Over the course of my voting life, which has been decades, I have ranged from independent to Republican to Democrat in terms of party registration, but I have always voted for the persons I thought were the best qualified regardless of their and my party affiliation. I think that will change in the future.
There is nothing I find more distasteful than tyranny — whether it be tyranny of the majority or of the minority. I have always considered our triad government the best of current systems, yet today the Senate Republicans have disabused me of that belief.
Yesterday, 42 Republican Senators threatened to close down the Senate unless their demand for the renewal of the Bush-era tax breaks for everyone, regardless of income, is enacted. One would think that the only thing America has on its plate is tax cut renewal. There is no concern, for example, for the jobless who can’t find work and whose benefits are about to expire — the “99 weekers.” Instead, there is concern for people whose incomes exceed $250,000 and who might have to pay an extra $500 in taxes, people who have jobs and aren’t facing homelessness and medical problems for which they have neither medical coverage nor money.
Even bills that they have already voted in favor of, such as the bill to expand FDA powers to protect our food supply that Republicans overwhelmingly supported earlier this week, are being threatened by the cabal of Republicans. Basically, the Republicans are saying that giving money to their millionaire allies is significantly more important than even protecting the average American’s food supply. Or the new START treaty to make the world a less dangerous place — a treaty that Republicans and Democrats alike, who are no longer in office and no longer worried about political contributions support. There is something significantly wrong with this line of thinking.
Mitch McConnell and the 41 other Republican Senators have shown what buffoons they truly are with this latest threat to shut down the people’s business. First, they cry that the past election sent a message to politicians that getting the deficit under control is the number one priority of the American people. Consequently, no spending will be allowed to occur on their watch absent a corresponding cut somewhere else. OK, if that is the message, then where is the corresponding cut being made for the $700 billion dollars that extending the tax cut to those who earn more than $250,000 will add to the deficit.
The Republicans used to be a party of great thinkers and people who cared about the overall welfare of America as a country. It has become a party of limited thinking and sound bites. This is not to say that the Democrat party is a great deal better, but better it is than the Republican party.
Unfortunately, the ones who will suffer will be us, the average citizen, not the wealthy elite who make up the U.S. Senate. I think the time has come to test the resolve of the 42 Republican senators. The Democrats should introduce bills and try to bring them to a vote. Change the rules of the Senate.
Do I, as a citizen who isn’t receiving the bribes the politicians are, care about some arcane rule that lets a Senator object to a bill and by doing so prevent its coming to a vote? I don’t; I think it is time for the majority to also not care and get on with the business at hand.
How does any sane person think we can eliminate our deficit without some combination of tax increase and spending cut? No economist from any side of the spectrum thinks it is possible, yet 42 Republican Senators think it is. I’m waiting to see how this miracle will come about.
In the mean time, these 42 Republicans have convinced me to never vote for a Republican again. I don’t expect to agree with everything any candidate for office espouses, but the one thing I cannot abide is when a politician determines that protecting his or her money sources is more important than taking care of the country’s business — and that seems to be the message the Republicans are gleefully sending to me.