After a long-awaited, and much enjoyed vacation… I am back at the desk full time catching up on research, writing, and the thousand emails requiring a response that piled up in my 19 day break.
With rest, relaxation, privacy and seclusion came some wonderful revelations. The current state of political affairs is unacceptable. My hypocrisy meter and BS meter are both calibrated and reset.
I checked in a few times, scrolled through my “mandatory reading” list on Twitter, read through Facebook commentary and perused headlines on my new happy place, The Daily Caller, the WaPo, Politico & The Hotline.
After nearly twenty years in political life – in protocol, governance, communications and campaigns – very little surprises me. Not once has the US Congress been on-time and under-budget with regard to the Federal Debt Ceiling. Not once… all that jabbering about “surpluses” during the end of the Clinton years is bunk. We still carried several Trillion dollars worth of debt. Overdraft coverage does not get included in the “credit” column of the average family checkbook. It is not a deposit, or a surplus. It’s insurance against accounting errors and stupidity.
The Democrat majority in the US House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has increased our federal debt obligation to $14.3 Trillion. Nevermind their fiduciary and Constitutional responsibilities. They are beholden to President Obama’s promise to “fundamentally transform” this country. Nevermind that we could have used the TARP (which then-Senator Obama voted for) and Stimulus funds to pay our debts to China and Japan down to zero. Such logic is too simplistic for the ever-so-complicated minds atop Capitol Hill’s power structure.
I was struck by the out of control spending by Republicans in previous years also. I am both a national security and fiscal hawk. I like it lean, mean and straight up. I have long been an outspoken critic of ne’er-do-well big spenders in both parties. But whilst on vacation, I came across a lovely reminder that…..
...Once Upon a Time, America had great leaders. President George Washington personally oversaw major projects. Including the first public works project ever undertaken by our federal government – the Cape Henry Lighthouse:
Alexander Hamilton contracted with John McComb, Jr. of New York on 31 March 1791. McComb had been the designer of the Government House, the planned residence for the President, in New York City.
The contract called for an octagonal structure with three windows in the east and four windows in the west rising 72 feet from the water table to the top of the stone work. The agreement also stipulated the design and construction of a two story house to be a residence for the keeper and for safe storage of the oil to be used for the light.
In early October, 1792, George Washington renewed his interest in the lighthouse and requested a list of applicants for the keeper. After review, Laban Goffigan, probably of Norfolk, became the first keeper to light the fish oil burning lamps of Cape Henry Lighthouse in late October. The new government completed its first federal work project and fulfilled its obligation to the sea travelers of the Virginia coast. The final cost of $17,700 exceeded the first estimate by $2,500.
We visited Cape Henry, on historic Fort Story more than once. Having access to the base was our great privilege. It was our honor to see more than just the public access areas. Our hosts could not have been more gracious, their service to this nation is unparalleled and I am deeply grateful to all who serve the United States of America in Special Forces and to all of our fellow Americans serving in uniform.
As a former servicemember, Gold Star Wife, Blue Star family, and as an American – I remain optimistic about our future as a nation. Despite the current Administration’s contempt for American History – I am confident that America will win out in the end. The tough lessons are being learned. We are now reminded of the significance of strong moral character and how it is the most necessary quality of the lucky few that are elected to the presidency. Not all presidents are the smartest, or quickest wits – but by and large they have been moral men. From George Washington to John Quincy Adams to Abraham Lincoln and George W. Bush, it is our great fortune to elect greatness from our ranks.
President Obama knows that he will never be in their league, no matter how much money he spends on political promises. This is why he fights, this is why he uses trickery and obfuscation. He may be a smart man, he may be President but he will never be more than a footnote in history.
It is lovely to be back in the saddle.