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by Peter Stern
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 at 7:23 AM
It took at least one decade to get the U.S. into such dire economic straits.
Although the GOP had at least 7 years to get us moving towards a better direction under the G.W. Bush administration and a Republican majority in Congress, they failed to do so --- mostly due to the need for greed.
So what is it about American politics that leaves its ugly mark on our political, social and economic well-being?
Wealthy Special Interests
Extravagant campaign contributions and special perks have enabled wealthy special interest lobbyists to purchase the best government money can buy.
Instead of winning Senate and House positions based on ability and achievements, Congressional seats are won by collecting the most campaign dollars.
Furthermore, the 2-Party system has failed Americans because what the nation truly needs is placed on the back-burners, while the needs of the wealthy corporate, industrial, financial and manufacturing sectors becomes the primary focus in the pursuit of endless profiteering.
In addition, possible "conflicts of interests" are overlooked and even are pursued by Congressional leaders to gain the support and campaign dollars of wealthy special interests. Often, after careers are ended, many of our lawmakers become lobbyists or employees of the very same special interests who have supported and financed their legislative careers. While certainly a conflict of interest, such tactics are permitted legally.
Until American taxpayers demand lawmakers to develop and implement "No Campaign Contribution" laws to keep special interests at bay, the majority of Americans haven't a remote chance of acquiring a Congress that will accomplish what is really needed for the majority.
The 2-Party Polka
During the G.W. Bush administration, those in charge made certain that the minority Democratic House and Senate remained shackled under the Republican majority rule. Partisan politics ruled both houses and was in vogue for 7 years.
In that 7-year time period, taxpayers watched helplessly as attention was focused on corporate profiteering while the standard of living for most Americans began to plummet. American jobs were outsourced to cheaper overseas labor. Laws for loose credit enabled many to make purchases that were well above their means. U.S. unemployment began to increase. Home foreclosures started to creep-up in numbers. Still the corporate, industrial, financial and manufacturing markets were hell-bent on securing huge profits.
Then the bottom fell out from under Wall Street and "suddenly" companies found themselves in similar financial straits as had regular American citizens for the past several years.
The signals of economic stress had been sent out for several years, but few in either political party recognized or cared to see them.
The nation's financial wizards could foretell the pending economic chaos, but few vocalized or prophesized of ultimate financial doom.
In essence, arrogance of the 2-Party system and greed for profits led us astray and toward our economic depression.
Present Party Politics
Apparently, the lessons of the past administrative failures have not been learned. Under the administration of a new President and new Democratic majority, our Congress so far remains partisan and aloof to the needs of most Americans.
During the Presidential campaign, both GOP and Democrats vowed to work together to get American moving in the right direction. Senator John McCain had frequently made "bipartisanship" a keynote address and priority during his entire campaign.
Three weeks into his Presidency, Barack Obama already has met with ample resistance from Republicans in the Senate and House. Few GOP lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain, are willing even to discuss the issues as a means to come to a consensus.
Already, the new Obama administration has discovered a GOP "wall" in place that impedes its direction. Instead of following up on its previous promise to work in a bipartisan legislative atmosphere, the GOP has built numerous "bunkers" to inhibit and offset any majority advances.
The current GOP politics is to take up central positions that will repulse Democratic legislation and communication in order to strengthen its own inner core, that hopefully would enable the party to regain a majority impact in the 2012 elections. That is NOT bipartisanship, nor is it a total focus on the American dilemma.
With the current political games already underfoot promoting a failed administration, President Barack Obama must try to reign-in the willfully rebel GOP in an attempt to promote a bipartisan Congress to work together on restoring the American economy to a point where prosperity may be enjoyed by the majority of Americans and also by the business sectors.
Should the GOP remain solid in its quest to play the political games to uproot the Obama administration, the new President should and must do anything in his power to squelch the attempted coup in Congress to achieve what he believes is needed to return the U.S. political, social and economic infrastructures to a long-awaited level of normalcy.
Without a truly united, bipartisan Congress the U.S. remains "a fish out of water" and symbolizes a stressed nation without a supportive Congress to move our nation to a better place and time.
Currently, the "ball" is in President Obama's "court".
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