Friday, October 31, 2014


        It is incredible to me that this mid-term election could result in a Republican controlled Senate, as well as a Republican controlled House of Representatives. What a disheartening prospect that is, even frightening, when you realize how many Republicans would owe their victories to their States’ voter restriction laws and the Koch brothers’ millions.
Mitt Romney sounding off again. Associated Press photo.
        How could any reasonable person see such an outcome as being good for America? What has “the Party of No” done to deserve anyone’s confidence in their ability to govern? Mitt Romney claims such an outcome would end the gridlock in Washington. He conveniently ignores, as he is wont to do, the fact it is his own party that is responsible for the gridlock!
       It is the Republican controlled Congress that has blocked every constructive piece of legislation that has come before the House. They blocked the American Jobs Act, they have opposed raising the minimum wage, they oppose gun control legislation, they have continually tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they have blocked the infrastructure bill, they have rejected immigration reform, they have fought campaign finance reform, they have opposed closing the gender pay gap, they have opposed the President’s economic stimulus plan, and they have been against everything and anything the Obama administration has brought to them.
        Whatever the issue, if the President is for it, they are against it; if he is against it, they are for it, even when it means reversing their previously help positions! They give him no credit for anything —the soaring stock market, the stronger economy, the lower unemployment rate, the high corporate profits, the lower gas prices—, but if anything bad happens, no matter what it is, they find some way to blame the President. They impugn his motives, misrepresent his words, malign his character, and question his ability to lead while at the same time accusing him of being an “imperial” president. Their blatant inconsistency does not seem to bother them one bit.
        The sad fact is that their negativism has paid off. Tell the same lies often enough and the gullible will start to believe them. They are the reason for the President’s current low approval ratings. They have succeeded in convincing too many people, as Romney is trying to do, that the gridlock in Washington is President Obama’s fault, when it should be obvious to anyone that the Republican controlled Congress is to blame.
        Contrary to what Mitt Romney is saying, should the Republicans succeed in gaining control of the Senate, that will hardly end the gridlock, for the Republicans are themselves far from unified. Two things they all do agree on, however, are their common disdain for Barack Obama and their unrelenting desire for him to fail.
        The pollsters are now telling us that many of the races are too close to call. That is encouraging news for the Democrats, given the earlier projections of a Republican take-over of the Senate. I am disappointed in some of the Democratic candidates in red States, who for fear of the Obama-haters have distanced themselves from the President in order to boost their chances of getting elected. I would admire them more if instead of putting expediency over principle they had remained loyal to their party leader and the values for which he stands. They should have been defending the President and his record all along and countering the lies of his opponents.
         As one who believes in our system of government and sees the value of opposing political parties, I wonder whatever happened to the concept of  “loyal opposition,” and I yearn for the return of civility in political exchange and statesmanship in public discourse. I am embarrassed by the “in your face” style and belligerent attitude of some politicians, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie being a notable object lesson.
         Disagreement is to be expected, but fairness and decency demand that participants represent their own views honestly and their opponents’ views accurately. Too many politicians are always attacking snowmen of their own creation. We must not be misled by such behavior, nor should we put up with the hate mongering of the radical media. Their egregious disrespect for the Office of the President is despicable.
      To that end I hope that the American electorate will surprise the pundits and issue a resounding “No!” to the Party of No on Tuesday, November 4!

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