Burnard: Predators in CongressWritten by Don Burnard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“You cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.”
— John F. Kennedy
The budget talks go on and on, with the Repubs seemingly willing to take down the American (and possibly the world) economy to score political points. Mitch McConnell has said their main focus is to make sure that Barack Obama is a one-term president, and evidently what’s best for 99 percent or so of the country is not even on their radar screen.
Every attempt to come to an agreement has ended with the so-called GOP leadership reneging, changing the rules at the last second, and taking their ball and walking off the field like little children. Their new “allies” in the Tea Party have painted them into a corner, and now what passes for reasonable compromise seems to be a non-starter. The demagogues who have continually ignored the warnings of virtually every respectable economist now find themselves unable to bargain in good faith for fear of angering what, according to all the polling, is a shrinking but still vocal minority of the American people. Unfortunately, a number of gutless Democrats are also too scared for their jobs to do the right thing. They’re playing chicken with our lives and future to make political points.
The Greedy Overreaching Party has cast its lot with the rich corporate interests across the board. The economic gurus from their hero Ronald Reagan’s administration have even come out and warned of impending disaster if they continue down this path, to no avail. The GOP has the bit in its teeth and is headed full-tilt for the edge of the cliff.
Evidently Repubs think their rich benefactors will take care of them after the economic holocaust, like they have in the past. They’ll get extravagant paying seats on corporate boards, partnerships in lucrative lobbying firms, or will start their own firms. This seems to be what our political system has degenerated into.
The problem is, this time they may have bitten off more than they can chew. A lot of their possible benefactors may not survive this one. It is too bad that politicians have gotten away from actually representing the public interest and seem to be more interested in keeping political power. Public service, for the most part, has become a quaint memory. To be fair, this is not exclusive to the GOP, only more prevalent. The GOP just seems to have bought into it more fully.
This situation is not relegated to only federal offices. Look at the new crop of recently elected GOP governors who are pushing for the old Karl Rove goal of a permanent majority. In Ohio, King John Kasich is doing everything he can to sell off everything that still makes a profit in the state.
After quashing the high speed rail deal, which would have brought tens of thousands of jobs, he’s put more Ohioans out of work or slashed their wages with his slash-and-burn policies. He wants to sell off prisons, the turnpike and turn over the liquor concessions in the state to his cronies. For some reason, a lot of people seem to think that electing millionaires will better their lot.
I’ve never understood how anyone could think that a managing director of the financial institution whose failure started the Great Recession would be the logical choice to get us out of it. He ran on the premise that all the lost jobs were Ted Strickland’s fault, and that he was just the guy to create all the new jobs we needed. So far, the jobs he’s destroyed well outweigh the jobs he’s created and most of the accomplishments he’s taken credit for were started under Strickland. The man has the arrogance to wonder why the Democrats won’t jump on his much-vaunted bus while it runs over public schools, cities, the elderly, voters’ rights and decent paying jobs. Hmm.
In Michigan, another millionaire was elected and got legislation passed to allow someone he appoints to remove duly elected local officials and take over towns, school systems and county governments. Call it what you will, but to me this smacks of fascism at its finest. In Wisconsin, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, Maine and many other states, the story is the same. It’s time we, the people who still believe in America, with liberty and justice for all, stand up and vote these predators out.
Email Don Burnard at email@example.com.