of all history is the patience with which men and women
submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their
I’d taken down my
flagpole before the blizzard, since strong winds had snapped an
earlier pole, was about to put it up again with my American flag for
Presidents Day when I hesitated. Something seemed wrong.
I checked my old list
of flag-flying days from the Disabled American Vets Foundation: It
says to fly the flag on the third Monday in February, which it still
calls Washington’s birthday; darn, I forgot to fly it on Lincoln’s
Oh wait, I know what’s
bothering me: I’m thinking I should fly it upside down — help,
Father of Our Country! Nation in distress! Or, worse, fly it at
half-staff. If George Washington heard that the country he helped
found has more than $16 trillion in national debt (not to mention
some $70 trillion in the unfunded liabilities), he would roll over
in his Mount Vernon grave.
But this thought brings
me to another problem, which is, who cares? How many homes fly the
flag on summer’s Independence Day, never mind in midwinter? Who
cares what George Washington thought or said? Or even worse: Who was
George Washington? (Did he sell cars?)
I think my flag-flying
angst began with President Obama’s State of the Union address last
OK, I admit I feel
asleep between the proposed $9 minimum wage and proposed new gun
control. All I’d been hearing was blahblahblah middle-class, need
more revenues, tax the rich, balanced approach, invest (spend) more,
won’t add a dime to the deficit, infrastructure repair blahblahblah.
Sounded just like last year’s presentation.
Sadly, I stayed asleep
during Marco Rubio’s Republican response. Missed Rand Paul’s
additional response. Woke up to see Fox TV’s Frank Lutz doing a
focus group about the speech. Became wide-awake when people who
claimed they’d voted for Mitt Romney said they’d liked President
Obama’s statements on education (it’s important), immigration (plan
to close the borders), the desire for bipartisanship (what???).
Wondered: Did they sleep through the entire thing? Or have they just
slept through the last four years ...
Next day I caught up on
what I’d missed, including Sen. Rubio drinking water, an act that
some say has destroyed his political career. Maybe I’m still asleep
and dreaming that the world has gone mad.
I turned on Rush
Limbaugh at noon; while I don’t care for his ego-driven persona,
I’ve started listening to him again since the election because I
share his amazement that Barack Obama could have been re-elected.
The focus group response puzzled him, too, but then he thought he’d
found an explanation: Voters apparently haven’t noticed that Obama
is the president, the nation’s chief executive officer.
I know this sounds
crazy, but nothing else makes sense either. Rush opined that Obama
is still campaigning: He gives speeches about the nation’s problems,
lists the many things that need fixing, says he wants to fix them.
He doesn’t mention, and people seem not to realize, that he’s the
one who’s been in charge for four years! They relate to his
concerns, because these are their concerns, too, just as they did
when he was running for office the first time and telling voters
what they wanted to hear.
And, as he did then, he
blames the Republicans. Yes, many of the problems were created by
George Bush. But Obama defeated the Republican candidate in 2008! He
had a Democratic House and Senate his first two years! He still has
the presidency and a Democratic Senate and support for his Obamacare
from the U.S. Supreme Court. And yet ... what Rush calls
“low-information voters” don’t see this as a reason he should
actually be leading with solutions to the problems he and they
Somehow this disconnect
lets the voters believe him no matter how out of touch with reality
his actions are. He insists that the fiscal crisis can be solved
only with a “balanced approach” of tax increases on the rich and
spending cuts, then allows only tax increases, not spending cuts;
now he is insisting again on a “balanced approach” with more tax
increases on the rich.
He wants and gets
stimulus bills for “shovel-ready” infrastructure projects, then
years later demands tax increases on the rich to pay for
infrastructure projects that haven’t been done. When Republican
leaders respond with disbelief, he blames them for ... everything
that his administration is not accomplishing.
It does appear that he
doesn’t want to actually govern, just to blame Republicans for what
he doesn’t get done, so that they lose the House in 2014. Then, with
his party controlling the executive and legislative branches again,
he can do ... what? Increase the deficit/debt by more trillions?
Assault the Second Amendment? Spread the wealth around?
Yes, I think Rush is on
to something. Barack Obama is a campaigner, not a CEO, and many
people identify with the former without recognizing his failure as
In the end, I did fly
the flag on Monday, celebrating Washington’s birthday, not a
generalized Presidents Day that includes those who make self-serving
speeches while laying unnecessary burdens on their people.