In the wake of an excellent, hour long, stern and urgent nationally televised address and press conference by President Obama, the senate wisely passed their own version of the economic stimulus bill by a lopsided vote of 61 to 37. It was however deeply disappointing that no more than just three Republican senators were not swayed by the message of the president which was well reasoned and pragmatic and should have appealed to all reasonable lawmakers.
It was also very disappointing that John McCain who wanted so badly to be president only a few months earlier would not come on-board and support board principles such as funding veterans hospital construction, highway repairs, improved schools or other reasonable goals for a decent society. For years, the extremists in his party had accused John McCain of being a RINO(a Republican in name only), but in reality he has proven himself nearly as extreme and nonsensical as they often are, picking silly fights on issues that really shouldn't matter much. A wise warrior always picks their fights. This was a poor war for McCain to decide to champion. His sad decline in American politics now almost reads like a Shakespearean tragedy, where now he's less the once beloved war hero, than just the wrong guy on too many issues, too much of the time.
What 61 senators, including just three Republicans proved was that they listen to the public concerns about lost jobs, closing businesses, home foreclosures and other bad news and are willing to take action of some sort. But for the other 37 senators, it just doesn't make sense that they could not find enough common ground to rally behind in defense of the seriousness of this economic downturn to come on-board.
What voters will probably most remember when they look back at this issue during the 2010 midterm elections is that some senators stepped up to the plate and took action and at least tried something bold that they sincerely believed might help the unemployed, those possibly facing foreclosure, or a business that might otherwise fail. But most Republican lawmakers only put their heads in the sand, ignored the suffering of the public, failed to act, and ignored the problem, failing to offer constructive input into shaping a broad bill with a big consensus that should have passed the senate with a clear 100 to 0 vote.
Fortunately most senators heeded the president's call to act. And foreign nations around the world such as China, Japan, Britain, Germany & the EU as a whole are looking to the U.S. for this leadership to pass some economic stimulus legislation as many other nations have already done. America is considered the leader around the world, and many governments expect America to lead on this economic issue. The president and the senate have now done that. Now it is up to congress to resolve the differences, pass the bill, get it signed into into law, and immediately start pumping some fresh life into the economy.
Certainly the ailing economy will need far more than just this one piece of job producing and infrastructure creating legislation. But even the residents of the districts where their Republican representatives voted against this bill will see jobs saved or new projects creating new jobs started. So even these voters will not suffer at the hands of their representatives poor decisions to vote against this important piece of recovery legislation. That is good, because all Americans deserve to prosper and do well regardless of their political beliefs. Economic recovery deserves to come to all people.
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