I’m Not a Republican, But…

Earlier today, I was reading some articles about how the Republicans appear to be offering some concessions and backing off a bit.  The article described how the Democrats are not really giving the Republicans anything.  Basically, one of the proposals offered up by the Republicans involved expanding the debt limit and continuing resolution into January, but with some tighter restrictions around handing out benefits, and postponing the tax and medical devices for two years.  The Democrats (Obama and the Senate) have stated that they are not interested in negotiations while the government is shutdown, and they really don’t want to give up anything in the Affordable Care Act.

When I started this post, I thought that I’d be blasting the Democrats the way I blasted the Republicans a week or so ago.  As I said back then, I’m not a Democrat.  I’m fiscally conservative, socially liberal, and I think the extremes are crazy.

I can’t quite blast the Democrats as hard on this point, though, because I can appreciate the argument.  I also do not want to see holding up the government and threatening default become the normal way business gets done in Washington.  It’s bullshit.  It’s costing the US billions, and it’s hurting hundreds of thousands of government employees.  I don’t want to see the bickering and squabbling ever get this bad again.

So I can see the argument that if the Democrats back off on anything as a result of the shutdown, it shows how effective this tactic is, and it’ll be used again.

But damn.  Neither side of the isle likes the medical device tax.  Punting that for a while seems like something that they could agree on.  And I really don’t mind if the wording surrounding handing out benefits is tighter.

This is a bad spot we’re in.  If a reasonable person is given the microphone for a little bit, it won’t matter, because the volume of the ideological argument is so high that no rational discourse can survive.

So instead of bashing Democrats, I’m going to bash the current political landscape, in general.  Instead of public service, it’s public spectacle.  Instead of statesmen trying to enact good and fair policy, it’s showman putting on charades, clowning for the public and generating massive, strident noise.

I know that historically, this isn’t a new thing.  I know that rhetoric was probably invented a few breaths after language.  It’s part of human nature.

But damn, I want things to change.  I want to be optimistic and be hopeful that grown men and women can come together with differing ideas on how things can get done, and work together to find compromise.  I want to hear harmony from our leaders, but all I hear is cacophony.

If I ever need material for writing about the hopelessness of the human condition, I need look no further than political news.  And that, too, is probably nothing new.