By Jim Kempton
Politics has been cynically described as the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. One thing is for sure: The last 12 years have made politicians the most unpopular group in the nation. There are those who say politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the totally unpalatable. Some believe politicians are like diapers: They should both be changed frequently and for the same reason.
The Democrats claim they are the party that says government will work to make you smarter, happier, safer… and a lot lighter in your pocketbook. The Republicans declare they are the party that says government doesn’t work at all. And then they get elected and prove it. I swear I don’t know which is worse. If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
It is hard to deny that Congress (no matter which party holds the majority) is guilty of a lot. In every session in the last nine Presidential terms, they have kicked the can down the road. But this Congress has done nothing. And because the American people know this, it is the most unpopular and disrespected of any in our entire history. As in 220 some years.
Congress has done nothing to stem the loss of employment to overseas outsourcing. Nothing to rebuild the atrocious state of our infrastructure. Nothing to better our pallid growth in the job market. Nothing to counter the layoffs. The polite word for laying people off is now to call them “redundant.” My definition of redundancy is an air bag in a congressman’s car.
This year people are paying attention to congressional seats, not just the Executive Office. Because having viewed the last congress we begin to realize that the stagnation we endure might be the 435 bozos on both sides of the aisle that have bickered and boasted, block the opposition and beat their chest—while getting absolutely nothing done. Romney will find (should he be elected) that an intractable, non-compromising Senate can block his efforts just as easily as they did Obama. And if we want our Presidents to get anything done, we need a Congress that will work to compromise on behalf of the citizens of our great nation.
So this year the voters are not accepting the platitudes of sound bites and TV spots.
We are asking not just ‘are we better off than we were four years ago,” but which party platform has the better chance to make the next four years better as well.
While our local politicians deserve much more respect than our national representatives, we should choose our vote by the same careful method.