Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Asking For Clarification

Okay. Lemee see if I've got this straight: the US [and by extension, most of the rest of the world] is on the knife-edge of a possibly cataclysmic financial crisis. Economic experts across the political spectrum agree that Something must be done, and quickly. The President suggest a plan, which even he acknowledges is far from ideal, but the best that can be done at the moment. Several days of rapid negotiations follow. A deal is in place, then it isn't. Finally, a package is settled on by leaders of both parties. In a rare show of statesmanship [especially nowadays], the Democrats throw nearly-full support behind it. Both major Presidential candidates [who probably would have preferred to sidestep the whole thing] get on board. Then, at voting time, the majority of Republicans leave their President swinging in the breeze. Their defection, along with the few Democrats who never agreed to support the package, is enough to kill the proposal. Have I basically got this right? If I do, I'd like to interject Leno's Question [the famous inquiry from Leno to Hugh Grant, after Grant had been arrested for soliciting. This was at the time Grant was in a long-term relationship with Elizabeth Hurley, a woman so mind-bogglingly beautiful that men across the planet were willing to surrender one of "the boys", in exchange for just the possibility of using the other one with her]:

"What were you thinking?"

I mean, you've left the President [in theory, the highest-ranking member of your party] in disgrace [although anyone arguing that he had already placed himself there will get at least a hearing from me], your party's candidate in the upcoming Presidential election in the lurch [McCain reportedly was no more than lukewarm to the plan in the first place], not to mention the economic chaos that much-smarter people than I in such matters [much smarter than most of the Congressmen as well, unless I miss my guess] say is certain to ensue.Well, I, for one have to say I will NEVER call the Democratic Party disorganized again!

Of course, those of you who live in countries using the Parliamentary system of government have the right to snicker at our confusion [the UK, whose famous Houses of Parliament are pictured at right, is just one example].Under that form of governance, Monday's vote would probably constitute a vote of "no confidence" [if I understand the circumstance rightly]. When the Republican proposal was defeated, the Democrats, being the majority party in both US Houses, would immediately form a new government [and just imagine all the hassle that would save us over the next six weeks!]. I don't know what will happen next here, but, personally, I plan to save all my EC credits. At the going rate [1,000 @ $USD 6.00], I might just be able to keep a roof over my head!
-Mike Riley