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Why Are the Problems in Congress and Current State Legislatures Being Ignored?

The last three and a half years has resulted in a gridlocked congress and nonsense legislation in state legislatures; resulting in a stalemate in governing.

President Obama was elected on two key words; Hope and Change.

What happened to the great promise outlined during his campaign and election? The lack of fulfillment of his promise rests directly with the Congress and their partisanship.

The president was elected into a situation that required a special kind of leadership. He was given many opportunities to exercise that leadership, but continued to come up short. The three greatest challenges for his first term were to prevent further economic collapse, correct the system that was responsible for the collapse and finally to set in place policy that would begin the economic recovery.

Of the three challenges, the president can only claim full success on one; the stopping of a further collapse. He can also claim a partial success on setting policy that supported the recovery, but he must claim failure at correcting the conditions that led to the collapse. However, it is possible that all three areas could have been successful, except for the dysfunction of the U.S. Congress.

Before going further; President Obama failed to spearhead a structural change of the financial industry and essentially left the perpetrators of the collapse completely off the hook. He ended up following the recommendations of his Treasurer Secretary Timothy Geithner and lost support and direction on correcting the financial industry problems; where in no time the firms that were “too big to fail” were right back doing business as usual. Instead of putting the financial house in order, the president decided to pursue his campaign promise of addressing healthcare accessibility. This is the point that his administration seriously went off the rails.

I have focused this article on Congress and state legislatures who effectively have held the keys to the kingdom. Even when we have been faced with similar crisis in the past, the congress has wisely set aside their partisan differences and cooperated to address the critical problems.  This is what has made this crisis different from all others. Congress has not only failed to set aside partisanship, but has become even more entrenched in their partisan ideologies. This is exemplified by Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R, Kentucky) statement that the Republicans were going to assure that Obama was only a one-term president. Therefore, the president started his term with a commitment from the opposition to obstruct the administration at every opportunity and guarantee failure.

I can’t place the blamed solely on the Republicans; the Democrats have shared equally in the failures of the congress. If the Democrats would have used their majority position judiciously, they could have forced the administration into addressing the three critical issues and would probably have gained enough Republican support to get the job done.

It is my opinion that the lack of effort to correct once and for all the financial industry, the general electorate made their message loud and clear. The TEA Party and 99% Movement emerged as forces to signal the displeasure with both congress and the administration. Fortunately for the Republicans, they were able to co-opt the TEA Party movement and incorporate it into the party. The attempts by the Democrats to co-opt the 99% Movement has been met with general failure and has become largely a non factor in American politics. However, the TEA Party has become a horse of a different color.

The Republican’s strategy to be obstructionist until they gained their objectives was something that the members of the TEA Party could easily accept and adopted the same strategy. After the whipping the Republicans took in 2008 and was officially declared dead; they rebounded, with the help of the TEA Party Movement, to take control of the House, a majority of state governorships, and control of many state legislatures.  

The success of TEA Party candidates made a bad situation in congress even worse. Since the 2010 elections, the congress can’t get anything done and has been putting things off until 2013, when the new congress is seated. In the state legislatures, TEA Party candidates have had a “field day." Passage of social conservative legislation has never seen such a period. Issues such as Personhood, Voter I.D., liberalization of firearms control, abstinence only sex education, defunding women’s health centers, etc; has dominated state legislative business rather than fiscal solutions to the states’ financial struggles. With the gridlock in congress; any movement, one way or another, has occurred at the state level. Therefore, there have been 50 separate approaches to problem solving, solving none of the big issues.

What I don’t understand is why Congress is not being held accountable for the stalemate. Rationally speaking, it shouldn’t matter who is in the Whitehouse if congress was doing their jobs. Although I am following the presidential election, to me it’s less important than the congressional elections. We need to elect members of congress who are willing to stop being obstructionist and will exercise the political art of compromise.

The nation is waiting!

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Michael McClusky August 31, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I suggest reading "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President" by Ron Suskind. Its depiction of Washington during the financial reform efforts and Obamacare will blow your mind. The lobbyists rule the roost beyond your imagining.
Steve ® August 31, 2012 at 07:52 PM
The "TEA" party candidates elected in 2010 were sent there to stop the advance of progressive socialism. Here is the consequence of progressive socialism http://www.usdebtclock.org/ It's not going in the correct direction, let me stand on my head and vote for Obama
skinnyDUDE August 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM
The parties have gone farther left and farther right ......but there is no solutions in the far left. They simply ignore the economics and fiscal picture, like an ostrich with its head in the sand. That is a true lack of leadership.That isnt even in dispute. Obama wont brag on his failure. Interesting story as The Republican convention ended and Mitt Romney went to check out the tropical storm damage and victims of mother nature. Than Obama the true leader from behind scheduled a trip ( lied about it being planned) because he simply lacks the character and skill set of the job. Its another example in a long list of how clueless this guy is . I dont know if Obama is a nice guy . But I know what everyone else knows.....Hes an awful President! He is the current problem Americans face! Those who support him like sheep simply can not explain why he would be the right choice for another term. ( Tom Barrett supporters flashback ) The worm is starting to turn.....He's a one term President! :)
Nick Poulos September 03, 2012 at 07:06 PM
@Skinny and @Oak Creek: stop wishing for Romney n Ryan: talk about a disaster waiting to happen to the world. The ethics and morals of the current Republican / Tea Party leadership is despicable. @Lyle is correct to call out both sides. Yet,in substantive issues, the Republicans are always a "no!": for most of them, they are a voting block, impotent as individuals, impotent as supporting their local constituents: they've signed a very public and well-publicized Pledge, which in turn causes them to be targets of a political hit-squad should they vary from the party line.We're allowing our nation to be torn apart,slowly declining in vigor,economic power, and political relevance.Can any of us define the Collective desires,our cooperative goal for this election? Both sides seem drawn 2 one point:the Republicans only want 2 remove the President;the Democrats want 2 prove how many of us the Republicans want to exclude or damage, should they take over. We need a way forward.An actionable "workplan." No great consultant would ever begin a project without Defining two "states":the "Current State" (or, Point of Departure-in Bain terms) and the (Point of Arrival) or "Desired End-State." The President has a plan: sadly, the highly publicized, mis-leading, highly financed, fight against "The American Health Plan" has vitiated many of his efforts, making the fullness of his plan difficult to understand. The world as it is and The never-ending filibuster seem 2 have sidelined the rest.
skinnyDUDE September 03, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Nick thanks for confirming your a idiot. 2010 midterms after Obama 1st 2 year control of both houses. The people rejected it . Now they are rejecting Obama . The reason are obvious unless you have drank the liberal kool aid which its plan to see you have. Obama budget plan was rejected by everyone in his own party so give me a break! Hes not a serious man and his record proves it . Thats why hes a one termer. You typing non sense will not change that.

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