Monday, May 21, 2012
Re-election: what is the point?
Maybe Judd Gregg was the first.
I mean, maybe former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire was the first……the first more-or-less moderate member of Congress who decided that it was time to throw in the towel because of the partisan bickering, hatred and deadlock that has caused Congressional approval ratings to drop so far that 90% of Americans despise the 535 men and women who "serve" in Washington.
In February 2009, Gregg announced he wouldn't run for a fourth term as Senator. That was after the then brand-new President Obama was trying to reach across the political aisle for a bi-partisan cabinet, so he nominated Republican Sen. Judd to be Secretary of Commerce, but the political sniping and backlash was so intense that Judd bowed out. Apparently at the same time he started to see the writing on the wall.
That would be same writing on the wall that many long-serving, more-or-less moderate members of Congress—like Olympia Snowe (R) and Ben Nelson (D)—have been reading, causing them to call it quits.
Congress isn't working right. The doctrinaire, partisan and ideologically closed-minded members are holding Congress hostage, while very damn little that would help America and Americans is getting done. For them, the argument is the point, and all-or-nothing partisanship is the goal, and ideological purity is the standard of performance.
Judd Gregg wrote an opinion piece today on The Hill website: "The Vital Center." He says:
"… it is almost always necessary to include the minority party in any action that is going to actually lead to governance, especially if the act contemplated affects a significant number of Americans...
"…Most Americans want a government that works. Partisanship cannot fulfill this need in the end because it cannot lead to effective governance in our constitutional system.
"The American people understand this, which is why their level of frustration with Washington is so high right now. Many members of Congress, to be fair, understand this too.
"Yes, reelection is important. But what is the point, if you do not govern once you get there?"
The next time you vote for your representative in Congress, ask this question: Are you voting for the person who will shout what you want shouted in Washington? Or are you voting for the person who will actually work with other representatives to reasonably do what's right for America, and for Americans, and for you?