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It’s not just a downgrade, it’s a meltdown

August 12, 2011

I am almost speechless, and that is not an easy thing to accomplish.  I awoke Sunday morning to my usual routine of surfing through the morning news programs–Fox News Sunday, Face the Nation, Meet the Press, and This Week.  I ran the gambit of emotions.  From sad, at the news of losing 38 elite soldiers packed into a single slow flying Chinook–whoever made that decision should be busted to private–to incensed by the deplorable performance of David Axelrod spewing campaign talking points and Senator Kerry placing the burden of the downgrade by S&P caused by the profligate spending of the political class–on both sides of the aisle–on the backs of Tea Party patriots and those Republicans who have passed, not one, not two, but three bills out of the House to attempt to merely tap on the brakes of this runaway bullet train to an economic apocalypse.

There were a few moments of relief as Chris Wallace interviewed guests who could actually speak intelligently and authoritatively about the reasons for the downgrade from the company that did it–David Beers of Standard & Poor; a congressman who tried to avert it–Paul Ryan; and a financial manager who could discuss the potential implications of it–Bill Miller of Legg Mason Capital Management.

Over at Meet the Press, Alan Greenspan chimed in with some occasional rationality, and on This Week Congressman Chaffetz and George Will defended patriotic Americans who overwhelmingly sent representatives to Washington to put a stop to the spending and then, God forbid, expected them to live up to their promises.  While Cokie Roberts hailed the wisdom of divided government, “The problem we have here is the Constitution of the United States of America, which actually does require people to come together from different perspectives whether it’s divided government or not.  We have divided branches of government under any circumstances.”  I don’t recall Cokie praising this arrangement when ObamaCare was being jammed down the throats of the American people.

Axelrod’s interview was by far the most appalling and revealing regarding what the Obama Administration thinks and their strategy to respond to this latest crisis which is…nothing.  If you want to peer deeply into the abyss which is this Administration’s mind, I would suggest watching the entire interview however for those of us who actually work for a living, I’ll give you the highlights.

Following are the talking points and staff annotations obtained exclusively by yours truly that acolyte Axelrod was appointed to pontificate regardless of the questions he was asked:

  • The U.S. is still the safest place to put your money.  (After all the entire world is going postal–riots in England, fires still burning in Greece, etc–and we’re much better off than that…so far.)
  • Discredit Standard & Poor as much as possible.  Say that they were politically motivated; that they made an egregious error in their calculations; that they couldn’t be trusted during the mortgage crisis, so why should they be trusted now; and that the “brinksmanship” they mentioned in their report was only about the Republicans, and especially those recalcitrant, terrorist Tea Partiers. (Even though we know they meant the President and all of Congress, and we know that the Republicans are just trying to keep the promises they made to the ones who sent them Washington–geez how silly is that!)
  • Position the President as having no responsibility for any of the outcomes; fighting for the people; the adult in the room; a uniter not a divider; the one who wants a big, long-term solution that puts us on the right path and is fair and balanced. (We know that phrase is Fox’s and the President hates them, but you may have to use it.  And don’t let Schieffer’s look of disbelief distract you if he mentions anything about there hasn’t been a budget in over 830 days, or that the President hasn’t offered any concrete plan and the one he did got voted down by his own majority party in the Senate 97-0.)
  • You must use the phrase “Tea Party downgrade,” and state emphatically that they brought us to the brink of a default that would have been apocalyptic. (We poll tested it, and think it will really stick to them.)  Don’t forget to get in a jab on the current crop of Republican presidential idiots as well, by saying that not one of them stood out in opposition to a default. Not one of them said let’s compromise and be responsible about this, failure of leadership, yada, yada, yada. (You know the drill, even though O “leads from behind”–catchy phrase, if only we had thought of it first–and we all know it.)
  • If Schieffer pushes on Presidential accountability, one-term B.S., turn it around on him by going back to the mess Bush handed O, how different things are today compared to all the jobs that were lost, all the things he proposed to do (even though we know he isn’t going to do any of them).  How we’re working on clearing out patent backlogs (what a load that is); a payroll tax cut; extending unemployment; the “infrastructure” bank (Geithner is really going to pull a fast one with that); the “Super Committee” that will solve everything (even though we know O never bothers with their results); blah, blah, blah.
  • Don’t forget to insert the campaign message about the election isn’t just going to be about the President. It’s going to be about what direction we want to take as a country, and that the debate we just had is kind of a microcosm of that larger discussion we’re about to have. Do we want to invest in education and training, research and development, infrastructure – the kinds of things that will grow our economy, create middle class jobs – or do we want to spend that money on tax cuts for the very wealthy, on tax cuts for the oil industry that’s making money hand over fist already and really doesn’t need the help, on other tax loopholes. Are we going to have a country where hard work pays and responsibility is rewarded, or the schemers are the ones who get rewarded? And about correcting the great imbalance in our country (racially not fiscally).
  • Be sure to give a shout out on the deaths in Afghanistan and leverage that somehow.
  • Mention the following phrases or variations thereof as often a possible throughout the interview:
    • Bush did it.
    • The Republicans did it.
    • The President is blameless.
    • The Tea Party did it.
    • Shared sacrifice
    • The rich have to pay their fair share
    • Compromise is not a dirty word
    • Democrats good, Republicans bad
    • Tea Party terrorists (use at your discretion since Kerry is catching heat for that one.)
    • Must be a big solution
  • And finally, and most importantly, do everything and anything you can to push any issues out beyond the 2012 election, because ultimately all that matters is getting O re-elected.  Who cares what happens after that, since we shorted the market for a few billion apiece and put it in offshore accounts.

Really David, that’s the best you and the President can offer millions of Americans who are jobless, in foreclosure, or making choices between food and fuel?  I’m stunned.  This downgrade was a bold proclamation by a company that will now be in the crosshairs of the full might and fury of this Administration and its Democratic allies.  Senate committees are being formed, SEC lackeys are being called up, media apparatchiks are being deployed, and all the machinations of the politically powerful adherents to Alinskyism are being arrayed to discredit, polarize, and destroy those who dared to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

We have lost our faith gradually over time in our judicial system and the rule of law by the arbitrary application of justice; our presidency from the paranoia of Nixon, the malaise of Carter, to the philandering of Clinton; and our Congress through the pandering and corruption of our politicians.  God help us all if this is the best we will get from this White House, a Democratic Senate, and a Republican House, because those riots we are all watching distantly on the telly in England and Greece will be coming to an urban center near you…soon.

Copyright 2011 Julie Schmidt.

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