A Short, Open Letter to the President

Dear Mr. Obama:

There’s a lot going on in the country that needs attention — basic needs like food clothing and shelter, jobs, the environment, etc.  But lately, the news from Washington has been been taken over by the debt ceiling crisis.  It’s like when the little girl fell down the well years ago. It didn’t matter about anything else, the news focused on that.  That was bad enough, but now not only is the press focused on the One Issue, our Congress — both houses — are, too. I assume that it’s taking up a lot of your time, too.

So here’s the deal: invoke the 14th amendment and be done with it. If the two sides could come to a compromise by now, they would have. If the two houses of Congress could have passed a bill by now, they would have. They can’t. They won’t. They’re having a power struggle, and fighting over reality. When people can’t agree on basic assumptions, when people have been instructed to say “no”, no matter what, an agreement simply isn’t possible.

There’s a reason that the Executive Branch really has only one person in it. Sometimes, these things happen and compromise cannot be worked out. In that case, one person has to decide. That person is you. Whether people like it or not, you are in charge. Whether you like it or not, you are in charge. If you wanted to argue about this stuff, you could have stayed a Senator, but you didn’t.  We hired you to lead, and it seems that some people took back their vote. I get that. But not everybody did, some people still think you are President. It’s ok that not everybody agrees with the way you lead. They don’t have to. You appear to have the authority to do so, in this case.

If they want to sue you, let them. By the time it gets to the Supreme Court, hopefully you and Congress will have done some other things and we will have gotten on with life. Market anxiety, the nation’s anxiety, the arguing about how to lead, will all end with a simple stroke of the pen or whatever one does to invoke an amendment.  Tell the Congress: “Time’s up! Thanks for playing!” and do what needs to be done. We hired you to lead. Lead.

From my little corner of the world, like it matters…



John Madsen-Bibeau


2 thoughts on “A Short, Open Letter to the President

  1. John, I agree that it’s about time the President take action. After reading this section of the Constitution, I don’t know whether it authorizes him to raise the debt ceiling on his own As you say, it would end up in the courts. But in the meantime, would it be considered raised for practical purposes?

  2. Val: I can’t make heads or tails of it. I do know that Bill Clinton supposedly thinks he could get away with it. I also think everybody would be thankful he did. Republicans could blame it on him. Dems could say he saved society. No one knows. I think everyone would just be happy it goes away. I’m pretty sure I would.



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