Monday, September 13, 2010

I am Not Crazy About Republicans Either

Well, it certainly appears as though the Democrats are going to take a well-deserved licking in the upcoming midterm elections. That makes me smile. Just about everybody I have talked with lately is looking forward to the opportunity to go vote and let the powers in Washington feel the heat of an electorate that is really, really tired of being called racists, stupid, selfish and/or lazy. We are tired of telling our elected representatives how we want them to vote, only to see them push through one piece of legislation we hate after another. We do not like the direction they have been taking this country –but more than that, we hate that they seem to be ignoring us! It looks as though everyone will be getting a long overdue lesson in how democratic republics are supposed to work.

The Republican Party is smelling the distinct aroma of opportunity. They see themselves returning to power on the back of a sweeping public mandate to clean up the halls of Washington. They need to look a little more closely. The American public does not suddenly have a nice warm fuzzy feeling for the GOP. The American public does not like what the Democrats (currently in power) have been doing – but they are only returning the Republicans to power because, at the moment, there are no other choices. They are being voted for because they are “the lesser of the two evils” – not because the entire country has had a sudden conversion to ultra conservatism. Any misinterpretation would be a big mistake.

This country is, and has always been “a slightly right of center” country. Any moves by the politicians that go too far right or too far left have always resulted in ultimate failure. Oh sure, they wind up attracting a few fans and face-book devotees, but they loose in the polls when it comes time for the elections. It is a lesson a great many of our politicians continually fail to learn.

This next congress needs to do something that the Republicans have forgotten how to do. They need to govern. They need to learn that you do not accomplish anything by talking to people. You get things done when you start talking with people. They are going to need to get over this “my way or the highway” approach that generally results in deadlocks and failure. 

Right at this moment everyone is saying that the tax cuts which are due to expire in January should be extended. The general opinion is that raising taxes (which is effectively what will happen when they expire) is bad for the economy. The President and the Democrats originally were adamant about not extending these cuts. They have since softened their position and the President says he is ready to sign an extension for the majority of the tax cuts (except those for the top 2%) into law right now. The Republicans won’t even discuss it. They are playing politics and insist on “all or nothing.” They would rather let the Democrats look bad than compromise. I have a news flash for them – we voters have noticed and we do not like that attitude! Let’s get the bulk extended while we can and then return to the fight for the rest! Getting things done in small increments is still getting things done. Deadlocks are deadlocks and do not accomplish the peoples business.

The Republicans would do very well if they get into power this fall and work to change the direction of the country. But, that only works if they actually change things. If, two years from now, we are still listening to them refusing to act unless they get it all their way (and they will probably not have the votes for that even after this election) they will find an angry electorate which is no longer just angry with the Democrats, but at both political party’s!

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