There is nothing literary about the following post.
Here in my humble country, affectionately known by many as “the U.S.A”, we are a month away from congressional elections that will shape our policies for the next two years. LitKicks has been commenting on elections since 1996, when we proudly endorsed Bill Clinton’s re-election for President (just scroll down to November 4, and by the way, he won and we were happy to have helped). A month before the hotly-contested Bush-Kerry presidential election of 2004, we staged a 31-day exercise in non-partisan literary debate, October Earth, which was intended to be some type of moral-spiritual “palate-cleanser” (we’re not sure it worked, but we had fun). Today, as in 2004, I want to avoid partisan politics, but I do want to speak in stark terms about the choice I think we’re facing in this upcoming national election.
In the office where I go to work every day, and in most of the offices where I have worked as a technology consultant and website developer, we have a way of approaching future projects and current responsibilities that involves careful, methodical planning. Whenever we begin a new project, we take care to identify realistic (not optimistic) estimates of the time, costs and risk for every step we take. We always consider worst-case scenarios before we dive into a project, because it’d be irresponsible not to. We monitor progress aggressively, and work together to solve unexpected problems quickly. The type of behavior I am describing is the way successful business managers in any field work.
Managers who do not do the above are generally known as “incompetent”. “Incompetent managers” are frequently found in office buildings alongside competent managers, and they can sometimes rise to frighteningly high levels of responsibility. The best four examples I can think of are currently running our country:George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Dennis Hastert.
It’s October, so please allow me to use a cliche: three strikes and you’re out.
Strike One was failing to plan for a post-Saddam government in Iraq. Decisions were made hastily, estimates were based on best-case scenarios, and pessimists were bullied into submission. The historical record shows us that President Bush did not know, two months before he finalized the decision to invade Iraq, that there were significant tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq. He said “I thought they were all Muslims”. This shit ain’t funny.
Strike Two was failing to jump to action to save lives during the New Orleans flood. This timeline speaks for itself. Absolutely disgusting.
Strike Three takes us down the Mall to Congress, where Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert failed to do anything about reports that a pedophile was running rampant among the Congressional pages.
Incompe … do I even have to say it?
In our ideologically pitched age, it’s easy to get so caught up in the good vs. evil rhetoric that we fail to see things that are obvious. I know that there are many, many opinions about tough issues like war, terrorism, religion, nuclear policy, the economy, energy policy, health insurance, etc. But sometimes it seems we identify so closely with our positions on these issues that we allow our politicians free rides on their actual performance as long as they say the right things. So let’s step away from “big issue” politics for a moment and just take a look at the way our current leadership actually handles things. You be the ump — how are they doing?
American voters, it’s time to throw some bums out. Thank you for allowing me to speak my mind, and I’ll go back to the literary stuff now.