Welcome to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus! Otherwise known as the U.S. Congress, where elephants and donkeys are running amok without cause or concern for the average citizen.
January 1, 2013 became another date to go down in the annals of modern U.S. history. The GOP members in the House of Representatives finally rejoined us in reality and voted to pass the bill to avoid the "fiscal cliff." In recent years, they've become a laughingstock and they could care less about the severity of the problems facing our nation. When Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) couldn't get his own caucus to agree in principle on his "Plan B," Americans should've known the writing was on the wall. It seems there are rival factions within their ranks who operate on a potent homogenous mixture of limited intelligence.
It is apparent that GOP representatives have really out done themselves this time around. The Tea Party element is dragging down the once proud political party's brand of politics. Let's be clear: This "fiscal cliff" debacle solely rests at their feet and they must do something they haven't done in years; claim full responsibility for these problems they've generated. It is true the Democrats must shoulder some of the blame, but it's hard to work with the opposition when they're incapable of working with each other to solve the numerous issues facing our nation at the moment. There is no doubt that the 112th Congress will go down as one of the most callow in U.S. political history.
Washington, D.C. continues to be a place where dysfunction reigns supreme and the American people deserve much better than we're receiving. If the average citizen were performing at their job with 11 percent efficiency, they would be fired without hesitation. Congress has an abysmal 11 percent approval rating and it is appalling. Perhaps this is a glimpse into the bleak future of U.S. politics. Our system has become totally fractured. Is there a way we can fix it permanently? These temporary healing agents being applied to these longstanding problems repeatedly require the attention of an uninterested body of folks who would rather be playing a round of golf with their lobbying friends while being paid a six figure salary by a country they claim to adore.
Actions speak louder than words.
How many more "crises" do we have to endure before things improve? A government continuously operating under crisis mode can't be what our founding fathers envisioned two hundred and thirty seven years ago. Now there is talk of more "crises" heading our way with the spending side of the cliff equation and the debt limit being revisited this spring. One can only imagine how much political capital will be spent and the amount of venomous vitriol that will be leveled against President Obama and the Democrats during those negotiations. .
Dilettantes comprise the modern day GOP. They have a superficial interest in the three branches of U.S. government. Most of their representatives simply can't fathom true governance because they don't understand the concept behind it. We've elected men and women to positions of power who are influenced more by the power of a dollar rather than the power of the people. Money has always been the common denominator in politics, but it is destroying the fabric of our democracy. Too many politicians are concerned about what's going in their own bank accounts over the average Joe or Jane. When this occurs, one political party fights to preserve altruism to their plutocracy while the other political party galvanizes around what's left of a fleeing democracy.
Logomachies dominate the political discourse in the halls of Congress and, as a result, every day citizens keep on losing. Holding last minute congressional meetings to simply find immediate compromises to long-term uncertainties should make every American pause and decide if these individuals are suited for the positions we've elected them to. The bitter, divisive partisanship is getting as old as Tony Romo throwing interceptions in a crucial NFL game in December.
Averting this "fiscal cliff" is the least of our issues. The incessant juvenile tactics being performed on a daily basis by the GOP need to end once and for all. This unhealthy method of conducting national affairs does nothing to advance the ideals we hold dear and try to promote across the globe. Fiscal irresponsibility and rising class inequalities are two things the nation needs to address sooner rather than later. For the past few years, the GOP's unremitting abuse of the Constitution and rules within the House and Senate has allowed them to successfully obstruct anything that President Obama has put forth as a form of legislation to pass into law.
Moderate voices, balanced budgets and common sense are retired notions. Gerrymandering congressional districts has become the GOP's formula for success. They've fallen victim to fanatical right wing media voices and their monotonous agendas. Lacking a progressive direction and diversity (of thought, gender, class and race) will be their ultimate undoing. Unfortunately, the debt-limit ceiling and "fiscal cliff" crises have become the status quo in U.S. politics.
It is up to the American people to decide if they want to keep their front row seats or demand a refund.