July 30th, 2011
05:14 PM ET

Letters to the President: #922 'Confidence busters'

Reporter's Note: Many in the DC political crowd are spending this weekend grinding away on some kind of debt deal, with no guarantee that it will come through. So I am grinding away on yet another letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

Can’t speak for you, but I’m feeling a bit whipped this weekend. Between the debt ceiling wrangling, being in New York most of the week, and all the regular things that keep us busy in this business, I could use a vacation. Unlike some of my media pals, I really don’t become energized covering fights such as the one we’re watching in DC. I often find them needlessly destructive, and I worry about the country.

And right now what worries me most, beyond the nuts and bolts of this mess, is the confidence factor. I think we’ve taken a huge, damaging shot to our national psyche, no matter how we work things out. (Well, I guess if somehow we found a magical solution that ended the debt, restored the world’s confidence, generated 10 or 20 million jobs, and brought back McRibs, we might recover pretty fast, but otherwise…)

Many of our worst fears about the weakness and inabilities of our leaders have been confirmed. Our faith that things will come out okay in the end has been badly rattled. And all of this has happened at a time when many Americans were already awfully concerned.

Confidence is a strange thing. When everything is going right, you take it for granted. But when things are going wrong, it can be nearly impossible to convince yourself that better days are on the way. Emmy Lou Harris has a great line in a song called Red Dirt Girl: “One thing they don’t tell you about the blues, when you’ve got ‘em, you keep on falling ‘cause there ain’t no bottom.”

I’m afraid a lot of Americans feel that way right now. They need encouragement. They need to see a few things going right. They need a reason to be confident that we’ll crawl out of this hole somehow. Here’s hoping you and the Capitol Hill crowd can somehow give us what we need before too many more days fall away.

Call if you can. I’ll be on the train back to DC most of the morning, but then I’m around if you want to grab a burger or something.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Peter Marks

    What most people don't realize is that there are three branches of government, the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. People want Obama to come up with a proposal for the House and Senate to consider. The President is of the executive branch and according to the Constitution he can't come up with a proposal and has to let the process continue in Congress to do what they are mandated to do according to the Constitution and that is to pass legislation. The executive branch through the President has the power of veto over any bill that comes across his desk and that is also according to the Constitution. The President can't even negotiate a plan, but he can tell Congress he won't sign a particular bill if it comes across his desk and tell them to modify it but he can't tell them how to modify it. That is left to the Democratic Party and the new members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican to do as it their duty to do it. The main problem that is going on right now is the new members of Congress who are not politically motivated and only have as their agenda to bring about change in Congress and they have no idea as to what the duties of those who serve in Congress are. The bottom line is the current members of Congress don't realize Congress is supposed to negotiate and reach a conclusion on any and all bills being considered and the personal beliefs of those serving aren't to have any bearing on any decisions made by any member of Congress. Some of the new members of Congress sympathized with the Tea Party and it is those members who don't understand their duties and they need to be educated by the older members and soon. We can all kiss goodbye to our future and the future of our children and grandchildren if the U.S. defaults on its debt.

    July 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm |