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The Common Sense Blog: The Ins and Outs of Congress

by William J. Limón last modified Mar 28, 2017 05:29 PM
Republicans and Democrats alike demonstrate an appalling lack of governing, from the White House all the way through Congress. Only a strong third party, the Centrist Party, can bring sanity back to our government.
The Common Sense Blog: The Ins and Outs of Congress

US Congress

The election of Trump has turned Congress on its collective head. Have you noticed? Under Obama, the Republicans were the Party of “NO!”, blocking virtually every legislative initiative by the Democratic president. Not now. While Republicans are “In”, the Democrats are “Out”; out of the White House and still out of the majority in both Congressional houses. Neither party appears to have found its sea legs yet.

The Republicans flounder about. President Trump makes headlines with wild accusations of Obama wiretapping, flawed executive orders, and denials of the expanding quagmire of “Russia-gate” amidst burgeoning investigations of his campaign’s connections to Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. Republican congressional leaders appeared desperate to craft an effective alternative to Obamacare, one that wouldn’t get them lynched by increasingly restive town-hall constituents that have had Republican representatives and senators trying to escape out of side doors. What happens? After seven years of railing against the Affordable Care Act and dedicating themselves to replacing it, the Republicans could not come to a consensus on an alternative. Even the highly touted deal-maker Trump couldn’t corral the recalcitrant wings of his party. It seems that eight years of obstructing government have left Republicans poorly equipped to actually govern.

...a major third party, a Centrist Party dedicated to policies that work for the average American, and one NOT beholden to the “party-first” attitude we see in Washington today.

The Democrats have their own house in disorder. Overnight filibusters of Trump’s cabinet appointees have been ineffective. Resistance to Trump’s executive overreach has been relegated to whining to reporters. Their “victory” on blocking the replacement of Obamacare is due entirely to the Republicans’ inability to find common ground among themselves, not from any Democratic strategy. Filibuster Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee? That only tempts the Republicans to choose the “nuclear option” and end filibusters by majority vote rather than the traditional sixty. I’m reminded of Will Rogers’ comment: “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” Where is the willingness and ability to propose legislation to block Republican initiatives? Sure, none of it will pass, but at least the Democrats can show the electorate just what they oppose, and what they would do differently, and why.

THE CENTRIST VIEW: It’s high time we had an “adult in the room”. Congress has been woefully ineffective for a long time. No wonder its approval ratings are often in the single digits. What we need are senators and representatives that are willing to take a stand, with legislation and with the American people.

We need legislators who will articulate a clear vision for America and how it is different from what is going on. We need statesmen and stateswomen who will go on TV to explain the folly of the current administration, articulate an alternative approach, and how that alternative would help in this corrosively polarized political environment. We need modern-day FDRs who can do what he did during the Great Depression: communicate directly what needs to be done and how that is being blocked by the power brokers in D.C. This will rally the great numbers of citizens who are appalled at the direction and ineffectiveness of both major political parties.

Only a political force outside of the Republican-Democratic bi-polar universe can exert such an influence, a major third party, a Centrist Party dedicated to policies that work for the average American, and one NOT beholden to the “party-first” attitude we see in Washington today.

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HandiSandi
HandiSandi says:
Apr 01, 2017 07:10 PM

Yes yes yes!! I have found my political home, after 37 years. All I see is resistance to each other, no listening to the electorate who voted their stubborn behinds in, and no thinking of what is the greater good for all of America. Just over it, saddened, my blood pressure is up and the freak show that prevails in government today is embarrassing on a world class scale. Thank you to whoever founded this. Its about dam time.

malmilligan
malmilligan says:
Apr 02, 2017 04:40 AM

I hope the center in this country rises up to tackle the problems that will never be fixed by the corrupt Democratic and Republican Parties. There is a laundry list of changes we need in this country like term limits, cutting retirement packages of elected government officials, strictly enforcing conflict of interest in office and for 5 years when out of office, etc.

zshaklah
zshaklah says:
Apr 13, 2017 06:46 AM

The challenge how to make the change in healthcare affordable act. from my perspective, all parties have some good ideas but neither one came up with the model that can sustain effect. Democratic view came from economic standpoint and had some support from American medical association and insurance companies made the current act able to sustain effect even with increase in premium, while republicans failed to find the alternative. our role in Centrists to build the model that qualify it to pass the required congress vote. the new model should include some elements, from my perspective, from the republican view with great infrastructure. basically republicans failed to have clear structure with no support at public, AMA, or insurance companies. let us work on such model, I can point at certain key elements would help a lot!!