Caution: “In the United States today, we have more than our share of the nattering nabobs of negativism. A tiny and closed fraternity of privileged men, elected by no one, and enjoying a monopoly sanctioned and licensed by government,” said Spiro T. Agnew, the former Maryland Republican governor who is the only US Vice-President to resign facing criminal charges of bribery. Actually the two sentences don’t go together; the first was aimed at the kind of speech that President Obama gave on Monday.
Louisiana’s governor just cut the state’s funds for end-of-life care, ending the benefits of hospice that allow dignity with death. The state’s costs will rise as end-of-life care will be provided in hospital ICUs. So costs or savings were never the issue for Jindal; he exercised power to break the public will and destroy the public good. Food stamps are labeled a part of irresponsible government, but the family budget withers with the raising price of milk when the House fails to pass a farm bill.
The latest debate is over politeness: Is Barack nice to Republicans? A reporter asked about his overtures of friendship during a press briefing. Resist the futility of scaling the American happiness meter. The President reminded the press, despite his “bon mots,” being friends with him can have consequences; he cited Florida’s Charlie Crist. Barack, our President, was correct. Back-slapping doesn’t advance the ball. Money and power does. To win forward, Democrats need both.