Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Responsibility & Abdication: The State Of The Union

Tonight, for the fifth time, President Obama will be giving his annual address on the state of our nation. Admittedly, like most of us in the political media, our staff gets pretty excited about this constitutionally mandated ritual.

Several media sources have already leaked information fed to them through various unnamed White House sources, outlining the topics President Obama will likely hit hardest, including infrastructure, energy, education, and nuclear proliferation.

In short, President Obama is going to be assertive, the proper adjective to describe a leader who is sick and tired of his governing partners abdicating their responsibilities, and isn't going to wait for them any longer.

While Republicans in Congress and many Republican voters have abdicated their duties to the President and to their fellow Americans, they haven't even had the courage or decency to formally announce their abdication, as Pope Benedict did on Monday when he resigned the Papacy.

It's quite possible some Republicans don't even realize they've abandoned their proper role on managing resources like our climate, or maintaining our national infrastructure. After all, the Republican Party can't even agree on a single rebuttal to President Obama's address, as both the wounded Republican Party, and the insane "tea party" wing of the GOP will each deliver their own twisted word salad after the President speaks.

The problem for those on the political right isn't just that they can't get along with each other.

Republicans are outwardly admitting that policies they've generated, and actively voted for - like the sequester - are "going to hurt a lot of people" as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor admitted on Sunday. Yet they want to push ahead, needlessly harming their fellow Americans, instead of fixing the real problems.

Congressional Democrats, while more responsible than their Republican colleagues, have also allowed those same GOP members to destroy the reputation of the United States as a beacon of democracy, by blocking Presidential nominations, and indeed attempting to block virtually any action by this President.

It should be obvious that Republicans have failed at leadership, failed at building a cohesive group, and failed at being a responsible opposition party - but it doesn't have to be that way.

As we hope President Obama will note tonight, our nation is strong and healthy, and continuing to get better under his leadership - though we are not as strong or as healthy as we could or should be.

If every American would work together, instead of some abdicating their responsibilities, we are certain our nation can be even better. a feeling we are certain is shared by our President.