Monday, September 13, 2010

Football, The President, and the Political Right

While we've been accused of being polyanna-ish before, we'd like to think that some of the political actions happening in Washington D.C. over the last few days just might be positive signs.

Last Friday, in our News section, we pointed out retiring GOP Sen. Voinovich of Ohio admitting the hypocrisy of the Republican's past efforts to delay the President's and Democrats' small business jobs bill. Sen. Voinovich said late last Thursday that he would join with Democrats to pass that stalled jobs bill. Over the weekend,  Republican Minority Leader John Boehner finally admitted publicly that he is willing to agree to President Obama's firm position that the Bush tax cuts for the rich can expire, but that the middle class tax cuts should remain.

Both of these unexpected moves from the political right are heartening. Maybe the Republicans in Washington are finally more fearful of their hard-working but struggling constituents - small business people who need help to succeed, and industrious Americans who remain out of work - than they are of the loud and offensive teabaggers, who can somehow afford multiple trips to D.C. to shout about how poor they are.

Whatever the reasoning, we welcome the moves of both Republicans - although we're not entirely convinced of the veracity of either Sen. Voinovich's or Rep. Boehner's claims.
Maybe it's because we've read too many Charlie Brown and Lucy cartoons.

We're certain you've seen the iconic cartoons, where Charlie Brown is deceived time and time again by his "friend" Lucy, who always pulls the ball away at the last minute, and leaves Charlie Brown flat on his back.

The current Republican Party has become well-known for performing similar stunts with the Obama Administration over the last two years.  They would promise bipartisanship, and then when it came time to actually compromise on ideas, throw a fit, blame the President and his party, and refuse to compromise at all.

We're not debating that there may be fundamental differences between conservatives and progressives that have guided many of the attitudes and choices behind the actions of the current GOP leadership in Washington.

What we doubt is the sincerity with which Sen. Voinovich, Rep. Boehner and their party's leadership will be working in good faith to find compromise with Democrats before the elections this fall. Important issues like letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy lapse as planned, or passing the small business jobs bill that remains stalled in the Senate won't wait until next year to be completed.

Still, based on the comments of those Republicans, we hope that progress is made this week, and that the metaphorical football isn't yanked away by the GOP at the last minute.

As President Obama said on Friday, about another divisive issue, there isn't an us and a them, in America. "It's just us."

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