On Wall Street, short selling is making a bet that a particular stock, or the market in general, will decline. If the stock does lose value, the individual short seller reaps a profit. The Republicans in Congress today are short selling America by betting against the success of President Obama's programs to revitalize our country's economy.
Financial short selling is legal and, within reason, provides a function beyond personal gain. Short sellers are often astute individuals who see that a stock is overvalued and their short selling creates a check on the stock's hyperbolic rise in paper value. The problem, and when short selling a stock crosses the line into illegality, is when short sellers take actions that cause the stock to decline in value — creating profit for themselves at the expense of everyone else. One such form of action is attempting to convince others that the stock is worthless and should be sold.
How does this analogy apply to Congress? It is the proper function of the opposition party to provide a check and balance to the party currently in power. This is like the useful aspect of financial short selling. But the line into unacceptable behavior is crossed when the opposition attempts to cause the administration to fail. This is like selling an orange juice stock short and then running ads screaming "Orange juice is dangerous to your health," or yelling "Fire" in a crowded building that is not burning.
I find it unacceptable for any American, and especially for members of Congress, to publicly express a wish for the duly elected administration to fail, or to create conditions that increase the likelihood of failure. Did we Democrats do everything we could to draw attention to President Bush's failures? Absolutely. Did we spotlight his impeachable actions? Of course. But did Democrats risk America by attempting to create failure? Never.
I can hear the right wing jumping in to interject that Democrats have also had failures. All too true, but not by sabotaging the political process, and I would argue that any such failures pale in comparison to travesties such as the war in Iraq. As one example, the widespread use of the filibuster to distort the political process is a recent Republican phenomenon. While having any public figures cheering for our government to fail is a blot on our nation's character, please understand that this article is in no way a condemnation of all conservatives. Some prominent Republicans have certainly expressed support for at least some of President Obama's policies.
Once every four years is often enough to hold a Presidential election. In between, let's support our President, and our country.