My impassioned 72-year-old friend (who is now 75, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about Congressional Republican buffoons and their penchant for obstructionism. I am more than happy to oblige.
But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:
Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.
Now for his Special Comment:
Dysfunctional Government, Continued
Last month I wrote a special comment about our dysfunctional Congress. When I thought things couldn't get any worse, they did.
In the last few days the Republicans have completely gone off the rails without caring about the impact of their actions. Their bitterness and hatred for President Obama was clear not only our nation to see, but for the rest of the world.
On Tuesday night President Obama, gave a brilliant State of the Union (SOTU) speech, in which he laid out a plan to move our country forward and getting our economy really moving again. He was asking Congress, and especially the Republicans, to join him in moving our country into the 21st century.
President Obama offered them ideas and plans on education, energy, climate change, health care, infrastructure, job creation, eliminating tax loopholes; and as expected the Republicans gave it lip service and a cold shoulder.
What really set me off was what happened on Valentine's Day. I know Valentine's Day is about showing love for a person very dear to you, family, and friends, but the Republicans ruined the day for me by their actions and unconcern for the needs of our country
Now don't get me wrong, I did not take my anger and frustration out on my wife, who I gave a loving Valentine's Day card, flowers and took her out to dinner at nice restaurant.
My anger and frustration was about two items that followed the SOTU.
* The first one being the sequester. - For months, Congress has known the sequester deadline for reaching a deal, that President Obama would sign would have to be done before March 1, 2013.
Members of Congress know, if no deal is reached, $500 billion must be cut from defense programs and $500 billion must be cut from non-defense programs, over a 10 year period. Economists have stated such cuts would slow our economy and put a million jobs at risk.
The Democrats have presented bills to avoid the sequester that is based on budget cuts and revenue increases. The Republicans are against any bill that has revenue increase in it to avoid the sequester. So instead of trying to address the issue and come to an agreement, the House goes on a planned recess until Feb. 25th.
So I ask, if Republicans were really interested in avoiding a sequester, why are they going into recess? I believe the Republicans have decided to let the sequester happen on March 1, and let the chips fall as they may.
Republican policies have ruined our economy twice and now they are willing to do it again over a balanced approach to lower our deficit.
This is exactly what President Obama was talking about in the SOTU speech: why does every important issue that affects all Americans have to go to the stroke of midnight? The answer for me is, the Republicans are so bitter at losing the presidential election, they will do anything to make President Obama's life miserable, even of it affects our nation.
* The second one being - the filibustering of Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Secretary of Defense. What we are seeing here is nothing but theatre, but it's hurting our reputation around the world.
For John McCain to admit all this has to with a grudge that member(s) of the Senate hold against Hagel, for remarks he made about President George W. Bush, is truly sad. McCain indicates that Hagel will probably be approved after the recess, showing what a farce this whole thing is.
For a person (s) to hold a personal grudge against an individual and use it against the nominee, although it has nothing to do with the nominee's qualifications on national security, is just childish.
Sen. Reid believes that Republican senators who are up for re-election in 2014 voted no so they can now show Tea Party members in their state that they stood up to President Obama's choice for SOD, to avoid a primary challenge. Is this anyway to run a country?
Is it any wonder that the American people have such a low regard for members of Congress?
These last few days only re-enforced my belief that we truly have a dysfunctional government, and it will not change until members of Congress are willing to compromise or are replaced by members who believe in such a thing.
We are in for a long two years.
Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.