Reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," at 10:24 Friday morning, a righteous and earnest Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont took to the floor of the Senate to share a few thoughts about the tax-cut plan for the rich brokered by Republican leaders and a dejected President Obama, weak from Democratic losses during the recent election.
The proposed bill extends tax cuts for the rich for 2 years, long enough for the Republicans to take their shot at winning the Presidency in 2012. If this happens, their plan is to make the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. President Obama is agreeing to this plan, he says because he wanted tax cuts to continue for the middle class and the poor. He said this even though Democrats presented a bill to extend tax cuts for those making less than 1 million dollars. However Republicans quickly rejected that proposal. The weakened President accepted their proposal -- he says -- to continue tax cuts for the poor and middle class and extend for a mere 12 months the existing 79 - 99 weeks of unemployment for the unemployed instead of cutting them all off at 26 weeks. The Republicans claim to care about those unemployed, yet their so called big compromise merely extends the existing 79 - 99 weeks of unemployment for a paltry 12 months while we are still facing close to 10% unemployment is hardly a compromise, it is a necessity.
Sanders spoke for hours on end to an empty Senate floor, well after the sun had set and most of his colleagues had flown home, to share his heartfelt concerns for the American people if the proposed Tax Cut Bill for the Rich passes.
The bill, falsely presented as a bi-partisan recommendation, as Sanders said, "continues Tax Cuts for the rich, is loaded with bad trade deals and benefits the crooks on Wall Street." "China, China, CHINA!" he yelled at one point, stressing that the $14 trillion national debt was largely being financed by the Chinese government's decision to continue buying U.S. bonds. By early evening Sanders took to reading letters from constituents who had been hit hard by the Great Recession. Sanders yielded at times to Democratic colleagues who wanted to speak briefly against the plan, but otherwise he held the floor until nearly 7 p.m., his thick Brooklyn-born accent filling the chamber.
It looked a lot like a good old-fashioned filibuster, only Sanders wasn't actually stopping anything. Under a bipartisan deal reached Thursday, a vote would be held Monday on the tax deal no matter how long Sanders spoke or what he said Friday.
As Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart from the movie) said: "I guess this is just another lost cause... they are the only causes worth fighting for. And (the good politicians in Washington) fought for them once, for the only reason any man ever fights for them; because of just one plain simple rule: 'Love thy neighbor.'... And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any other. Yes, you even die for them."
Even as the hero, Senator Saunders spoke, President Obama brought in his old nemesis Bill Clinton, in to fight his battles for him. The President, looking down as Clinton spoke, dejected and humbled. As I saw this, I kept thinking, what would have happened if Hillary had been elected President and she brought in Bill to have this same talk to try and convince the American people this bill needs to be passed? Didn't Obama's supporters say this was their biggest fear? That Hillary will bring in Clinton for his second Presidency?
While I continue to be a strong supporter of our President, I, like many other of his supporters, feel he should be standing strong, particularly in this lame duck session. There is no need to give in to the Republicans who only support the Rich and care NOTHING about the Poor or Middle Class. Where he and the Dems should be standing strong: passing legislation to continue the existing unemployment weeks (79 - 99) extensions for unemployment until the unemployment rate is less than 8% for 6 months, until the end to Don't Ask Don't Tell and until the passage of the Dream Act once and for all.
I still support our President. I want our President to be strong and support the American people; to fight against those that oppose the American people. We want a President who is intelligent and diplomatic and viewed highly as a World Leader -- as he is capable of doing. I was not a supporter of President Bush or VP Cheney, but I do recall they did have the ability to stand strong and spit in the face of their opposition, particularly against the Democrats. They had no problem getting us into a wrongful war, borrowing trillions from China to fund it or passing the so called Patriot Act.
I was (and am) a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton. I believe she would NOT have had a problem standing up to the adversity that President Obama is currently facing. She has the cajones to face down her detractors and spit in their eye if needed. My wish for President Obama is to stand up for your supporters and STOP yelling at us and NOT the Republicans/Teapartiers that HATE you! Stand up and be our Champion. Quit relying on your panty-waist advisors and stand up for your heartfelt beliefs! Feel it in your Gut! Stand Strong!