Archive for Friday, October 4, 2013

Letter: Future at stake

October 4, 2013


To the editor:

Our federal government is shutdown. It’s frustrating. It’s embarrassing. How did we get here?

There have often been strong ideological movements in American politics (think Goldwater and McGovern). Despite this, Democrats and Republicans somehow found ways to compromise and govern. Though sharp ideological contrasts have grown in recent decades, what’s really changed is the structure of politics, making partisanship more common and compromise rarer.

Let’s be clear: There was no golden age in Washington when everyone agreed on everything and sang “Kumbaya” around a campfire in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. But 40 years ago, the rules and organizing framework of politics made it easier for the two parties to work together. Since then, a series of changes has led to increased partisanship, including redistricting, narrowcasting of media, anti-Obama sentiment (racial and otherwise) and the weakening of institutional party power.

This may sound depressing, but it’s entirely fixable — though it will take time. Compromise is essential, but before we ask President Obama to compromise with House Republicans consider this: The Affordable Care Act passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by the president. It was confirmed by the Supreme Court. And don’t forget, President Obama was then re-elected after his opponent, Mitt Romney, vowed that his first act as president would be to overturn “Obamacare.” President Obama must not give in to this hostage taking — not just because Obamacare is at stake, but because the future of how we govern ourselves is at stake.


gr 4 years, 8 months ago

And don't forget President Obama already made several exceptions to the law. How we govern ourselves IS at stake.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 8 months ago

You forget that every one of those exceptions were passed through Congress and signed by the President into law. He didn't do it willy nilly under his own power. Everyone of those exceptions was to correct a minor problem to keep it from becoming a major one. In at least one instance, it went through a bipartisan committee with the House and the Senate before it went to the floor. In a piece of legislation this big, minor tweaking was bound to be necessary.
If you want to nitpick just so you can blame the President, go right ahead but just understand, he didn't do it alone.

Maddy Griffin 4 years, 8 months ago

I expect this piece of legislation to be "tweaked" many more times, as other problems arise or to avoid new ones. I knew it wasn't the "perfect solution" in the beginning, but we had to start somewhere, and I think the PPACA is a great first step.

Sam Crow 4 years, 8 months ago

“But 40 years ago, the rules and organizing framework of politics made it easier for the two parties to work together.”

Of course they worked together 40 years ago.

From 1933-1981 the democrats controlled the senate, except a period of four years, two non- consecutive sessions around 1950.

In the 62 year period of 1933-1995 they controlled the house, with the exception of 1947-1949.

The Republicans during those years were reduced to a group of go along to get along politicians. It was when the status quo congressional power of democrats was challenged in 1995 that it became, as the letter writer suggests, partisan.

George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

I'd say that all the ultra-conservative Tea Party candidates who were elected last fall and those who voted for them will finally realize within a couple of weeks that the "no compromise at any price" stance never could have and never will work.

The only people to blame for this ludicrous situation are the American voters.

Trumbull 4 years, 8 months ago

And if the Republicans, don't like the ACA.....They should pass a bill to repeal it. You do not shut down the government at the peril of our economy, our health care, and the US dollar treasury rating. This is absurd.

Prohibition was not well liked. It was repealed. Government was not shut down. What caused us to change to this hostage taking and threatening approach?

George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

Prohibition never was liked except for the teetotalers who pushed it through. It was repealed for multiple reasons including the explosion in organized crime it created, the bad and toxic bootleg which was killing people, and the need for the government to collect taxes during the depths of the Depression. Kansas is still living in the '30s on the issue of alcohol because the majority of the counties are still "dry."

Trumbull 4 years, 8 months ago

Just using a comparison. Trying to repeal the bill is what the Republicans should do. I don't support that, I just say that is the way our democratic system is designed. I believe the house congress is going counter to the intent of the constitution.

Liberty275 4 years, 8 months ago

I encourage the republicans to use every legal means available to them to hinder and then repeal the aca.

windjammer 4 years, 8 months ago

Your kind is the problem and need to be eradicated at the next election.

George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

They can try all they want but they aren't going to get anywhere. The Supreme Court already voted 5-4 in favor of ACA determining that the law was Constitutional.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

End GOP Obstruction!!!

The debt-ceiling crisis threatens not just the president's constitutional duty to make payments on the public debt but also the accompanying requirement that he spend money lawfully appropriated by Congress, either as part of a yearly budget or as part of statutes authorizing “entitlement” payments like Medicare or veterans' benefits.

Failing to do any of these things would be a default on the president's duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The president may not be able to obey all three sources of law; if so, Aaron argues, he should make the payments and ignore the debt ceiling.

“The debt ceiling is the fiscal equivalent of the human appendix — a law with no discoverable purpose,” he writes. “If Congress leaves the debt ceiling at a level inconsistent with duly enacted spending and tax laws, the president has no choice but to ignore it.”

FarleyM 4 years, 8 months ago

Mr. Orlando,

You may be fantasizing of a perfect world of yore.

But in my fantasy,

It is obvious, people that think like Obama and his voters are completely and totally certain that negotiations are irrelevant.

The reason is simple. Because they voted him president. They can dictate their laws to the rest of us. Their voting him president means "NO" negotiations. From now on, It is their way or the highway. All other opinions by the unbelievers are meaningless.

Why do I fantasize this? Because of their name calling. They are calling people "T-bags", "Anarchists", "Terrorist"s "racists", "Banana Republicans", "crazies". They are using metaphors like" hold a gun to my head" They are shrilling end of times scenarios about debt. Debt by the way they have dramatically increased.

I tell you what. If you can get Chad Henderson to sign up for Obamacare I'll reassess my fantasy. Chad was the first guy to be reported as signing up.

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