My letter to the Inlander in response to George Nethercutt's latest commentary.
I'm writing about Mr
Nethercutt's latest contribution to the Inlander (In the End, It's a
Tax). His use of words like "exposed", "deception", and "deceit"
referring to the government's position that the penalty for not
purchasing health insurance is not a tax are carefully chosen. He makes
it sound like the Obama administration purposely created 2,000 pages of
legislation in order to confuse everyone. He neglects to mention that
Republicans played a major in crafting this 2,000 page legislation as
400 of their amendments were adopted.
He claims President Obama would have labeled the Supreme Court
"political" had they voted against him. Let's be clear that the Supreme
Court was evaluating the arguments placed before them and deciding the
outcome based on the U.S. Constitution, not voting for or against
President Obama. To say otherwise is to assume the court is political.
Then Mr Nethercutt goes on to claim other presidential deceptions. He
has somehow determined that this nation is even more divided than 2009,
but he makes no mention of the Republican congressional members who met
and decided they were not going to give President Obama anything.
Anything. They've admitted their number one goal is to make Obama a
one-term president. As a result, in Mr Nethercutt's world, the president
is responsible for not uniting with the people who want nothing to do
He continues with a general statement that Obama "directing federal
government actions designed to intimidate Arizona and Texas on
immigration recently is hardly unifying". The specific actions he refers
to are left to the reader to decide so I'm going with my best guess.
The Justice Department sued Arizona two years ago stating the Arizona
immigration law conflicted with federal law. Last month the Supreme
Court agreed and struck down three of the four provisions of the law.
Regarding Texas, I can only assume Mr Nethercutt is referring to the
Justice Department challenging the voter ID law claiming it would
disproportionately affect Hispanics. How all that is "designed to
intimidate" and "hardly unifying" may be intuitively obvious to Mr
Nethercutt, but is lost to anyone not suffering from confirmation bias.
Mr Nethercutt claims President Obama promised to keep unemployment under
8 percent and failed to keep that promise. The only record of President
Obama making such a promise are the many online articles of Republican
party members saying he made that promise. Those are based on a report,
The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, published
on Jan 9, 2009, and written by Christina Romer, the incoming chairwoman
of the white House Council of Economic Advisers at the time, and Jared
Bernstein, chief economic adviser for then incoming Vice President Joe
report includes a graph showing the effect of the plan on unemployment
based on the what was then the estimated future unemployment rate. Their
estimate of the future unemployment rate were wrong but that doesn't
mean the stimulus plan had no effect on unemployment. And now, in
hindsight, we can see how many more people were working as a result of
the stimulus plan and that the unemployment rate would have been worse had it
not been implemented.
Mr Nethercutt claims that President Obama promised openness and
transparency and instead "secretively and regularly collaborates with
Washington's lobbying community" and yet provides no examples of this
secretive behavior. You'd think that as a member of that lobbying
community, Mr Nethercutt would be in a position to provide some
Next, he highlights President Obama's broken promise--"to the left" as
if that's important--to close Guantanamo as another example of deceptive
behavior. He neglects to add that most of Congress was against closing
Guantanamo. Consequently, this mockery of justice continues to stain
America's international reputation.
Mr Nethercutt offers these along with many more unsubstantiated
accusations of deceptive behavior and deceit on the part of President
Obama within his commentary.
I look at
the bright side as to why the Inlander continues to host Mr Nethercutt's
so-called commentary. If the reason is to offer a balance of "both
sides" then if nothing else, Mr Nethercutt provides a sterling example
of how unbalanced one "side" is--even more so if he's the best
commentator the Inlander can get. There are no reasoned
arguments supporting a position, no
point/counterpoint, or food for thought for that matter. This commentary is,
in the end, just an anti-Obama diatribe.
The Bikes of Iceland
1 day ago