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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's broke. Fix it

There are no winners in the political stalemate that has reached it zenith in the parliamentary standoff in Wisconsin. And until our elected officials learn the difference between campaigning and governing we, as a nation, are the ultimate losers.

If you are keeping score, Republicans beat Democrats 2-1 in the bullheaded department. Gov. Scott Walker used the state's legitimate budget problem to attempt to break the public employee unions that did not support him. Senate Democrats took up temporary residence in Illinois in a parliamentary move to block a vote. Senate Republicans did their own parliamentary move to ram the bill through.

In the process, they did two damaging things: by stripping the fiscal justification from the bill to allow a vote they also stripped the final layer from the facade that said the issue was abut budget-balancing and not union-busting.

And, with the full assistance of Senate Democrats, they gave lie, again, to the mantra of their Washington role models who promised "adult" conversations about our nation's problems.

It's a safe proposition that whatever our political differences, left and right are fed up with elected officials who put partisanship over getting things done. It's worth noting, again, that Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill managed to overcome an ideological gulf and find common ground.

The sides differ on who is to blame for the stalemate, with those of us on the left pointing fingers at Washington Republicans who have been hell bent at destroying two Democratic presidents, using tactics from lies to impeachment to press their agenda. The right has its own grievances that I'll happily allow to be expressed in comments.

But the sad reality is things are falling apart around us. We need solutions that call for both changes in our entitlement programs and new sources of revenue to pay for those programs like Medicare and Social Security that protesters declare the government should keep its hands away from.

History is replete with mighty nations that seemed invincible -- from Rome and the Byzantine Empire to the modern decline and fall of the British and Soviet empires.

We are on that very road and need to get our house -- and senate -- in order. Now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the right, you're right. We have Russian peasant syndrome. If you haven't heard it. Two dirt poor peasants live side by side. One is visited by a fairy godmother and is granted a cow. He begins to prosper, has milk and cheese. The other peasant prays and is visited by the fairy godmother. He says "I want things the way they used to be, we were equal, the same struggles. Please kill my neighbors cow."

March 10, 2011 9:08 AM  

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