National leadership failing constituents badly

Through selfless compromise and a keen eye toward the welfare of our citizenry, our national leaders reached a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling on Tuesday. This prevented our proud nation from going into default and showed once again that we the people have done another stellar job of selecting the best of the best to lead us into ...
Coastal Point

Yeah. Sorry. I just couldn’t keep the pom-poms out and cheer on these people. They raised the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling at the final buzzer. Good for them. It was a no-brainer at that point.

Am I the only person who has fully realized how ridiculous our leaders are in Washington right now? That semantics, rhetoric and one-upmanship have trumped common sense, civic duty and general humanity?

There have always been arguments and strong divisions in our federal government. It’s actually part of the reason our system has worked as well as it has over the years. We have checks and balances to ensure no individual or group ever has too much power, and we warmly embrace the notion that we are a land where free speech and public discourse is the norm, not the exception. In theory, it keeps things fair for the public. Those with a conservative bent have their ideas and beliefs fought for on the Hill and those of a more liberal nature get equal time and energy.

At it’s essence, our government was created with the idea that people would argue over issues, and the wise people we put into office to represent us would sit down and work out a deal that is not most beneficial to the Republicans or the Democrats, but to the general way of life in America.

But that’s not really the case anymore, is it?

No, it’s not. Part of that is a reflection of a citizenry that has become more and more divided by party lines. The Tea Party revolution originally spawned from conservatives who felt that Republicans were drifting too much toward the center. There are numerous liberal organizations that have sprung up because they, too, believe their leaders have become too moderate.

But in a classic game of chicken-or-the-egg, one could argue that the extremists on both sides have been created because of public discord created by those who lead the respective parties in Washington, along with political celebrities like Rush Limbaugh and Jon Stewart.

So, the discussion could be this: Who caused the “Great Divide” over political lines in this nation? The politicians or the public?

An interesting thought to ponder, but it’s missing the point. Regardless of how this might have started, we elect people to lead us in Washington because they are supposed to represent the best that we have to offer. They are supposed to be bright. They are supposed to be honest. They are supposed to be able to negotiate in the best interests of the rest of us. And they are failing us miserably.

Republicans and Democrats. Both parties.

Our lawmakers left town this week for a month, leaving a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration waving in the wind. There was a partisan standoff over a bill to stop the shutdown, but they left without resolving the issue. An AP story on Tuesday said this shutdown will cost the government more than $1 billion in airline ticket taxes.

A billion dollars.

I know that’s a small drop in a $14.3 trillion debt-ceiling bucket, but it’s a drop nonetheless. How are we supposed to feel secure that our leaders have our best economic interests at heart when they walk away from $1 billion?

Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado said on a Denver radio station that being associated with President Barack Obama would be similar to touching a “tar baby.” Deplorable. The Democrats have their man in the White House in Obama, but the metaphorical or physical buck doesn’t stop at his desk, as he is the unquestioned king of passing blame along to somebody else any and every chance he gets.

We need new leadership on both sides of the aisle. This ain’t working.