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Friday, March 13, 2015

Random Thoughts, Government

The Republicans campaigned on the idea that they needed to show how well they could govern. In their very first opportunity to show leadership, they fail miserably. Meanwhile, the plans the President was able to push through have caused the economy to stabilize, the job market to rise steadily, and the world's leaders to respect our government again, and he's rewarded with losing the Senate and being called one of the worst presidents in history by his opponents and much of the nation. Hunh?

The Republicans are praying to the ghost of Reagan past, acting like he was some sort of god-incarnate, and claiming to be "Reagan Republicans," and yet, Obama is following Reagan's play-book step by step and the Republicans are doing nothing but blocking him at every turn. Go back and look it up; everything that Obama has proposed is nearly identical to what Reagan did to help pull America up and get the economy humming again. Yet "modern" Republican leadership ignores that, obfuscates, and blocks Obama at every turn. It just goes to prove that modern Republicans have shifted the playing field so far to the right that Reagan would be considered a Liberal today.

Jon Stewart made a comment that I think is insightful. Paraphrased, he said that the Republicans today are not about governing, they are about doing that which protects and projects the Republican/conservative ideals. The more I've thought about it, the truer those words seem. The Republicans are not governing, they absolutely do not care about their constituents' or the country's needs, all they want to do is show their "Republican-ness" or Conservative credentials.

The Republicans are making a big deal about Obama's executive orders. Yet they don't comment on the fact that Reagan passed over 1600 while in office and that Obama currently stands at just 200. They don't comment on the fact that Obama has asked, pleaded, and begged for the Republicans to help him draft laws that make sense, and yet they refuse to govern at all, making executive orders a requirement to get anything done. Again, opportunities to show leadership that the Republicans flush down the toilet.

Don't you find it interesting that the FCC declares the Internet a right, like water, and shifts where it is located under the law to protect its neutrality, and the Republicans that are drawing up a lawsuit to challenge that decision have, as their highest dollar-amount donors, Comcast, Cox, Verizon, et al? Gee, the exact groups that want to charge you as much as possible, put in "slow lanes" and bottlenecks, and stop any and all innovation from happening on the Internet don't like the FCC's ruling? Big shocker. And all the more reason to think the FCC did the RIGHT thing.

The nation is falling apart. The infrastructure for water, sewer, bridges, roads in general, subways, trains, etc. are all crumbling and in dire need of repair. Yet the Republicans have blocked reasonable laws that would fund fixing this mess for over seven years now. That's seven years worth of continued degradation and collapse. Is this the leadership the nation needs?

We need term limits. (See.) Part of the problem is that people are spending much longer in Congress than our founding fathers ever could have guessed. When it becomes an average of a 10-year long career, it creates cronyism and a lack of new ideas due to the lack of turnover. And that leads to further polarization of the groups, including putting people who have seniority but absolutely no idea what they are governing in the subcommittees that create laws and hear the will of the people. Congress needs more turnover, needs new blood, and needs more parties than the main two in it.

I still cannot help but think that America needs a strong independent to rise up, challenge the notions of the bicameral system by winning elections and/or standing strong and making a great showing in a Presidential election (if not winning it), to break the hold that the Democrats and Republicans have on politics and bring things back to the people.

Or we need another revolution.