Day: March 6, 2010

American Politics In Crisis: No One Is Trusted Or Believed!

The problem of our political system is that whether Democrat or Republican, we have reached the stage where events and behavior makes most Americans lack trust or belief in any politician, and that is indeed sad! 🙁

Between the dalliances of Republicans like John Ensign, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Mark Foley and others, and that of Democrats like Eliot Spitzer, Jim McGreevey, John Edwards, Eric Massa, and yes Bill Clinton sadly along with others, most Americans have a very low opinion of the morals of our leaders.

Add to that the financial or other behavioral irregularities of such political leaders as Charles Rangel, David Paterson, Rod Blagojevich and others on the Democratic side and Bob Taft, Joe Wilson, Marco Rubio and others on the Republican side, and you get total cynicism by vast numbers of Americans!

Politics has become an industry where winning power is the only important thing, even though stalemate and gridlock is the constant result after elections. Negativism and character assassination is the norm, and radio talk shows, cable news, internet blogs, and political activists are only interested in confrontation, rather than compromise!

The sense of a common bond and a bright future are being lost, and yet there is no real alternative except to “throw out the rascals” and replace them with new leaders, who unfortunately will be likely to follow the same pattern, due to the overwhelming influence of lobbyists and pressure groups that care not a whit for anything but their own selfish interests!

And we live in a country which is oriented toward cutting taxes but keeping spending at the same or greater rate, but no one has yet figured out how to keep services such as education, hospitals, social workers, police, firefighters, paramedics, higher education, prisons, road, and other public needs met by cutting taxes. We live in an unreal world in which somehow we want and need the services, but want OTHERS to pay for them! The answer, unfortunately, is that we face the greatest cuts in public services since the Great Depression until we understand that the only way to meet public demand is to pay MORE taxes!

This is what the conservatives and the Tea Party Movement do not understand! Either more taxes are essential, or crippling cuts in public services that no one wants will have to occur! The age of constant cutting of taxes is nearing an end, whether we like it or not!

But will the American people ever again trust anyone who leads us? That is the question of the present and the future, and the likelihood is that the answer is NO! 🙁

National Journal Rankings: Liberals And Conservatives In The Senate

A new rating of the Senate by National Journal reveals the following.

The most liberal senators are Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Roland Burris of Illinois, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of Rhode Island, with all of them in a five way tie. Interestingly, all are in their first term in the Senate, with the exception of Reed, and Burris will be leaving the Senate after a two year appointment.

The most conservative Senators are in order as follows: James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Bunning, thankfully, is leaving at the end of this year. Obviously, the name Jim is very much connected for now to the right wing! 🙂

So Oklahoma has the distinction of having two of the most conservative senators, and Rhode Island two of the most liberal senators.

The big problem revealed by this survey is that the moderate center in both parties is becoming more than ever an “endangered species”, which makes it likely that the future Senate will be as intransigent and uncooperative as it presently is. This is not good for the American system of government, when there is no give and take, no compromise spirit, that exists in the upper chamber.

The nation needs a new version of Henry Clay or Lyndon Johnson to promote compromise and action in the Senate, but sadly there is no one obvious on the horizon to fill the shoes of these two great senators of the 19th and 20th centuries in the 21st century! 🙁