By now, most people have probably heard about the famous “mute button scene” in Bob Woodward’s latest meisterstuck, The Price of Politics. As New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani describes the scene:
Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, then the House speaker, [is] working with Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, on last-minute details of the stimulus package when the president calls. As Mr. Obama – who’s been put on speakerphone – begins to deliver a high-minded message about how important the bill is, Mr. Woodward reports, Ms. Pelosi “reached over and pressed the mute button on her phone,” so they could hear him but he couldn’t hear them as they continued number-crunching the bill.
So if you’re wondering how we are to live our lives, do our jobs (or find them, as the case may be) or simply survive a second Obama administration, there’s your answer: Take a deep breath. Let out a long sigh. Then hit the figurative mute button and do your best to work around him. And the thousands of new regulations. And the soaring gas prices. And the high unemployment. Obama and the Democrats can’t hurt the country while he’s talking and they’re listening. So let the man talk as long as he wants while life, to the extent possible, goes on without him.
And be sure to thank God for term limits. When you’re shelling out $6.00 for a gallon of gas or searching desperately for one of the dwindling number of doctors, console yourself with the thought that each passing day of this president’s remaining tenure will be a day gone. Remind yourself that eventually, ultimately, blissfully, he will depart. But the problems he created – and, I predict, many, many more – will still be there, so you won’t have missed a thing. We might even elect a new president with the inclination and ability to deal with them.
And when, on certain occasions, some of us find that we do have some power to act against this most arrogant and incompetent of presidents?
Addendum: The blogs and Twitter feeds have been awash with pundits opining on “the lessons of the 2012 election," so I might as well throw in my own two cents worth. The lesson of Election 2012, for Republicans, is the same as the lesson the Democrats learned in 2004: it’s very hard to defeat a sitting president. But having said that, it might be a good idea, sometime before the next election, to make sure the new whiz-bang software program actually works.