Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Unable or Unwilling?

How hard can it be to do the right thing? I ask myself that question whenever I watch the Congress of The United States of America in action. Everyone knows what the problems are and yet our elected members of the House and Senate seem to have little interest in actually solving them.

The Democrats are the party that believes in government and yet they are so reticent to use the levers of power they are given as the majority party. The Republicans are supposedly the party of limited government (unless it has to do with social issues and then they are more than happy to grow governments influence). Yet this party that promotes small government has no problems using the power whether they are in the majority or the minority.

As a Democrat I am glad to see the Republicans going through similar identity issues that we went though in the 70’s & 80’s. They are in a battle royal for the heart and soul of the party. Like the Democrats before them the extremists are winning the battle and they are becoming intolerant of dissent and diverse views. They are having active primaries and many of their sacred cows are in danger of losing primaries; Crist in Florida, Bennett in Idaho and McCain in Arizona and in New York they are in such disarray that their presumptive candidate for Governor Rick Lazio is in danger of being pushed aside by a man who was a Democrat 5 days ago. The Democrats have just the opposite problem we are too diverse we are two or three national parties and it is to the credit of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama that they have been so unified. But they are Democrats so it may not last long.

Both parties are so beholden to the people who pay the bills that they are afraid to challenge them on any issue. There will be no Sister Soulja moments unless they are desperate. Having said that, one would think I would now come out for public financing of campaigns and or very strict campaign contribution limits. I oppose both because I think they violate the First Amendment and there is nothing more important to the survival of this great republic than the freedom of speech.

My solution; candidates are not allowed to raise money on their own. After the primary all campaign funds must come from the national or state parties and if there is any money left over after the primary the candidate must give it to a 501c3 charity. The candidate is not spending as much time fundraising and hopefully will not be as beholden to special interest contributors.

The issues our elected representatives are facing are complex and it is easier to discuss who is patriotic, who can and can’t get married, hate immigrants, hate Europeans, get angry about the content of a text book, be outraged over an art exhibit, pretend the other party is more corrupt then they were when they were in the majority, question an opponent’s sexuality, worry about movie ratings, debate salt content in food and audition to be a chat show host.

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