Although the last Congress was the least productive Congress in recent-history, this new Congress isn't shaping up much better. Previously the domain of the Republicans, the Democrats have now adopted the mantle of "all-or-nothing" political brinksmanship, employing the same obstructionist methods which drove a government shutdown and a complete collapse in American trust in government. The battle over the Trans-Pacific Partnership fast-tracking authority was a prelude of what was to come, and now both parties are gearing up for a multitude of political battles coming in the near future.
"A summer of gridlock is bearing down on Washington, threatening to put an end to the burst of legislative productivity that kicked off Mitch McConnell’s reign atop the Senate.
Minority Leader Harry Reid foreshadowed the shift recently with vows to essentially shut down the appropriations process and block highway and defense bills unless Republicans move markedly to the left."
The endless cycle of partisanship and gridlock has renewed itself once again, as the Democrats have adopted the same damaging, irresponsible tactics that they derided when holding the majority, while the Republicans, in their criticism of the Democrats, have selectively forgotten how gleefully they employed the same tactics less than twelve months ago.
Americans deserve better than this. It is not just the hypocrisy of both sides in flipping roles. It is not just their complete disregard for public opinion, or the fact that continued use of these tactics further damages American trust in government, something no democracy can function without. Americans deserve a Congress that simply does its job, that fulfills its most basic roles without creating more problems. Americans deserve a Congress that is not constantly teetering on the edge of collapse.
This isn't to say that either the Democrats or the Republicans should cave to the other's demands, but rather than demanding "all-or-nothing," our leaders should seek compromise. They should address the issues head on, maturely assess their positions, and recognize that their first responsibility is to the people. Each Senator is elected as a leader, it is time they acted like one.
None of this will ever change with out substantial political pressure, and that starts with you, the voter. If you are sick of seeing Congress accomplish nothing but making things worse, now is the time to act, before the season of gridlock begins. Keep it simple -- call your Senator's D.C. office and demand that they assume the responsibilities of leadership. Not sure how to get started? We are here to help.
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