Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mr. President, Drive Isn’t Always the Right Gear to Choose

Our eloquent president made an extremely clever analogy last week at a Democratic National Committee event in Atlanta last week according to the LA Times:

“When you get in your car, when you go forward, what do you do? You put it in D. When you want to go back, what do you do? You put it in R.”

In other words, voting Republican will take us back while voting Democrat will take us forward.

Clever. Right? Right?

But it might have been a bit too clever for his own good. Because sometimes, going backwards is actually the proper thing to do. A few examples:

• When you’ve just hit a dead end
• When you’re parked in your driveway and don’t want to ram right into your house
• When you’re leaving the grocery store and didn’t get a pull through

On that last one, my younger sister serves as an excellent recent example of why forcing your car forward isn’t always such a great thing…

Leaving church one Sunday morning, she and her friend didn’t want to have to wait in the slow moving line to exit the parking lot. Seeing an opportunity to avoid the long and annoying wait, her friend urged her to simply drive forward across the stretch of grass separating them from the road. Deciding that was an excellent idea, Ellie shifted her car into “D” and put her foot on the gas.

They didn’t realize that there was a concrete median there until her front wheels had cleared it and the car’s undercarriage was shrieking in protest. Fortunately, she was able to put it into reverse – the intelligent move to make in the first place, mind you – and move the car back onto the safe asphalt of the parking lot, but Ellie confesses that she was very concerned for a few minutes that they would need assistance from their fellow church goers… who were all busy staring at them like they were idiots (which, no offense lil’ sis, but in this instance, you kinda were).

Incidentally, I used this story with her permission, so I’m sure that she would be perfectly fine sharing its moral – that forward isn’t always a good direction to go – with our president.

To take Obama’s comparison further, you probably want to put your agenda in reverse when unemployment under the previous administration never topped 8% and yet in the two years since, it’s hit double digits.

Going back doesn’t sound like a bad idea when Bush, even with his two wars and his “compassionate conservatism” – which included signing a ridiculous amount of pork – never projected the $1.6 trillion deficit that Obama wants to head towards this year.

And when the U.S. government blatantly doesn’t listen to its own people anymore on subjects such as national health care, immigration and federal spending, we were better off before.

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