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.

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

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