President Obama addressed the nation this evening. I didn’t watch.
Speaker John Boehner addressed the nation with a response to the president. I didn’t watch.
Instead of watching the umpteenth rendition of “I’m Okay; You’re Ridiculous,” I went to Congress.org and fired off yet another letter to the president, my senators, and my congressman. (That’s the beauty of Congress.org; you can write a single letter and send it to all your elected representatives with one keystroke.)
I said I expected them to behave like responsible adults, to do what’s best for the country and not themselves, and do what they were elected to do. I also suggested that those not directly involved in the current debt negotiations should tell those who are that ALL their jobs are on the line, that every incumbent in Washington will be held accountable if this Congress fails to do what’s right for the country.
I suspect I’m not alone in being completely, totally fed up with what we’ve been watching in Washington for months. The posturing, the politicking, the accusations, the truth twisting, the semantics, the excuses, ad nauseam. Nothing they say is believable; nothing can be taken at face value. Every word is carefully calculated to sound like what the public wants to hear, to manipulate the public’s response, to cast the speaker in the best possible light and the opponent in the worst, to put forth the party line and its talking points. The most important considerations are the individual’s re-election chances, his party’s chance to impose its ideology on legislation, and his party’s chances of gaining more seats in the next election — all with the hope of doing the same thing again next time, only better.
Note I didn’t include representing their constituents. That went out decades ago. Nor did I mention doing what’s best for the country. The politicians are sworn to their own self-interests, their parties, their ideologies, and their big, big, big contributors (both domestic and foreign).
Nor are the media exposing all this. They are more concerned with spinning news to appeal to their preferred segment of the viewing audience.
So here we are, We the People, with no control, no access, no voice, while Washington runs amok playing chicken and King of the Hill and the country goes to hell in a handbasket. Maybe, just maybe, there are some people meeting behind closed doors, tending to business instead of posturing for the press, behaving like adults and conducting the nation’s business. I used to believe that’s how things got done in Washington. But lately, not so much. Lately I’ve been thinking We the People are history.