The Wright Perspective℠
Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠
A Blog by Gary Wright II
Three words for today: Obstructionism & Righteous Indignation
Thursday, December 16th, 2010
This week I've been waiting on the US Senate to vote on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell bill. While monitoring the Senate today on C-SPAN, three words kept coming up: Obstructionism and Righteous Indignation.
The Merriam-Webster defines those words as:
Obstructionism - a deliberate interference with the progress or business, especially of a legislative body
Righteous - free from guilt or sin
Indignation - anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean
Throughout the day, I constantly heard Republican Senators whine about not having enough time to do things and disliking the fact they may have to work through the holidays in order to finish work on some very important issues. The couldn't understand why such important bills were being handled at the last minute. I couldn't help but think about their arrogant display of obstructionism and filibustering that had been carried out by their own party. The START nuclear treaty wasn't something that was invented yesterday, President Obama had delivered the matter almost seven months ago. Instead of voting on tough issues, they wanted to pass everything off to the next Congress. That is the wrong thing to do and a bad idea for the country. Wouldn't it make sense to have votes held by the same people who had already been working on it and had already attended the numerous briefings and debates?
The obstructionism being carried out by the GOP is to ensure that President Obama fails and that the Republicans can take the presidency during the next election. Do they not realize that by forcing our President to fail that they are hurting every American? We have the most challenging issues. ever facing our country, and we can't afford to waste time playing political chess. Constantly, they brought up the "message" sent by voters during the last election. The citizens are angry because things weren't moving fast enough. The Republicans are primarily responsible for this mess, yet they are making it very difficult for Congress to be productive. I don't think the recent election results were an endorsement of the GOP, as much as it was an expression of frustration on the lack of progress in cleaning up the mess. Like a three-year old child, the Republicans in Congress threw a temper tantrum and said they wouldn't let anything move forward until they got their way with the extension of the Bush tax cuts. If the cuts were such a good idea, why didn't the Republicans make them permanent during the eight years they were in control of Congress?
Next, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) took the podium and rattled off a list of reasons that we can't trust the Russians and why it would be wrong to sign the treaty with them. As he went through his little rant, I wondered if he realized the irony of what he was saying. Most of the reasons he gave also applied to our own country, and they were pretty good reasons why Russia shouldn't trust us either. When it comes to nuclear weapons, the number of weapons do not matter. They are all dangerous. Instead of looking at the inventory of weapons, you must take into account the power of each weapon. It doesn't take many to destroy the world and I don't think the Senators realize the power of these weapons that are now millions of times greater than the two bombs dropped on Japan. When we refuse to negotiate a nuclear treaty, it completely destroys our credibility. How can we demand that other nations not develop these weapons when we are hoarding a huge supply of our own. We are also actively modernizing the ones we have, yet we outlaw the nuclear activities of other nations.
I was so relieved when Senator John Kerry finally took the podium and went over the facts proving the obstructionism of the other party. They had held filibusters more time during this session than all of the ones held since the Great Depression. The numbers were shocking, but not surprising. Over and over, the Republicans cried about not having a chance to debate or make amendments. They had the floor most of the day, yet they only submitted a single amendment to the bill. They were on the floor complaining while they should have used those hours for debating the bill. Senator Kerry put them back in their place, while still remaining calm and professional.
When Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri took the podium, she talked about the righteous indignation that was being displayed across the aisle. It took both Republicans and Democrats to create this mess, and it is going to take both parties to clean it up. While the Democratic Senators were reaching out to work with the GOP, the attitude of cooperation clearly wasn't reciprocated.
Then comes the omnibus bill which Senator McCain points to and calls a "monstrosity." He then blames the Democrats for the thousands of pages of overspending and earmarked money. What a short memory he has, because much of the earmarked money in the bill was submitted by his own party. While some members of his party were objecting to earmark spending, they were still busy creating them for their districts. Finally, toward the end of today's session, the Senator from Tennessee recognized the lack of competence and cooperation. Both sides adjusted the tone of their speech and spoke about the need for bipartisan cooperation. Unfortunately, this came at the end of the day so nothing productive was really accomplished after their comments.
They say that Congress "doesn't have enough time" to do important work, yet they still find time to name post offices after dead people and pass other silly resolutions. If you've never watched our Congress at work, you should spend a few hours watching C-SPAN on TV or visit www.C-Span.org to see these idiots in action. As much as I blame them, I also realize that the American people are the ones who elected them. If they don't change their behavior soon, our country is f***ed!
-- Gary Wright II