The Inner Bottom Line ® ..where Choices & Values meet

“You Want an Olive Branch?”

January 24th, 2013   •   no comments   
olive gallagher

Life Coach & Ethicist Olive Gallagher

During my January 22nd show, I commented on a headline I had read earlier that day about some GOP leaders who were “disappointed” in President Obama’s second Inaugural Address.

Why, you ask? Well, according to one of the many sources, the right-leaning Wall Street Journal, the President, in their view, didn’t offer them “an olive branch.” Really?

Then today, with the story still spinning madly in the media, the incredibly disappointing and somewhat disjointed Senator McCain, who has exhibited a nearly unbroken stream of vitriol and disapproval at all things Obama and Democratic since he lost his own run at the office, stated that he “would have liked to have seen some outreach.” Are you kidding me?

Folks, along with how absurd and insulting it is, this is a perfect and prime example of classic passive aggressive behavior at its dreadful best.

Consider this example of that behavior that occurs in far too many relationships. “He” states in no uncertain terms, just as the GOP leadership did, even before President Obama officially took office in 2008, that no matter what you need or want, no matter what you attempt to accomplish, ask or offer to get something done, he will say no. Period. And then give you a million excuses why his answer will be no.

However, despite the negativity and door shut in your face, “you” remain undeterred. Positive that you can persuade him to come around, you first ask nicely, providing reasoning and explanation. Getting nowhere, you then begin to offer compromises, finding new words to express what you want and need.

Receiving a no or, at best, disdainful response, you then offer alternate solutions, and when they fall on deaf ears, you conjure up a few more innovative new options. You basically bend over backwards to get this person to hear you, consider you, work with you, honor you. And still, you get nowhere. Zilch. Nada. Zero. He isn’t listening. Period. Even worse, he doesn’t seem to care or even hear you anymore. And so you’re frustrated, exhausted, spent and fed up.

Finally, you admit to him that no matter how hard you’ve tried, nothing seems to be working, and so, you stop asking. You stop trying. You’ve gotten the message. You were wrong. You tried everything, all the while being respectful, helpful, fair, and thoughtful. It just didn’t work. And none of it seemed to be valued or even appreciated. So you buck up and decide you’ll just have to go it alone the best you can.

And then, in the void, the quiet, what does he do? He points a finger at you and proclaims loudly so everyone in your life can hear, “Look, she stopped asking. Talking to me. I’ve been here, waiting for her to offer me something I liked, consider me, include me. She knows I’m always willing to listen. And now, I’ve been shut out, shut down, tuned out. I’m being ignored. How dare she? After all I’ve done.”

Sound familiar? Sadly, this happens too often.

So, GOP gentlemen, or rather, should I say boys, grow up. You’ve been behaving like adolescents, having toddler-like temper tantrums, saying ‘no’ over and over to anything and everything like you were still stuck in your “terrible twos”, behavior illustrating vividly that you seem to be incapable of thinking with the head on top of your heads.

You also seem unable to express or contribute any kind of respectful, conciliatory, reasonable and productive comments or solutions to any of the massive problems this President inherited, thanks so much, by the way, to your candidate and woeful leader, Mr. Bush. (Or should we thank the real architects of the mess, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney?)

Frankly, as the majority of the electorate demonstrated during the 2012 election, we’re fed up with your behavior, choices and values. They don’t reflect the will of the people and clearly indicate that you have seriously forgotten a key part of your job description, which is to reflect the people’s will, not those of special interest groups or deep-pocket behind-the scenes power brokers who have obviously been feeding the monkey for far too long.

So, you want an olive branch? You think you deserve one now? It’s been offered for far too long on too many key issues. You missed your chance to get one.

It’s now time for leadership and productivity. As our brilliant President stated in his memorable, historic, second inaugural speech: “Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle century’s long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time. For now, decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”

I, for one, applaud our President for finally – finally – indicating that he’s had enough of trying to play nice and try to appease a group that has no intention of being reasonable on literally any issue vital to our country’s well being and future.

I agree, it’s time for action, and if this band of little boys, stuck in the bathroom with their noses up their butts, can’t find a way to join in and participate in our democracy in a productive, respectful way, then they only have themselves to blame. It isn’t as if they weren’t given years to get on board the bus. Now, the only seats left, if any, are ones in the back or on the roof.


You can submit your questions or book private phone sessions with Olive at, explore her new blog at, or call into her show, “The Inner Bottom Line,” at 661-449-1425 with your questions. All letters and calls can be anonymous and confidential.

Kindle and audio versions along with the hard cover of Olive’s book, The Nude Ethicist: A Simple Path to The Good Life, are now available on

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