It is important to note that we the people, are finally catching on to what is going on in government or should we say what is not going on. Polls indicate that the public now lists our dysfunctional government as one of the top issues that the country faces. Even the people with money, the ones who spend big money on campaigns are having second thoughts on who they give money to. Perhaps it is better to say that our fellow citizens are increasingly aware of the fact that government by crisis is not the way to run a railroad or a government.
One idea is to borrow a phrase from an anti-drug campaign and just say no. No to anymore hostage taking, no to government by intimidation. We are a government, a Republic that works when the democratic principle of majority rules, rules the day. Elections should have consequences and mean something. We can no longer afford to be tyrannized by a minority bent on having their way no matter what.
It took over 30 years for us to get to this point. For thirty years we have been told that government is bad. Each side of the political spectrum has contributed to the lack of bi-partisanship that we have now. Political advisors, talk radio, think tanks and foundations have ratcheted up everyones emotions. For a long time people of money and influence have sought to divide us by spending a fortune encouraging the thought that politics is all about ideology rather than compromise. It’s been to their advantage because they get more money from campaign contributions by, at first, using hotbed social issues that divide us, and now we face as a people constant manufactured crisis. Our government has become a source of derision and laughter worldwide.
A recent interview that took place on 60 minutes with John Boehner was quite revealing, in that he refused to say the word compromise. He insisted on using common ground. How can we move forward if the Speaker of the House of Representatives is so afraid of the far right that he won’t even use the word compromise?
If each side of a dispute refuses to compromise and they insist on standing on principle what do you wind up having? You wind up having a government that will not work.
In the most recent episodes of government by crisis we have finally come to the point where compromise does not work. It is time to break the fever of intimidation and hostage taking. If you don’t negotiate with terrorists, you should not negotiate with domestic hooligans who insist on putting the credit worthiness of the dollar on the line. We should also not negotiate over whether to keep the government open. There is a budgetary process that should be followed. If one is concerned about raising the debt ceiling, then solve the problem before it gets to the point of even needing to raise the debt limit by either not passing spending bills that will cause the debt to increase or by raising revenues by closing loopholes in the tax code or by other methods. In otherwords unless there is an economic crisis let’s pay as we go.
There are other structural issues that need to be addressed as we go forward. We need to fix the filibuster rules and eliminate the arcane rule of allowing a senator to place a hold on a nomination. In the House of Representatives, the people’s house, we need to allow for a vote to take place. We the people deserve to know where our representatives stand on issues of concern to most of us.
The Constitution allows for each branch of the legislature to set its own rules. Fine and dandy, but rules need to be changed when rules eliminate the chance for a vote on a measure that has been proposed. The Rules Committee in the House determines what is to voted on and the Speaker of the House has the power to determine what will be presented for a vote as well. Is this democracy? Let us hear what the vote is on the debt ceiling or whether a jobs bill proposed by the President of the United States has the votes or not.Maybe, just maybe, we can fix our system of government that is currently broken. But our government if you can call it a government will listen to us if we make them hear what we are thinking by sending emails or letters to our representatives and tell them enough is enough. We need to end governing by crisis.