I'm already weary of members of the Republican Party and other conservatives doing little else but throwing rocks at the new Obama administration. And that's coming from someone who helped build the party before many of today's pundits were learning to speak.
Barack Obama is president. Get over it, and start coming up with new ideas and counter-ideas of your own, instead of making hateful or smart-alecky remarks just to sell books or attract attention.
Take Joe Lowery as a subject of right-wing grievance. (I've known him for years, and he has actually helped Republican candidates on many occasions.) As part of the inauguration's benediction, Lowery recited an out-of-date and out-of-step little ditty from the civil rights days. Part of it dismissed whites as morally lacking.
So what? He's in his late 80s and isn't representative of anything but the past.
And the fact that President Obama had to retake the oath of office because the Chief Justice messed it up is interesting, but only that. It doesn't stand up to a claim that the Obama presidency is somehow illegitimate.
Listen up, Republicans and conservatives: Your party and your movement only rise when they produce new ideas. Ronald Reagan did it in 1980 with his approaches to things like taxation and fighting the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
And the Republicans who took over Congress in 1994 did so by unveiling a specific litany of government reforms.
By way of practicing what I preach -- however navely or haltingly -- allow me to outline the rudiments of a free-market approach to start getting us out of this economic slough we are in. This idea might at least help make a dent in the bailing out of our financial institutions without simply throwing good money after bad.
Start with a simple premise: We know that beautiful foreclosed homes in places like, say, Florida have subsequently been marked down in value (and by using an idiotic accounting method, but never mind).
Knowing that someday their full values will return, wouldn't you love to be able to buy some of those homes at dirt-cheap prices, and simply wait for their values to return or even appreciate? Ditto for strip malls, office complexes, hotels, and on and on.
The obvious problem, of course, is that most people in America don't have the resources to afford big bargains during this down time.
But now ask yourself this: Would you rather invest in a big-name company that could see its value plummet, or in a collection of assets that have reached rock bottom, but were once quite valuable?
Clear and simple, there'd be little downside and much potential in waiting for the windfall of these assets to return to value.
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