A call for political realism

I was heartened today while listening to the news.  I saw the Barak Obama that I elected to the Presidency peaking from behind the podium as he spoke to the audience at George Washington University.  Most importantly, I’ve finally heard a politician speak logically and realistically about the deficit and the current s*%t storm that Americans are living through.  As I sat home tonight listening to the audio via the fantastic Minnesota Public Radio web site, I actually caught myself nodding and wanting to call out like I was in church because the feelings that I and a large portion of this moderate country have been expressing have at least reached the President.  Yes- we need to curb our spending, yes- we need to fix social security, yes- we absolutely need to address our tax codes.

The rhetoric last week from congress about the proposed reforms for Medicare and Medicaid left me in a perpetual state of face-palm Homer Simpson impersonations.  Instead of addressing the larger problems of both systems, which I do believe are flawed, their plan proposed ways of playing hot potato with the bill.  Everything that we’ve been hearing has been a series of elaborate ways to push the bill off onto another sector and not a way to fix the bill.  In the real world- outside of the beltway- if your bill is too high, you find a way to lower it.  If you can’t afford your data plan on your smart phone, do you cancel your phone or do you look at your service and make adjustments?

I am fully aware that there were not specifics presented in this speech and I’m not too optimistic that we will hear about much more than the big three issues of Taxes, Healthcare, and Social Security because those are the ones that allow Congress and Senate to jump up on their soap boxes and get into campaign mode.  As a voter, I have been on the fence about the 2012 election and very much saying that I will wait and see who the candidates will be, but listening to this speech has put me to the 51% mark to vote for President Obama for a second term.  Many of my loved ones will be hoping mad that I’m stating this, but in my humble opinion if there is even a chance that we can look at how the country got into this mess and do an honest assessment of what is needed to get out of it- then I do feel that another 4 years will be necessary to see these reforms through.

I take you back to my love of Kevin Kline in Dave- He has been faced with the results of a Presidential Veto that cut funding for many homeless shelters and he asks the Secretary of Commerce, “Well I’m sure that’s really important, but I don’t want to tell some eight-year-old kid he has to sleep in the street because we want people to feel better about their cars.  Do you want to tell him that?”

The President wants to balance the budget, “…by making governments smarter leaner and more effective…” and I whole heartedly agree with him and his speech writer even though I know that it will mean higher taxes for me.  I am by no means middle class or wealthy, but my parents will be effected by these changes.  Will I still be living under the assumption that I cannot depend upon collecting social security- yup.  Will I still have my mothers words echoing in my brain now that my financial house is finally back in a reasonable state- yup.

There is a large part of my brain that is cringing because I am a believer in the free market economy and I do understand the sentiments of videos such as the Sharply Unreasonable Compromise I still have to stop and ask myself the simple question- Will NOT compromising and finding a way to make things work garner the result that we want?  One thing that my mother always told me when I was at my most stubborn was that being righteous and screaming to the rooftops about the injustice might make you feel better, but it gets you no closer to accomplishing your goal.  I want President Obama’s vision to succeed because I do feel a love for my country and the liberties that I possess and the debate does make it interesting.  The time is now for reigning back the partisanship and coming up with functional and long-term solutions.

One last clip for you today- from Dave 😀

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/04/13/midday3/?refid=0&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MPR_Politics+(Politics+from+Minnesota+Public+Radio)     Thank you to Minnesota Public Radio for posting this speech

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