What Next? The Dog Ate My Homework?

Have you ever had this happen at your house?

Kid comes home with a lousy report card. Parents say all sorts of ominous things about how disappointed they are, not working up to full potential, etc. Parents look VERY stern.

What does the kid invariably say?

You are not giving me credit for 1) the ‘A’ I got in gym which is helping my overall average, or 2) the grade that stayed the same as last semester while all the others went down, or 3) my good attendance record, etc.

What else does the kid say?

If you think my report is bad, you should see the report card of the kid who sits next to me in math. How would you like to be stuck with him as a kid?

What else?

I know I promised you that, if you let me get that new videogame system, I would keep my grades up, but you can’t hold me to an unrealistic standard. Don’t you know how many zombies I killed on that game? I’m at level 4 already. It’s not me, it’s the zombies that are keeping me from studying my multiplication tables.

We, the electorate, are the parents. And as President Obama is travelling around the country, serious people, who voted for him and who want him to succeed — the same way parents want their children to succeed — are trying to get through to him about his sucky report card. At a town hall meeting called the “Investing in America” Forum, the president was confronted by a woman who explained, in the patient tones of a disappointed parent, that she was exhausted from trying to defend his lack of performance.  . . .

His response?

In a speech to donors in Philadelphia, the President said:

"When I hear Democrats griping and groaning and saying … ‘the health care plan didn’t have a public option’, and … ‘the financial reform — there was a provision here that I think we should have gotten better’, or, ‘you know what, yes, you ended the war in Iraq, the combat mission there, but you haven’t completely finished the Afghan war yet’, this or that or the other, I say ‘folks, wake up’, "

Robert Gibbs told us, we should “give the President credit” for the things he has done, even if they fall way short of what he promised.

The DNC has told us, if we think Obama is not doing so well, the GOP will be much worse should they regain power.

The WH has insisted that it can’t get anything done, because of zombies, er, GOP obstructionism.

And the president has quoted Joe Biden as saying:

"As Joe Biden put it, don’t compare us to the Almighty; compare us to the alternative," he said to laughter.

As every parent reading this knows, and as every former kid who brought home a lousy report card knows, none of these excuses will cut it. As we say in our house, I don’t care about any of that, I only care that you do DO YOUR DAMN HOMEWORK!

In this case, Mr. President, that homework might include using recess appointments to fill vacant positions. How can you expect to do all the work that needs to be done, when you don’t even have a full staff of upper and middle management at your various agencies. It’s two years into your term and you have not yet finished the work of the transition. You have to finish learning those multiplication tables, before you can move on to long division.

People are confronting you about this, not to make you feel bad, but because they want you to succeed.

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