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Yesterday I heard Jim Albright on WHLO radio, Fox radio, describe how "both sides do it." Both political parties are equally at fault in the gridlock and fecklessness that voters dislike about today's Congress. The radio anchor from 9-12 AM detailed how non-productive the current Congress has been when it comes to passing legislation.....he referred to the bickering and name calling.....and then declared, without any qualification, that both sides are equally guilty for the mess that we call Washington.
Jim Albright couldn't be further off the mark.
What we find offensive about our current politics, what we see as a non-productive, gridlocked government has been caused....virtually singlehandedly....by today's much more extreme and obstructionistic Republican Party. The political party which boasts that "compromise is not part of their lexicon."
For a good overview of this reality, you may want to go here. While Michael Steele tries to couch our political reality in the same language of Jim Albright...."both sides are equally guilty for our gridlock and divisiveness".....Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute explain in a compelling way that it is absolutely the GOP, having moved to the edges of extremity, who is creating most of our paralysis in Washington. In other words.....one side is doing it.
Here's a couple paragraphs from Mann and Ornstein's must read Washington Post article of April 27, entitled "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem",....
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
It isn't that conservative viewpoints and conservative policies are unworthy of being heard and debated....it's that today's GOP has become so radicalized, so extreme, so undemocratic, so thuggish in it's obstruction, and so unreasonable in it's unwillingness to seek compromise.....that basic government at the federal level can barely function. Example: credit extension crisis of Aug. 2011.
The GOP stance has been, and still is, one of demanding that a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate only pass Republican laws. If only Barack Obama and the Senate Democrats would just pass Republican bills, Republican legislation.....then Mitch McConnell's "One Term" Marauders would at least attempt to work with their political opponents. That's political extremism that can't be dealt with.
Worse....the GOP has a couple of new extremist entries in Senate races this cycle. In Indiana and Texas, the GOP base have replaced Dick Lugar (IN) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) with extremists, Richard Mourdock and Ted Kruz, respectively. If elected to the Senate, these two extremists plan on joining the ultra-extremists Jim DeMint (S.C.), Rand Paul (KY) and Mike Lee (UT) to create a reinforced Senate obstruction caucus that will bring what little production there is left in the Senate to a grinding halt.
The extremism which has defined the GOP for the last 5 or more years is now being witnessed in all it's.....glory....in the general election campaign of 2012. In what began in 2008 as a desperate move by John McCain....choosing the inanity-slinging, contempt-filled, facts-free Sarah Palin as a running mate.....has now led to the entirely disingenuous, openly mendacious, deceptive and disinformational campaign of Romney-Ryan 2012.
Paul Ryan is a "serious and courageous" conservative, a policy "wonk", "a numbers cruncher", who has set forward a "bold" plan for fiscal responsibility. Hogwash. Nothing could be further from the truth. The CBO, the Tax Policy Institute and others have demonstrated the total gibberish found in the "Ryan Budget."
Mitt Romney allegedly "knows how the economy works" and knows how to "create jobs" but won't give us any details on his own years of experience at Bain.....or how more supply side tax cutting and deregulation-shredding will result in anything other than higher deficits and fewer jobs.....just as they always have.
The extremism introduced into the presidential campaign of 2008 in the person of Sarah Palin has, in 2012, morphed into a full-metal jacket GOP campaign of deceit, deflection and disinformation. From "you didn't build that" disinformational childishness to "welfare waiver" race-baiting.....from the highly misleading "the private sector is doing fine" decontextualization to "I'll never apologize for America" pile of rubbish......the R&R campaign is proving each and every day that they are nothing but a duo of liars and deceivers.
The only question left to be decided is whether corporate he-said, he-said media will play along for the next 60+ days. Like Jim Albright played along yesterday morning.
Both sides are not responsible for the frozen state of Congress or the widening divisions in society. Anyone who claims otherwise, no matter how often or with how much intensity.....is not telling you the truth.
Whether Obama wins in a landslide, or not, now depends on whether "we don't do facts" media will finally become nauseated enough at all the punking, deceiving and twisting from the most dishonest duo to ever run for the presidency.....to call them out for what they are.....liars.
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