Saturday, May 16, 2009

Of Partisan Politics And Personal Agendas

I have never seen anything like the political scene we've been witnessing the past few weeks. I get the feeling the entire United States government is imploding.

From the President on down, everything is in chaos. To the President's credit, he is coming off some of his campaign promises that were based on assumptions rather than hard fact. He is being accused of weakness. I support him fully for I see it as coming to grips with reality.

Congress, on the other hand, is a different story. Every President I can remember has made the pledge to change the way Washington does business, including Obama. None have succeeded, including Obama. It's not for the lack of trying. Partisanship has run so deep and bitter for so long I don't see it changing without a major turnover of our elected officials, beginning with the leadership.

That partisanship and bitterness is what is causing the unraveling we're currently witnessing. The prisoner abuse conflict, what defines torture, who authorized it and how should they be made to pay. Cheney out there clinging to the hope he can convince the people Obama is keeping us less safe. The firing of the federal attorneys. So much from the past administration is filling the news and the time our elected officials are supposed to be working for our present and our future!

Obama has made it clear it's time to move forward. What's done is done, new leadership is in place. But no. The Republicans, who are fading quickly into obscurity, cling to their righteousness through the voices of talk show hosts. They have no leadership.

The Democrats, in a desperate attempt to escape the accusations of complicity, are scrapping against one another like junk yard dogs. Gitmo, torture, who said what to who when. All from times long past. Is anyone tending the store?

There is something inherently wrong with the way we are served when a Senator switches parties to better his chances of being re-elected. There is something inherently wrong with the practice of filling leadership positions on the basis of seniority rather than ability.

There is something inherently wrong when we, the constituents, keep sending the same people back to Washington because of the pork they've provided.

It has become a Catch 22. It takes experience to navigate Washington politics, yet when one becomes so sensitised to that climate so as to be effective, recognition of the realities outside the beltway fade. With that, true representation tends to fade and personal agendas, ambitions, rise.

Washington politics is like a narcotic. It's addictive, the perks equal the highest of highs and coming off that high is ferociously fought. The thought of returning to the real world and losing the power, the perks and the celebrity is more than most are willing to do. Staying high and oblivious is preferable to coping in the real world with the rest of us.

What's happening now reminds me of those anti-meth bill boards you see spotlighting the ravages of the addiction. The addiction is now taking it's toll. Nancy Pelosi is aging before our eyes. Smirks from all parties are less frequent. Dick Cheney's mental stability seems frail. It's fascinating and frightening all at the same time.

Politics is not the opiate of the masses in this case, it is the opiate of those who have become addicts of their own making inside Washington.

Have we, the people, been the enabler?


Linda said...

What a wonderful post. I'm so fascinated by it I can't walk away from it but also find it so disgusting I can't imagine why I don't turn away.

Margie's Musings said...

Oh how I agree with you. I simply want to turn the entire crew out to pasture and start over.

Anonymous said...

DC will never change because it truly doesn't want to change. Ego driven, power mad and perk happy. Nirvanna for those who are elected. Give it up by actually doing something altruistic for their constituents and their country? Riiight. Oh they bring home the pork because that is how they grease their skids into remaining in office. And their constituencies...the majority return them to office because self serving attitudes aren't limited to politicians. The public wants their share of the pie and all too many vote on that basis. For instance, those of us who do not live in Massachusettes have sent literally billions of our tax dollars to that state for their Big Dig. A corrupt graft driven boondoggle that went on for over a decade. Funded mainly by federal funds brought home by none other than good old Teddy. That man could run for office from his coffin and gain re-election. The Dig is now being investigated for graft and corruption. I rather doubt anything will come of it and certainly the American tax payer will not receive their money back.

I do not believe that American politics will ever change. And we can't blame it all on those elected to office. When the voter ceases to believe election rhetoric and actually digs and investigates candidates, then maybe. Until that happens (if it happens) there is plenty of the blame to go around. The current Democratic party is crowing about "we won" so if you don't like it, too bad. The Republican party is fighting among themselves and scrabbling away from presumed responsibilities/blame. Boy, both parties are really productive. And the people? Just as devisive along party lines. Which leads me to ask...just who is steering the ship? CU