All Signs Point to more Gridlock
This past week marked a telltale sign of the state of affairs in congress; and unfortunately that sign leads to gridlock junction. Patriotslog has already written about how voters are causing much of the problems in D.C. The problem is how predictable the events that have taken place since then really were. Long time Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar was defeated in the Indiana primary this week; his greatest sin–actually doing his job. His opponent, Richard Murdock, leveled accusations against him time and time again that he worked with President Obama, as if that is a crime the jury of primary elections needed to convict him of. Sen. Lugar accomplished so much for this nation, mostly in the way of national security and foreign relations. He was instrumental in helping to end the Cold War, and in helping to disarm the planet’s vast supply of nuclear weapons. In his career Sen. Lugar has overseen 7,619 nuclear bombs disarmed, 498 missile silos decommissioned, and 902 intercontinental ballistic missiles destroyed. Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus are nuclear weapon free. The list can continue, but the point is clear; making the world a better place does not matter to voters any longer.
Affairs and scandals have become more commonplace, and more politically acceptable than compromise. The word itself quells bile from the bowels of partisanship. Compromise has become the worst thing a politician can do, save treason. Both parties are guilty of this destroy the opposition at all costs mentality. Quality legislatures are being run out of office because they are not Republican enough or Democratic enough. The talk in primary election this season has been about what is best for each respective party; when did our elected officials stop caring about what is best for their country and their constituencies? Olympia Snowe, Kent Conrad, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, Jim Bunning, Orrin Hatch, and Bob Bennett are just a few who have been run out of office, retired, or are facing heated primaries because they do not conform to their respective parties ideological wings as radically as incensed voters would like.
I suppose if all this radicalism accomplished anything the benefits might outweigh the costs; the problem is that it has not given the American people anything worthwhile. The last two years (when radicals were swept into office) has been the worst gridlock in the history of this nation. Sen. Mike Lee, the Utah Senator to replace Bob Bennett because he was not Republican enough, has not exactly been a shining endorsement for the cause of radicalism. After running on a campaign of term limits and balanced budgets, Sen. Lee has yet to write, sponsor, or endorse any legislation pertaining to term limits. Moreover, common sense would tell you that a balanced budget would more easily be achieved by eliminating useless expenditures such as tax subsidies to oil companies which post 11 figure profits; Sen. Lee has instead proposed a method that would give him unlimited campaign cash from the big oil companies which shovel out millions to keep their subsidies, then voted against ending oil subsidies. One can easily make the argument that the greatest two decades of economic prosperity in our nation happened from 1985 through 2005; why then are voters so enthused to throw the lawmakers from that period of time out of office? Radicalism means there will be no compromise; each wing of ideology will refuse to work with the other because they feel they have the fight a legislative war against the other wing. When this happens you and I are paying these legislators to do nothing, literally. Radicalism means we elect people to not do their job.
The argument that the other side is ruining the country is understandable, everyone is fully entitled to their own opinion, but before we let the Rush Limbaughs and Hillary Rosens of the world convince us that the only way to “win” is to elect the most radical candidates we can find we need a little perspective on the issue. This Congress’ approval rating is the lowest in history, if we are that upset with nothing happening, why should we further contribute to the problem? Redistricting has created a voting system where only candidates from one party can win. This means that one party will never “win” the war against the other. Each party will remain essentially the same numbers wise, and the end result will be more and more gridlock. History, at least an unbiased study of it, will show that this nation was built on compromise; that is what has made it the greatest place to live. This has been the desired destination for people from all over the world throughout all our history because immigrants knew they could come to the United States and bring their views and perspectives, disagree with one another, and use the best ideas from everyone to build the best government, industry, and society possible. Our Constitution—the soul of America, the document which shaped all of western society—was written as a grand compromise. The document was formed by men who disagreed on slavery, central verses state government, election verses appointment, and representation by state or by population. They locked the doors and allowed no visitors in their convention because they had to make the hard compromises. When compromise was refused, we ended up with a Civil War.
In a bold prediction, which Patriotslog believes will come true, Dick Lugar said of Richard Murdock: “He has pledged his support to groups whose prime mission is to cleanse the Republican Party of those who stray from orthodoxy as they see it. This is not conducive to problem solving and governance. And he will find that unless he modifies his approach, he will achieve little as a legislator.” The fact is governing requires compromise. Government without compromise is called monarchy. We cannot prosper as a nation electing candidates who will not govern; taking tax payer money as a salary in exchange for no solutions to our problems is the ultimate abuse of power. I understand if voters are upset with a career politician or a Washington “insider” and decide six terms as a Senator is too long. What we as a nation cannot have is that six term Senator being voted out because he refuses to be radical, because he does his job, because he wants his nation, not his party to succeed. If voters continue this, debt will be the least of worries for the next few generations. When George Washington left the Presidency he warned the nation of two things; one of those was rigid political partisanship and radicalism. He was there when the Constitution was written. He knows better than anyone alive today what that document can withstand. The Constitution was a compromise; the idea that we can have a successful nation without it is a quest for El Dorado.
14 May 2012
Posted on May 15, 2012, in Patriotslog Articles, Politics and tagged compromise, Congress, Constitution, founding fathers, ideology, intercontinental ballistic missiles, left wing, missile silos, olympia snowe, politics, radicals, right wing, senator dick lugar. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.