What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Letter #137... Dear Mr. President... An Apology on Behalf of All Americans

Dear Mr. President,

I’d like to apologize for the rude and disrespectful manner in which Governor Jan Brewer greeted you the other day when you arrived in Arizona. I believe that I speak for all decent Americans when I say, “we are deeply sorry” for this very public display, and obvious lack of respect toward you personally, and the office of the President.
Gov. Brewer... You need to apologize.

I’m sure there are many good people in Arizona, who now know, that their Governor is capable of being blatantly disrespectful toward another elected official, and their President, and that somehow she thought it could play out to her best advantage. This is unacceptable behavior for anyone, on any level, and I hope at some point Gov. Brewer recognizes this and apologizes in her own behalf.

As we know Gov. Brewer followed this blatantly disrespectful act with a round of talk show interviews trying to put a positive spin on her rudeness by saying she felt threatened, that some how, some way, your body language was threatening. Even the most hapless inebriate would be able to point to the person in that photo that was threatening… and it most certainly wasn’t you Mr. President.

Con. Giffords letter of resignation
On the other end of the spectrum in Arizona we have Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, walking bravely and respectfully up the stairs toward the rostrum of Speaker Boehner to personally hand him her letter of resignation. Even though they had many differences besides party affiliation, both Speaker Boehner, and Congresswoman Giffords, knew how to display the proper etiquette, the proper decorum and proper respect, befitting the Chamber and the political office each held.

Former Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, hit the nail on the head when she spoke of Giffords, “she has brought the word ‘dignity’ to new heights.” Indeed, it was a moment that made us all proud, regardless of our political differences. In fact, it was easy to see how moved Speaker Boehner was by looking at his facial expressions… which I believe were genuine, and appropriately emotional.

I can only hope that in the ensuing months, people from both parties will remember these images and decide for themselves how they want our America viewed by the rest of the world, through the disrespectful eyes of Gov. Brewer, or the gracious and dignified eyes of Congresswoman Giffords. I know… there really is only one answer.

Again, please accept my apology, and the apology of all decent and genteel Americans, for the unconscionably rude behavior of the Governor of the great State of Arizona. It was most certainly uncalled for, unnecessary, and 100% inappropriate.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Letter #136 - Dear Mr. President... Beware of People Who 'Like You Very Much'

Dear Mr. President,

Magnificent! Your State of the Union message was just what this country needed to hear… moving this country forward for all Americans, united, rather than divided.

Always reaching across the aisle
My last letter on January 3rd talked about the three years you’ve spent reaching across the aisle asking and hoping for Republican cooperation… and even now, in the State of the Union address, you are once again asking the Republicans to work with you, to send you legislation that you can sign to help lift the American people out of the abyss we’ve been mired in for far too long. Asking both Democrats and Republicans to work together for the ‘common good’ of all people, regardless of their party affiliation.  

I hope it happens. I hope the Congress listens the words you spoke, the ideas you put forth, and the future you proposed, without twisting those words and ideas into something malevolent and unrecognizable. For once I’d like to hear some consensus, on the premise that they can and should be doing more to move America forward.

Unfortunately, I doubt that we will experience much movement in a positive direction. As I watched my local news at 11:00 last night, I listened to 3rd Congressional District Republican Dan Lungren, respond when asked by a reporter, what he thought of your speech. His response was totally negative, suggesting that you didn’t even mention how we were going to pay down the deficit. Apparently, he and I listened to a different speech. You did, in fact, mention the debt and how nearly $1 trillion will be added to that debt if we continue to give tax breaks to the wealthiest 2%, and if we don’t close the tax loopholes, but I guess that’s not what Lungren wanted to hear… so he didn’t.

Today I watched a YouTube video Lungren put up when he got back to his office in Washington, with a much more scripted response… however, after saying how he ‘likes you very much,’ he then lambasted your policies, saying they are inconsistent with the facts and what he sees back home, and that you described “an economy that was going gangbusters.” I believe what you actually said was “the state of the union was getting stronger, and we’ve come too far turn back now.” It’s exactly this type of bombastic, irresponsible, exaggerated rhetoric that has created the gridlock in Washington, and divided this nation and it’s people. 

I live in the district that Lungren represents and I see positive growth all around me, we have new stores opening up in Folsom adding hundreds of ‘new’ jobs that weren’t there before… and LAFCO voted 6 days ago to allow Folsom to grow by 3500 acres for development that includes businesses, schools, homes, parks… etc… Folsom is a trade area that is growing at twice the national average, so don’t listen to the Lungren’s who claim to “like you very much”… because with friends like this, who needs enemies?

Stay positive Mr. President, because neither success nor greatness will be found in your power, prestige, or your position… but instead, it will be found in your humility, your service, your goodness, and your character, which you have in abundance.

Most Respectfully, 

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Letter #135... Dear Mr. President... Mistaking Kindness for Weakness.

Dear Mr. President,

In many respects you and I are alike… we both care a great deal about people and genuinely want to help whenever and wherever we can. Sometimes that desire to help is wrongly misinterpreted as being weak.

Over the last three years you have tried again and again to work with Republicans, often compromising on key issues in an effort to move at least part of the Democratic agenda forward. To the consternation of most Democrats, who knew it wouldn’t work, at least you tried… at least your heart was in the right place, and for the right reasons. But, as they say… no good deed goes unpunished.

Recently, I’ve been helping a friend through some medical issues culminating in long delayed, life saving surgery. I was more than happy to help in any way possible, believing that everyone needs help from time to time, and no one should have to go through surgery alone. It’s not necessary to go into the details or the myriad of things I actually did, but suffice to say it never seemed to be enough. There were lists made of things for me to do, stores to go to, transportation to appointments, time and transport to the hospital before and after surgery…. etc… etc… The straw that broke the camels back came when it was time for the follow-up appointment… I was asked if I would make a little detour to take two dogs to the groomer. While this person ‘talked’ about being appreciative for ‘everything’ I’ve done, there was ‘always’ an additional chore that needed to be done… something they were sure I wouldn’t mind doing, but never asking if I had the time, or was able to do these things.  

So Mr. President… it seems there are two kinds of people that need, and accept, help from those that offer… the kind that ‘truly appreciate’ the things you are ‘able’ to do for them, and the kind that no matter what you do, there is always something else they need. They mistake kindness for weakness and exploit that kindness at every opportunity, and then wonder why their ‘friends’ pull back and don’t keep in touch.

For you Mr. President… after three years of trying to forge bipartisan support for issues important and necessary for moving this economy forward, and trying to improve the lives of ordinary Americans… what has been your reward… distain from the Republicans who have maligned you, and denigrated you at every opportunity, and Democrats aren’t much better. They’ve called you ineffective and conciliatory… and now everyone’s upset with your new ‘go it alone’ strategy. Go figure.

You have always been an unparalleled gentleman, hugely respectful, and a true statesman that comports himself with the dignity and integrity that the office of the President of these United States demands. You do it all with grace and courage, never weakness… and there isn’t a person on the right or the left that can hold a candle to you, or fill your shoes, or do the incredibly difficult job you do for this country.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers, 
Your Gadfly Granny