A Lame Duck!
September 16, 2011 § 9 Comments
In olden days, a “lame duck congress” referred to that time between an election and the seating of the new congress, when the congress-people voted out still held the seats, but did nothing much of anything. After all, they would soon be supplanted by the victors … why bother?
An outgoing president also found himself in a state of lame-duckness, whether he was at the end of his two elected terms, or just not re-elected for a second term—this was especially true if the House or Senate was controlled by the other party! No matter what he did, or tried to do, nothing much happened in those two-plus months between the Second Tuesday of November and the January Inauguration.
However, I’ve been observing the State of our Union, and I’ve come to the conclusion that “lame duck season” now begins when the presidential candidate processions hit the road … as in RIGHT NOW … and the next elections are 14 months away!
At this very moment, Republican presidential candidates are engaged in caucusing and debating and jockeying for positions in the polls to determine who will run against Obama next year. Obviously, the Republicans want to win the election, but this time they seem particularly bent on getting Obama out – no matter the cost. In support of this, it would seem that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has no intention of doing any serious legislating until after they’ve won the 2012 presidential election. This puts us in a LONG “lame duck session”, one we can’t afford!
If the last paragraph isn’t enough of a hint, I will say here that I’m a registered Democrat—a moderate Democrat, to be sure, but still a Democrat. There are a lot of us out here, too. We sit just to the left of the dividing line between the Red zone and the Blue zone, and wonder what our country is coming to when so many extreme right or left candidates think only of upping their party agendas instead of giving positive voice and action to bolstering the people – economically, healthfully, emotionally.
Although some candidates would like to abolish it, I am a First Amendment advocate. All candidates have a right to voice their opinions on their favorite issues, just as I have a right to speak out if I don’t agree, and I speak out best with my vote.
I will not
vote for a candidate who advocates a one-issue-only platform—anti-abortion, anti-gays, anti-Obama … at any cost!
I will not
vote for a candidate who refuses to acknowledge his/her own party’s culpability in the economic woes we now face.
I will not
vote for a candidate who is so out of touch with the rest of America that he/she will advocate the abolishment of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.
[I often wonder why these candidates and their supporters don’t take this “back to the good old days” rhetoric to its logical conclusion and advocate abolishing ALL social programs—minimum wage, military health and retirement plans, pension plans, work sponsored healthcare insurance. Oh, and let’s do reinstitute the 12-hour work day, and laws that allow children to work in factories instead of go to school.]
I will vote
for representatives who can see both sides of all issues, work together in Congress to solve these issues, and represent me when they vote legislation that affects my life and the lives of all Americans.
I will vote
for representatives who believe in helping Americans get jobs, survive disasters, retain freedoms, and share responsibilities for those less fortunate.
I will vote
for representatives who will bite the bullet and seal the loop holes that allow big business to gouge profits while cutting jobs and raising prices on goods made outside this country.
If that means raising taxes on the ultra rich, so be it.
If that means legislating benefits for corporations that keep their manufacturing in the US and give jobs to our citizens, so be it!
If that means spending my tax dollars to put Americans to work rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure of our nation, so be it!
I want candidates to tell me what they are for, not what they are against. I want them to tell me how they will vote to make all lives in America better, not just keep some Americans in clover while others suffer (isn’t that how the French Revolution got started?).
But it won’t really matter what the candidates say or promise, if we don’t exercise our right to vote. On election night, it’s common to hear that, out of the 25K voters in such-n-such precinct, only 10% voted that day. What a waste of a precious freedom. What an abdication of our civil responsibility!
One election day in the 70s, I stopped by the precinct to vote in a local election—school board, commissioners, district attorney. I voted for the candidate I thought best for DA – the incumbent. Mother liked him, too, and when he didn’t win re-election, she kept complaining—what were the people of our county thinking?
I asked, “Mother, did you vote today?”
“Well, no, I’m on a deadline with my editor…”
“Then you have no right to complain!” I said.
It’s a simple truth … if we don’t vote, we lose our right to complain about the result!
So, I’ll be voting Democrat next year. Tom will be voting Republican I imagine. That’s okay. We still love each other even when we cancel out each other’s votes. The important thing is – WE WILL VOTE!
Thus endeth the harang!
Thank you for listening … I just had to get that boulder off my back!