We need political balance back in CongressThe summer’s political blockbuster has ended. After weeks of reading and hearing about the “economic Armageddon,” the debt ceiling was raised. Everyone in Congress has taken off to enjoy time away from the daily grind. Despite weeks of high drama, political leaders hailed it as a victory for their causes and for their nation. M o s t A m e r i c a n s don’t see it that way. They just wanted it to be over — and wanted the adults in the room to prevail. The president of the United States was forced to back away from almost all of his demands for a deal (except that the debt ceiling be extended past 2012). For the executive branch of our government, the “debt deal” was a complete and total rout. Speaker John Boehner told CBS News, “When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the White House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted; I’m pretty happy.” There was a clear intent here by the GOP to spend a great deal of political capital to achieve one goal: to destroy Barack Obama’s presidency. But the practical result is that our institutions of checks and balances are under assault — the power of the executive has been weakened considerably. A minority in Congress has found a method, by using congressional power to obstruct, to have their own way. That’s not good for anyone. But it is where we are heading if some semblance of balance is not returned to American political discourse. Most Americans, according to several polls, wanted to see tax revenues as well as entitlement reforms on the table. Yet, many GOP members signed a pledge not to consider new revenues of any kind. There still has not been a real debate over taxes as part of a balanced approach to paying off debts accumulated over the past 10 years. When the mere mention of tax revenue came up, the Republicans refused to discuss it. And it’s clear they don’t intend to compromise anytime soon. Americans see new revenues as essential to any long-term reduction in debt that doesn’t cripple the government’s ability to grow the economy. If Republicans continue to walk away from real solutions, how can Americans ever hope to get back on their feet? While the stock market teeters and Americans continue to struggle to find jobs, all we can hope to look forward to is more drama and deeper cuts. The recession goes on and on for those still searching for work. Because of “austerity” cuts, GDP growth has slowed and state and local governments are shedding jobs, while the private sector waits for consumer demand and confidence to return. Republican obstructionism continues to put people out of work. Just this week, Congress went home before passing crucial funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees and contracted construction workers. According to one of my Capitol Hill sources, because of “the House Republicans’ refusal to compromise and allow a simple extension of funding, 4,000 FAA employees are now furloughed. What’s more, about 75,000 construction workers are out of work because airport-related projects have been suspended.” This has got to stop. The American middle class is too vulnerable, and the global economy too treacherous, for us to continue hobbling our own people because of ridiculous political gamesmanship. How long will we suffer from elected leaders who pledge allegiance to their donor base and not their constituents’ needs? Our country deserves better. Donna Brazile is a political commentator on CNN, ABC and NPR, and a contributing columnist to Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill. Delmar Stone’s column will resume next week.
He [President Obama] spoke to the frustrations ordinary Americans feel with the political process.
They’re fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word. They work all day long, many of them scraping by, just to put food on the table. And when these Americans come home at night, bone-tired, and turn on the news, all they see is the same partisan three-ring circus here in Washington. They see leaders who can’t seem to come together and do what it takes to make life just a little bit better for ordinary Americans. They are offended by that. And they should be.
He also reminded Americans that history celebrates leaders who "put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union."
So says the President. I say good luck dealing with the Party of NO.We remember the Americans who put country above self, and set personal grievances aside for the greater good. We remember the Americans who held this country together during its most difficult hours; who put aside pride and party to form a more perfect union.That’s who we remember. That’s who we need to be right now. The entire world is watching. So let’s seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth – not just because we can still keep our word and meet our obligations, but because we can still come together as one nation.
This is the crap I get from my Conservative friends. They know I'm not a Republican, but they still send this stuff to me. I don't get it? Do they somehow think this trash will change my position...maybe I'll become a Republican? This kind of stuff just makes me want to continue to be a Democrat. However, this is mild when compared with the 'hate emails' I received during the campaign for the presidency in 2008. No wonder Obama became president with this kind of crap.