If you’ve been reading this blog since I begin writing it, you know that I don’t often refer to political parties by name, or make much reference to which political parties a person belongs. This is because I agree with those who don’t consider political party affiliation of prime importance. Neither do I think that politician loyalty to the party line is necessarily a good thing. Recently Karl Rove and Charles Krauthammer, among others, have put the interests of the organized Republican Party before the interests of our nation. On the Democrat side, President Obama has been accused recently of having deserted any efforts at bipartisanship or post-partisanship, and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are right there with him.
But partisanship has not put the welfare of our nation first; it has put party power first, and we can simply no longer afford that.
In the debate on Monday, Jim Judd urged voters to “look past the D and the R.” If we are going to make Congress work well for us again, we must elect representatives who will put country over party, who will vote for what is right no matter which party proposes it.
Right now, partisanship is very much in evidence in Congress. The main reason is that the majority party, being led by Obama/Reid/Pelosi , is passing legislation that enlarges the federal government’s control over our lives. The minority party, meanwhile, has decided to go back to its smaller government roots (which it largely abandoned when it was in power) in order to distance itself from the unpopular actions of the majority party and try to regain power. The establishment folks in Washington, whether they carry Rs or Ds after their names, have tended to carry on with business as usual: whichever party is in power has consolidated more power to the federal government, spent more money, and expanded programs that are unsustainable over time.
Lynn Woolsey votes with her party over 94% of the time. She is no maverick when it comes to most issues. She believes in a great deal of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda. She wants a Nanny State, believing that politicians like herself know better than you or I do what is best for us. She is not interested in working with people who have other views. Even here at home, she has a reputation for dismissing constituents who present to her viewpoints other than her own. She has an insular group here and in Washington with whom she associates. At the debate, she mentioned the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) several times, proud that these are the people with whom she is most aligned. The CPC membership includes Nancy Pelosi, Pete Stark, Barney Frank, Jerrold Nadler, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters. This group is not about bipartisanship, let alone post-partisanship. They have their agenda and believe they know best, even if polls indicate that the American people think we are going in the wrong direction and must change that direction.
In order for the next Congress (the 112th) to operate in a way that does reflect the will of the American people, we voters must change its makeup. We must fire the politicians who think their seats are their own property and that they are entitled to them. Despite Lynn Woolsey’s assurance the other night that she knows we’re her bosses, this is, unfortunately, just election time lip service. She counts on the usual pattern in congressional turnover, i.e., that she will be re-elected as usual because she’s the incumbent and most incumbents, in most congressional elections, are reelected. And if she is indeed reelected, we are faced with at least another two years of being represented by someone who is dedicated to business as usual in Congress, rather than true and constructive change.
Jim Judd, unlike Lynn Woolsey, is showing himself to be a candidate of independent mind. He believes in post-partisanship as a way forward, a way Congress can overcome the stalemates it has experienced in the last decades. We need that kind of forward-thinking person in Washington. We need a whole lot of them. Hopefully every single congressional district will see the same acute need and vote only for candidates who will come to Washington less committed to their party and more committed to their country’s overall needs. We need to elect representatives who thoroughly comprehend that we can no longer afford business as usual in Washington D.C., because business as usual will result in staggering debt, possible hyper-inflation, and, very possibly, other even grimmer consequences.
Let’s vote for post-partisanship and a new, common sense beginning.
By the way, it can’t be emphasixed enough that post-partisanship won’t work with only a few proponents in place. Its success depends on a 112th Congress overflowing with elected officials willing put it into practice. So, let’s do our part!
Here a links to two articles relating to post-partisanship: