Congress needs a timeout

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By Cloie Swain / Staff Writer

By Cloie Swain / Staff Writer

Of all the things to be defending in congress right now, the extension of tax cuts for the upper monetary echelons should not be on the priority list.


Alas, it is, and is the focus of contention between the Republican and Democratic membersof Congress. The Grand Old Party (GOP) of Republicans are threatening to block all legislation unless the tax breaks passed by the Bush administration are extended.


The push by Democrats for the expiration of the tax cuts is being predicted by major news outlets as a failing battle. But it is just the most recent bout of chronic inability of anyone in Congress to get over themselves and their elephant or donkey mascot and loyalties.


The petty hostage taking of the legislative process in America is not only offensive to everyone who voted for these political children, but also a really fantastic example of the great way things happen here in the United States.


Whoever claimed playgrounds were exclusively for children apparently never visited Washington D.C., because by the behavior of our representatives, one could easily confuse our Capital building for a jumbo, expensive playground where the featured entertainment is a whole bunch of taxpayer backed crybabies who refuse to share or even attempt to play nice.


There is fault on all sides here.


In an ironic sense, the failings of this group of representatives truly is a bipartisan effort. Not once in recent memory has the lot done so well in coordinating anything with each other, except for this newest inaction.


Pointing fingers at one side or the other is exactly what they are doing, and it is not fair. It takes two to fight, and the Democrats and Republicans have proved that over and over again. So when playing the blame game as an infuriated taxpayer, it’s easiest to simply put the fall on the entire gang.


This blaming, while incredibly satisfying when cursing them, does not help the situation however. The fact still remains that they are refusing to get along, and we are suffering because of it. That hubbub over the election last month was apparently for naught. Nothing has changed. Things still aren’t getting done.


We still have representatives who are not doing their jobs. And the disappointment that comes from that heavily outweighs the anger that is so easy to get caught up in.


So, how to fix this?


The most efficient measure would be undoubtedly to can all of them come next election season. The satisfaction of handing them a one way ticket from Washington would be immensely gratifying. Unfortunately, that is a couple of years away, so the enraged voter action has to be put on the back burner.


So, as unfortunate as it may be, it is time to do what telemarketers do.


Bust out the masses.


A small group of people doing something rarely gets noticed. A semi large group of people doing something might get noticed. A whole bunch of people doing something gets you attention, and it is this line of thinking that should be employed in regards to the debacle in Washington.


Calling, emailing, popping by their local offices, all these things can help the situation, as long as there are many people doing it. As constituents, we have a say in what happens in the government.


And we need to let them know that the way they are treating our lives and legislation is not okay, and will not be tolerated.


The fact that this has to be written is sad. We should be able to spend our time worrying about our own lives, keeping pace with work and school and family. Not having to babysit our elected representatives.


But as the 2008 election showed, politics can change. The American people are veterans when it comes to shifting the way things work. And now, the time has come again for us to make our voices heard, and let our representatives understand that this is unacceptable.


So let freedom ring. And email. And visit their regional offices. Because if we don’t show them we care about what they do, then they’ll keep abusing our trust in them.


And our standards in ourselves, and for the people who represent us, are higher than that.

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