Is America ungovernable? The center will not hold and it is time we recognize it because that time is running out!
by Charlie Leck
Jack Krugman begins a commentary in the 8 February 2010 NY Times this way:
“We’ve always known that America’s reign as the world’s greatest nation would eventually end. But most of us imagined that our downfall, when it came, would be something grand and tragic.The Senate and House of Representatives in the United States of America is in total wreckage and disrepair. I don’t know how it is going to be fixed or who in the land has the courage to provide the leadership to right this sinking ship of state. If you think this is an over-statement, you just aren’t paying attention. The examples are in the hundreds and can be found by following any standard national newspaper or by reading leftist, rightwing or centrist blogs and news outlets on-line.
“What we’re getting instead is less a tragedy than a deadly farce. Instead of fraying under the strain of imperial overstretch, we’re paralyzed by procedure….”
I’m not certain any President can address this problem, though I’ll suggest in a moment what the President might try to do – no I want to say that in a much stronger way – “I’ll suggest in a moment what the President must do to begin a fix of this problem.”
Only the people can fix this problem
In fact, however, only the American people can fix this problem and it will take a great awakening of the moderates and centrists in America to do it. The recipe is simple. (1) Before you vote for anyone for the Congress of the United States (House or Senate), secure from them a pledge that they will vote in a bi-partisan way to fix the nation. The people must never forget that there are three great divisions of government in our nation – the executive, the legislative and the judicial. Our work, from this day forward, must be to put in those positions people who care more for the health and welfare of the nation than the political party that endorses them. The need for a “super majority” in order for Congress to pass any bill leaves the legislative process paralyzed. Recently you watched six members of the opposing party in Congress work with the president in a bi-partisan way on a piece of legislation, arriving at an agreement on what needed to be done. Yet, when that bill reached the floor for a vote, all six voted against it under strict orders from their party leadership. I’m not blaming any one party here. This strict control of legislators by the party is applied by both Republicans and Democrats. (2) Before you vote for anyone for the Congress of the United States, secure from them a pledge that will not be influenced in any of their votes by the amount of campaign funds they have received from any individual, labor union or corporation! It takes huge amounts of funds to get elected in this modern era. If gaining reelection is more important than doing what is right and just to any Senator or Representative, we have got a problem. We need to elect legislators who are willing to serve only one term if it means doing exactly what is right for the people and the nation.
I am making my own personal pledge here and today – at this moment – that I will no longer vote by party designation. I promise! I will only vote for men and women who will promise to cooperate across the aisle to do what is right and not allow themselves to be controlled by party caucus leaders. Sit down and shut up, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi! And the same to you Mitch McConnell, Richard Durbin and John Boehner! We’ve had enough of your destructive actions and now we want people who will rebuild and return America to its greatness. Enough! Enough! Enough!
And Senator Shelby, too!
Krugman points out (in the commentary cited above) that Senator Richard Shelby (Alabama) has placed a personal hold on approximately 70 Obama appointments to high level government positions “until his state gets a tanker contract and a counterterrorism center.” Shame on Shelby and shame on a Senate that establishes rules that allow a Senator to do such a thing! Don’t you see why the system doesn’t work?
And now, President Obama!
Here’s what President Obama must do over the next eight months! He must hit the campaign trail again and he must hit it hard. He must go back out and rally those people who believed in his promise of change and he must explain to them why America is not changing and is instead, and indeed, going backwards. And, he must not blame it on Republicans or Democrats. He must blame it on politicians who are too tied to either of those parties and who take their orders from party bosses and big financial contributors. He must tell the people that this must end and end now. Tell them to vote against obstructionists and those who will not work with leaders across the great political divide to save America.
If there are good and cooperative Republicans out there, the President must not work against them. If they are bums who would not work with him and vote constantly on party-lines, identify them and work against them. Mr. President, if there are men and women of your own party who will not take the two pledges I have listed above, don’t support them even if they are of your own party.
Total party loyalty in America must end now! Our first loyalty must be to nation and that must start at the top with the President of the United States.
If not now, we are lost and so is America!
We must understand, as history shows us, that no nation retains its greatness and primary world position forever. Perhaps it is America’s time to decline. If so, that is sad. History will blame it on people like Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Michelle Bachman and all those crazies out there on the far left and far right.
The long and the short of what I am saying is that the great center of America must again rise up and take control. Now or never!