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Edward Flattau Headshot

Patriotic Deficit

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Smarting from its 2012 presidential election defeat, the Republican Party appears intent on bringing the Obama Administration to its knees. Diversions and obstruction that impede numerous functions of the federal government are the GOP's primary tactics.

Most Republicans on Capitol Hill seem perfectly content to let the nation drift aimlessly until they achieve an unassailable majority, courtesy of the 2014 and 2016 national elections.

But the office of the president is vested with major responsibilities for governing the nation, responsibilities that take no hiatus. Accordingly, any plan of action instituted to bring the presidency to a grinding halt is at the very least, unpatriotic, and could conceivably turn catastrophic.

No one is suggesting that the Republican-led investigations of the Benghazi tragedy, the IRS irregularities, and the Justice Department's eavesdropping should not proceed. It is just that they should not be allowed to hinder President Obama and the rest of the federal government from fulfilling their assigned duties. Efforts to deal with job creation, disaster relief, climate change, immigration, and crumbling transportation infrastructure, to name but a few, should not be sidetracked by hearings on potential scandals.

If Republicans disagree with Obama's policies, they should seek to modify, add, or offer an alternative that contains enough compromise to command serious consideration. At the end of the day when the nation desperately needs something to be done, doing nothing is unacceptable.

Unfortunately, congressional Republicans don't seem all that interested in shouldering their constitutionally-dictated share of national governance as long as Obama is at the helm. They have sought to stymie virtually all of his initiatives, even when he has recycled some of their own ideas. A number of the president's cabinet nominees remain mired in limbo by balky Republican senators, thereby jeopardizing certain government agencies' effectiveness. Republicans' stonewalling also extends to the court room where they are blocking a number of the president's judicial nominations, leaving a slew of vacancies that hinder the administration of justice and implementation of federal law.

Whether in the majority or minority, Democrat or Republican, a politician duly elected to the federal government has an obligation to govern. Crippling the functions of the institution to which they were sworn to serve is a gross dereliction of duty. Stopping Obama in his tracks is by extension consigning to the ruinous doldrums not only the majority of the voting public, but the nation as a whole.