Dear Democratic Party,
I really don’t know where to begin. I was in a Target store near my Wrigleyville place in Chicago tonight when I received a simply worded, yet emotionally-devastating text message from my friend M.K. (a Counsel to a U.S. Senator). After not hearing from M.K. for days (an unusual circumstance in our he-gives-I-take friendship), I glanced down to see his name pop up on my text list. I expected a “Hey, sorry I keep missing you” or “How was your weekend?”
Instead, I read this intellectually-crushing, soul-draining message:
“Debt deal reached, republicans (sic) got everything.”
After reading and digesting these 6 simple words, I slumped a little. I sat down my carrying-cart filled with Miller Lite (I’m a Wisconsin girl, after all) and graph paper (yes, I have my quirks—graph paper being the only usable stuff), stared at my Blackberry a bit longer, and was just…sad. Then, as in most things, I got pissed.
I hate the Tea Party. I loathe Conservatives who keep the rich even richer and despise the poor, most of whom they’ve never met and in whose circumstances they wouldn’t deign to survive, let alone “thrive in” and “take personal responsibility for” (Republicans: born on 3rd and proud they haven’t fallen back to 2nd). But, you know what, Democrats? F#ck. You. In this moment, on this night, I hate you more than I do them.
Democrats, I believe in your tenets: despite being raised in a VERY conservative and traditional home, I think an open, free-thinking society is best. While I believe in the “freedom of the markets” (I am in finance, after all), I understand that truly “open” markets don’t exist, and when intervention’s necessary, it should be to stem losses, fight dishonesty, and protect those who cannot protect themselves. I believe in simply being industrious and dedicated, in pushing the human race forward, integrating thoughts, philosophies, and races into one global society that motivates, perseveres, and, most importantly, moves forward.
But…after reading what you were willing to give up—how you caved to Boehner and his thuggish, intellectually-dishonest henchmen—I…give up. On you. On everyone. In relating to the deal, Huffington Post reports, “Liberals were extremely displeased with the final result of the talks, ” which resulted in the rich keeping their tax loopholes while “House Republicans managed to pull the entire deal further and further to the right, even inserting a requirement into the agreement for a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “Furthermore, under this deal, the rich keep getting richer, while Republicans guaranteed “that there would not be an extension of unemployment benefits as part of the final package.”
Good job, Democrats, Obama, all of you. You caved. You refused to take the hard line. And while you may be proud of yourselves for avoiding default, you have continued to sow the seeds of socio-economic poverty, punishment, and isolation. I grew up poor. I now work in finance. I’ve seen the world, from both sides of tracks. And TRUST me: You’ve done irreparable damage to those for whom a few dollars mean so much for the benefit of those for whom any amount is never enough. Even worse, you’ve weakened our country. And for what? So Boehner would stop riling you? Turns out you CAN be bought and bullied and beaten.
In short, Democrats, I’m so tired of fighting your intellectual fights for you. I argue, I prove, I quantify why and where we need to shift spending and saving. I point out that the rich now have the middle classes doing their fighting for them, with the simple message, “No, really, you’re just like us.” (Ugh). But what can I do when some yokel, let’s call him Mark T., quotes Churchill (NOT an economic genius, I might point out) and argues for “balanced checkbooks?” Dear Democrats, not only can you not push your agenda (“Obama-care” aside), you can’t even sell it. Surely there are some marketing girls out there who can do for your brand what they’ve done for the Limited.
Now, Democrats, much like a drunken lover, I know I’ll return to you and your heart-breaking ways. And soon. I have no choice. But please know I can only take so much.
And until you grow a pair, you’re welcome to borrow mine,
Margaret Bogenrief is a partner with ACM Partners, a boutique crisis management and distressed investing firm serving companies and municipalities in financial distress.
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