November

Is there anyone out there who can legitimately say he or she is proud of the job the House of Representatives has been doing for the past two to four years?

Let that question sink in a moment before answering, and while contemplating it, try to come up with a single, notable piece of legislation this House has produced since 2013, or any accomplishment at all, other than generating headlines. Now they’re voted along party lines to sue the president for delaying implementation of a provision in a law the House has voted more than fifty times to repeal. The Legislative branch of our government is attempting to cede its Constitutionally-mandated authority to the Judicial branch. Not only is it failing to fulfill the role assigned by the Constitution, this House has absolutely no legislative accomplishments to highlight the entire time they’ve spent in office. They are poised to become the worst House of Representatives in the history of this nation. I cannot imagine how anyone from either party can derive any satisfaction from the job these folks are doing.

Normally, I’d say both parties are equally useless, but while I find the Democrats mostly ineffective, at least they’re not actively attempting to derail the functions of government, as the current Republican leadership seems to be doing. I was raised in a conservative Republican household, and registered as a Republican when I was eligible to vote at the age of eighteen. I may still be registered as such, though now I regard myself as an independent. The first president I voted for was Ronald Reagan. I would be ashamed to identify myself as a Republican nowadays. The party I came to know growing up in the sixties and seventies no longer exists, and has been replaced by a group of extremists, conducting scorched-earth politics because they’re hell-bent on making the current occupant of the White House look bad. I do not regard myself as an ardent supporter of the President, but the current obsession with ruining his presidency by the right is having a detrimental effect on the country as a whole.

In the past, there was the concept of the “loyal opposition” which meant that while the party in power may not agree with the minority party, at least they agreed to work together for the best interest of the country as a whole. One side would propose an idea, they’d argue about it, hammer out a compromise and the business of government went on with little disruption. Loyal is not a word I’d use to describe the current leadership in the House. When one party or group puts their own narrow self-interest ahead of the good of the nation, as the current House leadership appears to be doing, no good can come of it. Important legislation isn’t getting done. Routine spending bills, that normally wouldn’t garner any attention are failing in the House for no good reason, and instead our “leaders” are conducting useless exercises in political theater to impress an ever-shrinking base of partisan supporters, rather than doing the jobs their constituents sent them to Washington to do.

It’s time to put an end to this, because only the electorate can. The media, and major parties are trying to shift the focus away from the mid-term elections, and instead get everyone focused on who may or may not run for president in 2016, which is totally irrelevant. We should not fall for this blatant attempt at misdirection, and instead, we need to stay focused on the upcoming race. If you feel the current House is populated by loyal patriots doing a wonderful job, by all means, stay home and do nothing. If you’re angry about what’s going on in Washington, and think it’s time for our House members to actually do the job they’re being highly paid to do, then 2014 is the year to take action. Unfortunately, that may mean voting for a party or candidate you wouldn’t normally support. We can address the subject of the two-party tyranny which has made a mockery of our supposedly democratic process later. Right now, we need to focus on getting these obstructionist know-nothings out of the seat of power they’ve gotten far too comfortable in occupying.

November is right around the corner. Traditionally mid-term elections don’t bring out much of the electorate, which is what the current leadership is hoping will happen this year. Now is not the time to be complacent, or to pass the buck. If we want government to change, we need to be the ones to make it happen. Otherwise, things are only going to get worse.

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