And So It Begins…Again.
President Barack Obama, having waited until after the election, has announced that he will do what he can, using executive order, to create immigration reform. Republicans responded by suggesting that he is violating the Constitution, trying to look good, attempting to create a legacy, trying to pick a fight, etc.
They plan to oppose him in every way they can.
Has anyone on either side set up planning and goal setting sessions for the incoming Congress, to prioritize dealing with the endlessly languishing issues troubling our country?
Did any Republican leader call upon the president, not only to refrain from these immigration changes, but to meet with them to talk about possible solutions, and about other problems as well? It seems, instead, they plan to block his initiatives, send him bills to veto, and make him look as bad as they can. That’s not the way to a victory in the 2016 presidential race.
It’s no surprise, but still disappointing, so soon after an election in which voters called resoundingly for change. The outcome, dubbed by the liberal press as the result of heavy voting by older, Caucasian men, and the stay-at-home response of the president’s base, was widely considered to be a repudiation of President Obama. The biggest thing mentioned by polled voters, though, was being tired of gridlock.
It costs a lot to support the legislative branch of government, and it’s a shame to waste so much taxpayer money, but there is a benefit to gridlock. If nothing gets done in Washington, we get left alone. That works for me.
On the other hand, we really need comprehensive immigration reform. How can we prosecute anyone for breaking any law when the practice has become institutionalized by our own government? We need border security, and to know who is entering our country. Whether the rumors of southern border crossers carrying bags labeled in Arabic are true or not, we must control who enters. We should have the right to choose our own health care providers. We need appropriate, common sense legislation to protect the environment, not to mention a move in the direction of sustainable energy. We need to eliminate gerrymandering by taking re-districting away from politicians.
The problem exists outside of Washington, as well.
Here in Frederick County, people are meeting in small, secret groups to monitor our local government and promote their own agendas. A number of Republicans here criticize and refuse to work with other Republicans who are different from them. Card carrying Republicans range from fairly extreme Libertarians to Tea Party people. They should respect one another’s’ views, unite around shared core values, and work to advance a common agenda. Wouldn’t a lean, efficient government and an increase in personal responsibility benefit us all?
Our Frederick County Council is now four to three, Republican over Democrat. Our county executive is a Democrat. While not a super majority which would have strongly limited executive power, this majority is enough to maintain balance in government here. What if they worked together, compromised when possible, and kept our local government fiscally sound?
At this time, thanks in part to campaign rhetoric and Frederick News Post’s apparent preference for sensationalism over balanced news, the real issues we face here are muddled.
A simple example was a recent mention in the News-Post of the suffering of local nonprofits without government funding, in one of their post-election blasts at the current president of the County Commissioners. In reality, only some worthy local nonprofits ever received money, so the system that existed was unfair. County government was operating in the red, and had received, from the state, responsibility for teachers’ pensions.
The budget cuts were appropriate, in terms of fairness and in narrowing the role of county government. Referring to it as hurting the poor offers the News-Post and liberal campaigners an easy – and false – opportunity to lash conservatism.
It’s actually better for nonprofit charities to depend on private contributions. It keeps them accountable and relevant. The people of Frederick County are quite willing to step up to the plate for their neighbors.
Locally, we can follow the workings of our government, and, if people make their voices heard, can influence the course of events. Keep an eye on our new leaders. Insist that they work for you, and stop sucking you, the middle class taxpayers and voters, dry.