Thomas Friedman: Are We Home Alone?

I ran into an Indian businessman friend last week and he said something to me that really struck a chord: “This is the first time I’ve ever visited the United States when I feel like you’re acting like an immature democracy.”

You know what he meant: We’re in a once-a-century financial crisis, and yet we’ve actually descended into politics worse than usual. There don’t seem to be any adults at the top ”” nobody acting larger than the moment, nobody being impelled by anything deeper than the last news cycle. Instead, Congress is slapping together punitive tax laws overnight like some Banana Republic, our president is getting in trouble cracking jokes on Jay Leno comparing his bowling skills to a Special Olympian, and the opposition party is behaving as if its only priority is to deflate President Obama’s popularity.

I saw Eric Cantor, a Republican House leader, on CNBC the other day, and the entire interview consisted of him trying to exploit the A.I.G. situation for partisan gain without one constructive thought. I just kept staring at him and thinking: “Do you not have kids? Do you not have a pension that you’re worried about? Do you live in some gated community where all the banks will be O.K., even if our biggest banks go under? Do you think your party automatically wins if the country loses? What are you thinking?”

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

7 comments on “Thomas Friedman: Are We Home Alone?

  1. tgs says:

    Alas, another article that starts out sounding right – the incompetency of Washington in handling a crisis – that turns into a sell for doing the exact wrong thing – turning everything over to the government. That is, you people in Washington, get you act together and get all this needed legislation passed. Unfortunately no mention that this “needed” legislation will give Washington dictatorial powers, that this is a rush to serfdom at best for the people. Folks, this is what’s called “smoke and mirrors”.

  2. tgs says:

    In the above comment – get you act together – should have been – get your act together. Sorry for the mistake.

  3. Words Matter says:

    the opposition party is behaving as if its only priority is to deflate President Obama’s popularity.

    Nothing new with that. The Dems did it to Pres. Bush for 8 years, the Repubs did it to Pres. Clinton for the previous 8, and so on through the years I can remember. Granted, the cancerous growth of news outlets and the omnipresent television camera have made it worse. Still, I watched the HBO series John Adams, and, apparently, it was going on then.

    Loathing the President of the United States and picking at his flaws is a fine old American tradion. I will admit that the appearance of the president on a late-night talk show does give me pause.

  4. azusa says:

    “…the opposition party is behaving as if its only priority is to deflate President Obama’s popularity…”
    I thought that was the point of the opposition and why we have elections. Somebody needs to read up on the Constitution.

  5. libraryjim says:

    And “The Federalist Papers”, as well.

    The Founders did not give us a king. The reason we have three branches is checks and balances so that the power of the government could not be held in any one branch of Government. Opposition to the President was to be expected, to keep him in line, and from attempting to take too much power.

  6. Jeffersonian says:

    SC Governor Mark Sanford is most certainly acting like a responsible adult. Of course, for his temerity he’s being pilloried. That’s why no one wants to say the adult, responsible thing, Tom.