Checks and balances in government is a great thing.
Our founding fathers were brillant in building it into the constitution to place limitations and constraints on unbridled power.
Yes, we the people…of the people, for the people, by the people.
But recent fighting in government has shown that it is lately more about–of the politicians, for the politicians, by the politicians.
Unfortunately, everyone seems to be fighting everyone–not only across the party aisle, but between state and the federal government, and between branches of the Federal government, itself.
How does this work (or should I say maybe not working up to its ideal)–let’s take an example:
Yesterday, the healthcare law passed by Congress more or less along party lines, and signed by the President, was upheld by the Supreme Court in a suit brought by 26 states, and is being promised or threatened (depending which side of the aisle you are coming from) to be repealed by the next administration
Ah, there you have it–everyone seemingly going against everyone else and fighting what is considered progress to one side, but is harmful from the other’s point of view.
Let’s try another one–also just from yesterday:
Attorney General Eric Holder is held in contempt of Congress in the majority Republican, House of Representatives, with Nancy Pelosi, members of the Black Caucus, and other democrats walking out of the vote. And this is to release papers on “Operation Fast and Furious” in the Justice Department (the Executive Branch) that resulted in the death of a border agent, Brian Terry of another Federal Department, Homeland Security, 11 miles from the Mexican border. But the papers were held under Presidential Executive Privilege from being released to a Congressional oversight committee. Now this turns to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to pursue or drop, but he is a Presidential Appointee that reports up to Attorney Holder, and could end up the courts to decide.
I can hardly catch my breath now, but a third one this week on immigration:
The Arizona law, with controversial provision SB 1070 that permits law enforcement to check immigration status, when there is reasonable suspicion, of people arrested or detained was ruled on by the Supreme Court, and this provision was upheld. But other provisions were struck down, such as it being a State crime to be an illegal immigrant or to hire one. One presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has called the law a “model for the nation,” while the current administration has felt otherwise.
Some would say this is the way it is supposed to work–this is the way we get issues worked through, grievances addressed and ensure fairness, equity, and that the right thing is being done.
But others may look at this and call it partisanship, ineffective, a waste or time and resources, one step forward and two steps back, a circuitous path to nowhere, a witch hunt or as Representative Alan Grayson said a “circus,” at times.
With huge threats facing our nation on virtually all fronts–from unemployment and the stagnant economy, to our national deficit, falling global competitiveness, ongoing threats of NCBR and cyber terrorism, not to mention natural disasters, chronic illnesses, human rights, poverty, pollution, and food and water shortages–we certainly have a lot to deal with.
The concern is that if we cannot work and move forward together with common resolve–as partners rather than competitors–to create genuine solutions rather than to bicker about who’s right, wrong, and to blame–then divided, we will fall.
We have a choice–unite and put the national and global commons above our own self-interests or yield to an uncertain and most frightening future.
(Source Photo: here with attribution to Daniele Bora)