherwise, I hope you're digging your new digs and sorry they had to come with such a crappy job! But you'll learn quickly and do great at it, I'm confident.
PS I'm really pissed at you right now for making me mildly empathetic with a point made by Michelle Malkin. But I'll get over it.
PPS Great prayer breakfast speech. I never thought I would like one of those things, but you soon banished my predetermined disdain. Well done!
PPPS Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! I'm duly humbled.
Nothing New byslag at 9:16 AM