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Isn't it time that we got out of the sandbox and off of the playground?  When are our senators and congressmen going to grow up? We, those they represent, are expected to confront life's challenges in mature and responsible ways in order to survive.  They play word and procedural games with the issues vital to our economic and physical well-being.  We work hard to do the best we can for the sake of our families.  They work to, first and foremost, maintain their positions of privilege and power.  We realize that there are many issues that we are not knowledgable about and appropriately defer to those with expertise. However, it seems that there is a sense within congress that all valid and important information resides solely within its hallowed walls.

Isn't it time that we got out of the sandbox and off of the playground?  When are our senators and congressmen going to grow up? We, those they represent, are expected to confront life's challenges in mature and responsible ways in order to survive.  They play word and procedural games with the issues vital to our economic and physical well-being.  We work hard to do the best we can for the sake of our families.  They work to, first and foremost, maintain their positions of privilege and power.  We realize that there are many issues that we are not knowledgable about and appropriately defer to those with expertise. However, it seems that there is a sense within congress that all valid and important information resides solely within its hallowed walls.

This is particularly true every time this nation is confronted by an international challenge. Whether it be the Middle East, Europe, Asia or any other part of the world, there are those in the Senate and Congress who perceive themselves as experts and can't wait to provide their "all important" opinion.  However, in fact, there are real experts in Washington.  They have spent their lives studying, visiting and observing particular countries or regions.  They are not only knowledgable about the obvious, but also the more subtle nuances.  They understand the intricacies of "intra" and "inter" relationships.  They are aware of economic and security issues.  They have studied the culture, the language and the history.  They are keenly aware of how any particular statement or action by the United States will be perceived and responded to.  They are paid for their expertise as employees of the State Department, the Defense Department and the CIA.  Why, then, does some senator or congressman feel that what they have to say is so important?

The idea that "politics ends at the water's edge" was a rule respected by both parties for decades.  The understanding that the United States is strongest when it displays a unified front to all international challenges has been a "rule of thumb".  All parents understand that if the kids see even the hint of a difference of opinion on an issue they will exploit it.  This is no different.  That isn't to say that we must all march in "lock step" and abide by the decisions made by those in authority.  Certainly that wasn't the case during the Vietnam War or more recently during the war in Iraq.  Yet publicly pushing a policy in one direction or another before the President has even had an opportunity to develop his own strategy simply comes off as being a "knee-jerk" reaction.  This is especially so when that push is always in the same direction by the same people regardless of the particulars of the situation.  In this case I am talking about McCain, Graham, Rubio and Cruz.   They, the non-experts, lacking knowledge and specifics, all too quickly condemn the President for weakness and inaction.  By doing this they perpetuate a self-serving narrative of a President who is indecisive and lacks the resolve to protect America.  The inherent dangers in this action are obvious as the selfishness.

It is time for America to elect a Congress that is prepared to first and foremost serve the interests of the people.  We now have a Congress that is in perpetual campaign mode and is interested only in winning  the next election.  The Legislative Branch of the government has an important role to play.  While it is there to "check and balance" the actions of the Executive Branch, it is not there to paralyze it.  The President, first and foremost is responsible to the security of our borders and the safety of all Americans.  Compared to President Bush, President Obama has done a superb job in this area.  Can't the GOP stop campaigning long enough to celebrate our victories and enjoy our national security?  It is time for McCain, Graham, Rubio and Cruz to give it a rest and support the President as he does his job.

Cross-posted on rationalpolitics.co

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Comment Preferences

  •  THAT'S GREAT NEWS!!!FOR JOHN McCAIN!!!!!1!!!111!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Obviously.....

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 03:30:03 AM PST

  •  McCain and I are about the same age. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony

    Over the years I have watched how the the passing of time can cause one to lose one's powers. In some cases some people have lived for nearly a century and retained a crystal clear mind. McCain was too old when he ran for president, he could not think clearly at all. His campaign was a shambles, and he made silly comments frequently. And he is worse now. Someone should make him retire, but I doubt he will. As long he is borderline competent, and as long he does not publicly soil his clothes he will keep his job.

    I share your opinions about our system of government, but unfortunately it is working exactly as intended. Our system of government cannot be changed by working within the system.

    James Madison was very clear about it. Federalist 10 is probably the most famous of the Federalist essay because it explains three things: it tells us what the Framers did, it tells us why they did it, and it warns us about the dangers our system holds for us.

    For example, Madison explained that his republic was superior to a democracy for two reasons:

    The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.
    He seems to be so sure of himself. He was certain that all democracies were limited to small populations and/or to a small geographic expanse. In the next blockquote he told us how his republic would work when it was at its best:
    The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose.
    He still seems to be so sure of himself. He was certain that a few elite citizens would do a better job of governing than would the mass of citizens. He was, like most of the Framers, an elitist through and through. But, as soon as he finished writing the paragraph just quoted, he realized he needed to hedge his bets. He knew that posterity would be watching. So he gave us this warning about how the his new republic might actually work:
    On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.
    Most people ignore Madison's warning, but history shows clearly that his republic has betrayed the interests of the people.

    In the same essay he perfectly describes the working of our national government. He said that a faction is a group of citizens that pursues policies that are against the rights of other citizens or are against the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. He said that if such a group should ever gain control, all hell will break loose. He said that even it such a group was in the minority it still could cause trouble. He said:

    It [a faction] may clog the administration, it may convulse the society...
    He was right about that. Our current administration is clogged to the point of choking the fairness out of society, which in turn is experiencing life-changing convulsions.

    So, in order for Madison's republic to work it must have special men in control. He was sure of it, but he also knew that those men might not actually get control. He went to some trouble to explain how the main job of government was to reconcile different points of view, and he said that without these special men, things would not work. He was very clear:

    It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. Nor, in many cases, can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations, which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole.
    So, more than two centuries ago we were warned about the serious weaknesses of our government, and yet we do nothing when those weaknesses become painfully obvious. The only way to improve our lives, the only way for the Will of the People to prevail is for us to cast off Madison's republic and to replace it with a modern version of Athenian democracy.

    There is one final point to be made. Under the Constitution, all states are required to have a republican form of government, and they do. They all delegate the power of the  People to a small group of citizens chosen by means of elections. And we can see clearly how Madison was right. In half our states the rights of the People are infringed on a daily basis and this is directly due to the form of government.

    In fact, the government that killed more Americans than all other governments combined was, with a few minor differences, patterned directly after our own Madisonian republic. It is hard to believe, but that government ruled over the Confederate States of America.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 04:12:15 AM PST

    •  It only took a few decades - the Nullification (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hestal

      Crisis was a great example of a few "elites" (South Carolinian Aristocrats) owning their representatives lock, stock, and barrel, and forcing them to ignore their responsibilities on the national stage.

      Enlightened?  Hardly.  

      And the plaster covering the cracks was evident prior to that -- Jefferson v. Adams:  Alien and Sedition acts.  Not to mention the friendship/hatred between the two of them, only to die on the same day.

      Until we can solve the problem of those "elites" being bought and owned (can you say "Koch Brothers?"  Gee, I knew you could!) the Republic model is in real danger.  And for that matter until we can solve the problem of institutional propaganda (can you say "Fox News?"), the Democratic model is also in danger.

      Divided Government seemed like such a good idea, except for when people game the system.  Which is where we are now.  Curse you, John Nash!

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 07:20:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All that matters is the money. (0+ / 0-)

    Otherwise they're just blowing stuff to fill up a news cycle.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 05:17:02 AM PST

  •  Captain McAmerica (0+ / 0-)

    learned everything he knows about geopolitics and military misadventure gazing out his window at the Hanoi Hilton.

    A rough 'bit', to be sure, but earned when he disobeyed direct orders and — in the process of getting himself captured — trashed his fifth government-owned aircraft.

    Nothing beats hands-on experience.

  •  John McCain (0+ / 0-)

    It has been obvious for years that McCain is senile, but to dredge up one of Obama's college papers and use that as a basis for criticism of U.S. policy toward Russia is beyond stupid and beyond senile.  I now believe that the man is totally deranged.  If he is not defeated in the Arizona GOP primary, which appears quite likely, he should be impeached for incapacity.

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