Congress fiddles while Americans steam with anger

Three Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives recently announced they would not seek re-election, which set off a debate between Republican and Democratic leaders.

Are the Republicans losing momentum?

But a variety of Democrats have also announced they will not run. Are Democrats losing momentum?

Who is losing momentum most quickly?

Good grief! Is this what we've been reduced to? With more than eight months before the November elections, and with all of the urgent problems we're facing, congressional leaders have time to debate which party's election prospects are sinking fastest?

Here's the answer:

A Washington Post-ABC News poll last week found that two-thirds of Americans are "dissatisfied" or "angry" about the way the federal government is working.

Or should we say, not working?

Asked how much of each dollar sent to Washington is wasted, the average respondent guessed 53 percent.

The tea-party movement is fueled by this anger.

A recent CBS-New York Times poll found Congress with a 15 percent approval rating. Tellingly, 50 percent of Americans want to abolish the filibuster in the U.S. Senate, while 44 percent disagreed.

That's unlikely to happen, but it does reflect that Americans are sick and tired of gridlock.

What angers us is the realization that we face so many serious problems and that out elected leaders seem so incapable of approaching those problems in a logical, constructive fashion.

Take health reform.

If you don't think we need to do something about health care, you've got your head in the sand. Last week, Anthem Blue Cross in California proposed a 40 percent rate hike for some lines.

The reason: So many relatively healthy people are dropping health care coverage because the cost is so high, leaving fewer and sicker people to pick up the tab.

As more and more people become uninsured, more and more of the expense for their care will shift to a smaller and smaller number of employees and employers who do have insurance.

Maybe the Obama plan was the wrong prescription. If so, Republicans need to stop posturing and work with Democrats to find solutions. Democrats, meanwhile, need to understand that they may only get half of what they want.

If there is no middle ground, we are all doomed. The current trend of increasing health care costs, along with the underfunding of Medicaid and Medicare, will eventually bankrupt this country.

And the reason for not cooperating can't be that another election is "only" eight months away.

Author Jonathan Rauch has invented an ungainly word for what he thinks is happening: "Demosclerosis," which he calls "The Silent Killer of American Government" in the title of his book.

Rauch posits that we have so many strong, entrenched special interests that our nation is now incapable of changing course and making logical decisions to ensure our survival.

His theory is looking more and more plausible by the day.

editorialboard@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

So now the two senators from

So now the two senators from Maine, who vote with the Democratic party 90% of the time are "bought and paid for" because they didn't this time.  Your letter was a joke SSDD.  Unless the parties work together then nothing will get done.  The dems have been trying for the past year and not one bill has been passed yet.  Hmmm, going it alone is working just great.

Here's a news flash for you.  Why don't you get off your butt and close the "wealth gap" yourself.  I know it's against your nature to do for yourself but it is much more rewarding than bringing everyone else down to your level. 

Good post Ernest!

 

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And while they're at it let

And while they're at it let them start replacing the American Flag with swastikas or hammers & scicles.

ERNEST LABBE's picture

The real problem in not the

The real problem in not the Democrats or the Republicans. It is both of the parties fighting to look like the savior instead of working together for the common good. They both equate to two army divisions fighting the Martians, however they battle with each other instead of fighting the enemy in this case the martians. A plan like that is doomed to fail. It is time to get rid of lobbyists, big coporate donations to either party. It is time for us all to clean our house, and get rid of the dirt tht has been accumulating for oh so many years. It is time to return to the first system we had for electing common people. Put anybody's name on the ballott that wants to run and the one with the most votes wins. Neitherparty is right about anything, it's time for people to forget the party banter and vote for the right person.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Good post, Ernerst

Good post, Ernerst

 's picture

I guess Tron it's all in your

I guess Tron it's all in your prospective.  Yes Republicans rightly say no to trillion dollar budgets, pork barrel health care bills and more government handouts.  Extremes in either party are always going to get most of the press and be the most vociferous.  Personally I consider anyone an extremist that cannot see problems created by their own group(party).  As for Sarah Palin.  The press makes her what she is.  I've been a republican all my life and I can tell she should never be voted into a national office and probably will never even run.  She certainly gets the Dems panties in a wad though.

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

WE ARE HEADED FOR A REAL

WE ARE HEADED FOR A REAL REVOLT AND THEY KNOW IT, So the next thing you will see this corrupted goverment do is start the gun debate to take away our last defence against them, The Supreme Court has only strengthen the case that this country is and will be governed by the Corparations of the world. I would hope these criminals would all stay in office so they all get what they deserve what ever that might be....I would hope jail...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"the extreme right wing will

"the extreme right wing will use birds and names"...Man, the parrot has really gotten into your head, hasn't he T? Do you have nightmares of calls in the middle of the night from a screeching bird? LOL LOL..That's really good stuff. As far as the name calling goes, though, you own that title, friend. You may not be aware of it, but you resort to more name calling than almost anyone on these blogs except for maybe lil and another whose name escapes me at this time.

"we tried it their way for eight years"...Are you kidding me...it was 8 years of total and absolute obstructionism by the left; all 2920 days of it. What obama's now getting from the right is exactly what Bush got from the left for his entire 8 years in office. That's the problem; no one sees the same thing anymore. No matter what it is--you get a left wing and a right wing version of what took place or what is happening. I agree with you on one thing, though; we gotta get this s**t straightened out, or as a nation, we're doomed. We're all patriotic; we're just not all looking through the same prism. Remember, the original patriots were considered insurgents and rebels. The were totally against the mainstream. And, for the record, T...the Tea Party attendees are not teabaggers. You should know that better than anyone.

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