Archive for Friday, December 23, 2011

Middle ground

Americans are growing weary of politicians who dismiss proposals for partisan reasons without making any effort to consider their potential merits.

December 23, 2011


First a disclaimer: Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of putting partisan interests ahead of policy accomplishments. The current situation in Congress provides ample evidence of that practice.

Another stark example of that practice occurred in Kansas this week in connection with the release of a jobs-creation plan by Democratic leaders in the Kansas Legislature. The leaders had announced on Monday that they would hold two news conferences on Tuesday to outline their 14-point “Kansas Jobs First” plan.

Monday evening, before any details of the plan were released, the Johnson County Republican Party sent out an email summarily dismissing the Democratic plan which, it said, “will be based on fleecing the taxpayer of more money to ensure more people vote Democratic. We have seen this many times in the past …”

As it turned out, the Democratic plan involved changes in the state’s gambling laws that would encourage development of a southeastern Kansas casino and slot machines at three race tracks. According to the Democratic leaders, the changes would directly create jobs in the gaming industry and provide funding to train unemployed workers and help cities and counties with infrastructure projects that also would create jobs.

It may or may not be a good plan, but wouldn’t it have made sense to at least read it and see if there were any ideas worthy of examination before relegating the entire proposal to the trash heap?

One of the things that is frustrating people across the nation is the refusal of both state and national lawmakers to seek any middle ground on policies that might benefit their constituents. They react to proposals before even examining them. Americans can’t help but wonder whether, if they read the proposals and kept an open mind, they might find something in there that could serve as a basis for a bipartisan solution.

It’s just a thought.


Cait McKnelly 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually, if the Democratic party is guilty of anything, it's doing nothing. But you have to admit it's tempting to just stand there and watch the GOP self immolate.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

One of the things that is frustrating people across the nation is the refusal of both state and national lawmakers to seek any middle ground on policies that might benefit their constituents. === Good point, Mr. Simons. About 80% of the public just wants Americans to work together, to build a reasonable, fair tax code and to provide services we are willing to pay for. We let the 10% or so on the extreme left and right drive the debate because it sells television and newspaper ads. The Sheeple need to get involved, actually vote (particularly next August in the primaries) and get with the program. Muscular Sam and his strange little businessman, union-busting jesus may have a long spring. I doubt he can steamroll the legislature this spring, but who knows? If the public remains asleep, it just might happen.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

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dlkrm 6 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One is exactly right. Every time both sides agree, we get royally screwed.

overthemoon 6 years, 5 months ago

Its time to stop with the false equivalency of 'both sides do it' when, in fact, both sides do not 'do it'. The republicans are running off the edge of the world with their adherence to party purity and pledges to extreme rightwing nutters. The democrats don't do this, in large part because the Democrats are and always have been a disorganized bunch and never capable of coming up with simplistic bumper sticker policy statements.

overthemoon 6 years, 5 months ago

That was an election slogan. Not a pretense of policy like 'no new taxes' or 'small government'.

I don't forget, and I'm not a lemming.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

Both "sides" are guilty of a similar offense: They respond to public pressures; in other words, the 'we' helps them perpetuate the mythology of the FINO's (Founders in Name Only) and our collective compulsion--rich, middle class or poor--to provide public goodies for which we are not willing to pay the true price. We are still an adolescent nation but will grow up eventually after all the growing pains sort themselves out.

Centerville 6 years, 4 months ago

Moral of the story: Democrats can dish it out but come running to the Journal World when they have to take it.

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