Perhaps it is television, but sadly, it appears an axiom of the modern brand of American politics to demand instant, "60-minute," cures even for our most intractable economic and social ills. Anyone who expected President Obama and Democrats in Congress to rapidly reverse the effects of eight years of bad financial policy, unfunded wars, federal agencies rendered ineffective because of gutted budgets, and a Wall Street run amok are being neither practical nor fair. Such expectations are as unrealistic as believing you can swallow a pill and lose 20 pounds while sleeping.
At his inauguration, Obama asked for and expected help from the Republican minority. What he got was bone-headed intransigence and absolute opposition to almost every measure meant to prevent financial meltdown, fix the economy, and end Middle East conflicts. Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski, even said "no" to bills largely equivalent to ones they'd once proposed themselves!
The "Pledge for America" recently unveiled by Republicans amounts to little more than a return to the policies of George W.'s administration, wherein the rich got vastly richer while the rest of us paid the price. The gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow and the American middle class that expanded so remarkably under progressive policies during the mid-20th century is collapsing. Republicans are to blame.
Repairing the damage will require sacrifice and the kind of congressional actions Republicans have sworn they will not take should they regain power. We need forward thinking adults in charge, people unafraid of hard work. In Democrat Scott McAdams, we have an opportunity to send an adult to the U.S. Senate. I've voting for him. How about you?
Judith Nester, Homer
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