A lot of fuss is being made over two little words that President Obama said recently:
President Obama used the above two words in reference to the November election as reason why his ideas regarding a stimulus package tax credit would prevail over the Republicans' opposing views.
Republicans all over the Internet and media are using these two words as evidence that Obama sees himself as a king. They're claiming that this proves that Obama isn't interested in the bipartisanship he promised and is being mean-spirited about it. The problem is that the words are being taken completely out of context.
Unfortunately they're not the only ones doing it. I've read several of my fellow liberal-minded bloggers using these words to slap the Republicans in the face. It's no more mature than the "ha ha" taunt more commonly heard on a playground.
Let's back up and take a look at why Obama said these two words:
On Friday morning President Obama met with Republican leaders to listen to their concerns about his stimulus package proposal. At the meeting, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia gave the President a copy of the Republicans' five-point stimulus plan. After a quick review, Obama said, "Nothing on here looks outlandish or crazy to me" and seemed particularly receptive to some Republican ideas about increasing benefits to small businesses.
When there was some disagreement regarding tax credits however, Rep. Cantor later recalled to the press the President had told him "You're correct, there's a philosophical difference, but I won, so we're going to prevail on that." According to witnesses, the tone of Obama's remark was lighthearted and that lawmakers of both parties had laughed. "He was very straightforward," Rep. Cantor added. "There was no disrespect, but it was very matter-of-fact." (source: The New York Times)
So why the tempest over his remark? If you place his words in full context, you can see that President Obama was merely being pragmatic about how to resolve the disagreement. I believe the brouhaha is because neither side - Democrats or Republicans - is ready to make nice yet. We've been so bitterly at war with each other for the past eight years or longer that we want to see vileness and taunts in President Obama's remarks even if there is none. We won't let ourselves truly believe anyone could truly be interested in working with the other side rather than against them to get things done.
I would expect this from the Republicans right now only because they're still feeling the sting from being taken out of power, but from my fellow Democrats? Here we railed and protested against George Bush and the Republican congress for refusing to work in the best interests of the people rather than their party! Now we want to use a quote taken out of context to sneer at the other side? Shame on us.
When we voted for Obama we voted for change and believed in his ideas on how to accomplish it. As he reminded us in his inaugural speech, "the time has come to set aside childish things" such as taunts and sneers. We need to follow his lead and reach a hand out to the other side. Not all good ideas come from Democrats alone, and for better or for worse, Republicans are just as much a part of this country as we are. We need to work together if we're ever going to make this a better world in which to live.