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Lance Simmens Headshot

They Pull Me Back In

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Watching the shenanigans of Washington, DC unfold with incredulity and disgust I cannot help but think of the unenviable position that President Obama has found himself in over the past several years. That he still manages to maintain his cool and calm demeanor in the face of unprecedented obstructionism is remarkable. That anyone should be confronted with such nonsense is shameful.

Every time I even come close to getting impatient with the President, and let there be no doubt there are several things I have serious concerns about, namely an all of the above smorgasbord of anything goes energy policy and the use of drones just to name a few, but to paraphrase a famous movie quote "just when I thought I was out" the Republicans "pull me back in". No not to their cause, but back in to the Democratic fold where I have been solidly aligned for the past forty years.

The Republican Party right now is so far divorced from rationality and so dangerously out of control that it is the most effective recruiting and fund raising tool the Democrats could possibly hope for. And while the unfortunate and not unintended consequences of a government shutdown will be felt by those most dependent upon social services, the potential consequences of an economic meltdown will affect the entire country and for that matter the world economy.

Speaker Boehner presided over the evolution of the current day Republican Party and I simply cannot bring myself to feel sorry for him. He made his bed and now is having a rather hard time sleeping in it. Of course it is still not too late for him to exercise a modicum of courage, a dab of intestinal fortitude, a scooch of leadership, or maybe even a touch of statesmanship to cobble together a winning combination of votes to avoid what even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce cannot stomach. If you lose your speakership, so be it, it cannot be very rewarding for you at this point.

But on the other hand watching the hijacked Republican Party fumble their way around the edges of anarchy it becomes crystal clear just what this President has been up against all along and the treachery, deceit, and scorched Earth policy that has overtaken their theory of governance. In fact it has become abundantly clear that governance is a relatively foreign concept to these insurrectionists. They are much more comfortable with battleground tactics that result in obstruction and delay and it has carried over to their governing style.

If the current debacle continues to unfold without some adult leadership and influence from the Republican fold Obama will actually galvanize both sympathy and support from a base that has grown restless. This may very well be the unintended consequence of a party deep in the throes of a hostile takeover. The inanity and insanity of the opposition's posturing with respect to foundational issues such as the responsibility to pay your bills, abiding by the constitutional process that delineates how a bill becomes law, and a system of checks and balances that serves as an integral part of our governmental framework, all suggest a general disregard for the very concepts that undergird their professed love of country. Hence, they have no core beliefs or justification for existence. But the fierceness of their dedication to destruction consumes any desire for relevancy.

Through it all, the President has had to struggle to balance the needs of the nation against the dictates of the dissidents, a seemingly endless struggle that defies an acceptable remedy. Just ask the Speaker. When I find myself drifting into a state of confusion with regard to the President's agenda I only have to remind myself of the utter destitution offered by the opposition and the absence of any agenda whatsoever in order to fully comprehend the difficulty of dealing with a party currently commandeered by shameless self-promoters.

So Mr. President, stay strong, stay true to your belief that country first should be a principle not a slogan, and continue to reflect the steely resolve that our nation will not bend to the unreasonable demands of ideological thugs and extortionists whose personal self-interest is more important than the needs of the people. And let us hope that common sense and cooler heads will prevail in a party spiraling towards irrelevancy.