With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

Come January, the Republicans will control both houses of Congress, the Executive, and will sooner or later be rearranging the already wobbly balance of the Judiciary. Congrats to them. They won, and a plurality of We the People lost.

But with great power comes great responsibility. From Inauguration Day forward, it’s all theirs, the good, the bad and the ugly. For example:

• Barack Obama rescued us from the failed economy he inherited from his predecessor with literally ZERO help from the Republicans. Not even the most cynical conservative economists deny that anymore. From January 2017 forward, no matter what happens to the economy, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• Barack Obama signed the multi-national agreement to monitor Iran’s nuclear program last year, despite being obstructed by Republicans in and out of power, and even a Republican wannabe in Tel Aviv. The incoming administration has promised to revisit that agreement. Should their efforts lead to disaster, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• Kim Jong-Un is an impetuous, narcissistic crybaby who just happens to have in his possession several nuclear devices, and has threatened to use them if his demands aren’t met (behavior not altogether unlike that of our president elect). Thus far, he’s been kept at bay through a very careful dance of back channel diplomacy, negotiation and compromise. North Korea has been contained, Kim’s chatter notwithstanding. But should that change, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• The price of a gallon of gas, whether or not you want to give him credit for it, has dropped drastically during the Obama years. And I agree, it hasn’t all been his doing. But since the Republicans blamed him for it when it reached its high several years ago, that door swings both ways. Should they spike again in the future, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• Both al Qaeda and the threat posed by ISIS have been systematically reduced during the current administration. Republicans are loathe to admit it, but Barack Obama has been a terrorist killing machine… just ask Osama bin Laden. Should that trend wane over the coming years, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• Unlike what Jeb Bush said about his brother George last year, that he kept us “safe” from terrorism, Barack Obama and Joe Biden actually have. With the exception of a few mostly home-grown terrorist incidents, there’s not been a single major attack within the 50 states under their watch. But should one occur post January of 2017, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• The national debt is approaching $20T, something that drives Republicans berserk. Never mind the fact that they’re largely responsible for 2/3rds of it, they’ve made the national debt their battle cry since January 2009 and have promised that if given power, they’ll reverse it. So come January 2017, unless they keep their word, or if they add so much as 1¢ to the debt, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• The annual deficit when Barack Obama was elected was in the neighborhood of $1.4T. Today, it’s around $580B, or less than half of where it stood when he entered the White House. Whatever happens to that figure in the coming years, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• Through what had to be one of the ugliest, most rancorous divides in modern American history, president Obama signed the Affordable Care Act six years ago, a program the Republicans have sworn to repeal. Doing so will strip 20M Americans of their healthcare, resulting in an immeasurable increase in unpaid ER visits, medical crises, misery and preventable deaths. Should they follow through on that promise, whatever the result, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• President Obama signed the multi-national Paris Climate Change agreement, which promises to protect the planet from a potential man-made catastrophe. The incoming president elect doesn’t accept the scientific consensus on Climate Change, calling it a “Hoax made up by the Chinese,” and has rejected the Paris pact. Should he follow through with his threat to back out of the agreement, any ramifications of that action won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

• Russia’s Strongman in Chief, Vladimir Putin, has proven to the world that he’s playing on an entirely different board than everyone else. His aggression towards his neighbors has them worried—and all the more so, now that his preferred man in Washington has vanquished the winner of the popular vote (with a little help from Russian hackers and Julian Assange). So from January 2017 forward, no matter what happens, no matter how outrageous the offense, how many die or who gets hurt, when Putin makes a move, it won’t be Barack Obama’s or Hillary Clinton’s fault. It’ll be theirs.

Am I hoping for them to fail? No. Only Republicans do that. I want the best for my country. But I’m looking forward to the day when they try to blame any of the above failures-in-waiting on Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. And you know they will.

Welcome to Washington, Donald. You wanted it, now you’ve got it. And everything that comes with it.

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