So the Microphone was Open. So What?

The headline in Yahoo News this morning was obviously meant to be shocking:

Obama caught on audio slamming GOP

Here’s the story:

While listening to an audio feed from a Chicago fundraiser Thursday night, CBS News reporter Mark Knoller heard Obama speaking with donors after other reporters had left the room. That’s when the president really opened up about his disdain for the recent GOP pushback:

“I said, ‘You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We’ll have that debate. But you’re not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we’re stupid?'” the president said.

Obama also complained about GOP attempts to attach a bill to the resolution to fund the government that would defund women’s health services provider Planned Parenthood.

“Put it in a separate bill,” the president said he told House Speaker John Boehner and his staff, CBS reported. “We’ll call it up. And if you think you can overturn my veto, try it. But don’t try to sneak this through.”

The president also made clear he is no fan of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the GOP’s Budget Committee chairman.

“When Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure… he’s just being America’s accountant and trying to be responsible– this is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my health care bill–but wasn’t paid for,” Obama said

OMG! What is this world coming to? The leader of one political party is “caught” saying something unkind about the other guys! What a surprise! What a catastrophe!

In Britain, Jamaica or Canada, that would come under the heading of “Business as Usual.” But apparently not in America.

Not in Obama’s America, anyway.

The president (pictured at right) is usually so careful not to offend the Republicans – even when the Republicans heap scorn on his head, tell vicious lies about him and think up dastardly ways to undermine American society. His motto is compromise, compromise and compromise some more.

Whatever we do we mustn’t make the Republicans mad or else.

Or else what?

Or else they’ll shut down the government?

Hey, in the immortal words of the Republican Speaker of the House, so be it.

(Click here to read an excellent piece on the topic.)

In any country with a parliamentary system, the government would have been shut down by now anyway. Parliament would have been dissolved and a new election would have to be called.

The gridlock that exists in Washington makes sensible governing impossible.

Controlled by Tea Party extremists, the Republicans are incapable of compromise. The recent budget bill passed the House only because some Democrats joined Republican “moderates” to vote for it.

What we have now (in public, anyway) is the sickening sight of our president fawning on a gang of bullies who claim to be holding the country’s survival hostage.

What we need is a reincarnated Alexander Bustamante (pictured at left) to lead the American people out of the political wilderness.

You might not be old enough to recall the day “Busta” led an army of strikers through downtown Kingston, but you must have heard of it. As I remember, he was in breach of some colonial law banning such marches. A company of armed police confronted the crowd.

I wasn’t there, but as I heard the story, the policemen raised their rifles and commanded Busta’s army to halt and disperse.

As he sometimes did, Busta was wearing a jacket but no shirt. He drew himself up to his full six-feet, four inches, and tugged his jacket open by the lapels, baring his bony chest.

“Shoot me, but leave these defenceless, hungry people alone,” he said.

Not a shot was fired.

The policemen lowered their rifles and allowed the marchers to go on their way.

(Click here for another account of the incident.)

Busta survived to become Jamaica’s first prime minister, a Jamaican National Hero and a British knight.

Apparently, they don’t make political leaders like that any more.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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