Weather Forecast


I'm Just Sayin: The circle remains unbroken

DuWayne Paul - "I'm Just Sayin'

One of the most famous country music songs of all time was a song by the Carter Family called Will the Circle be Unbroken. It’s a song about hope for the future and wanting to make this a better place, but things just seem to repeat themselves. That theme seems to be what we see time after time in Washington, D.C., no matter who the president is or what party is running the House and Senate.

Whether they be Democrats or Republicans, our federal government cannot focus on pure constitutional issues and cannot keep their ideological minds out of our business. Just looking at the last two administrations draws some interesting comparisons. It almost makes me wonder if there is a secret room at the White House where Bush/Cheney and Obama/Biden routinely meet to talk strategy. All right, that doesn’t happen, but it makes one wonder due to how things have not changed.

Here are some examples:

The Guantanamo prison was created by Bush to incarcerate captured prisoners in the war on terror. Obama promised to close it. It is still open. Regarding the same “war on terror,” the Patriot Act put in place by Bush was decried by many as an assault on our individual liberties. Obama referred to it many times as something that needs to be done away with. It was recently renewed and signed by Obama.

In the Middle East, the Bush administration caused a great deal of frustration and in some cases hatred toward America due to the Iraq war. It seems to be worse now. We kill with drones instead of tanks and our former allies are looking for other partners. Saudi Arabia is looking to partner with China, and Egypt is courting the Russians. Seems like things are much the same.

The Bush administration was accused of not being open and transparent with the press and was constantly at war with Capitol Hill Democrats. The Obama administration, although promising to be open and transparent, has been even more closed and the presidency is still at war with Capitol Hill, only with a different political party. The circle seems to be unbroken.

Regarding our national debt, the Bush administration grew the debt by $4.9 trillion in eight years, and the Obama administration has grown the debt close to $6 trillion in just over five years. Both scenarios are unacceptable, and what has changed?

During the Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney drew loud protests about the contracts given to Halliburton for services during the war in Iraq (Cheney was the former CEO of Halliburton) and these were “no bid” contracts. The recent “no bid” contract for the website was given to a Canadian company that is headed by a former college classmate friend of Michelle Obama and with political fundraising connections to President Obama. Seems like the circles remain unbroken.

Then there is the example of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, neither of which has gone well. One has ended and the other is winding down. But, to get out of both, a “surge” had to be undertaken to put us in a position to try and end the conflict. One surge was by Bush (Iraq) and the other surge was by Obama (Afghanistan). Not much has changed.

So, it just makes one wonder about who to believe during political campaigns and can anyone make a difference in Washington, D.C. With lobbyists, career politicians, and the military industrial complex controlling much of what happens, can anyone break the circle? I’m just sayin’.

• • •   

“Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.” – Aldous Huxley

• • •

DuWayne Paul of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist for the Echo Press.