Moderate Moment | Moderate Moms

A Season of Conciliation

July 16, 2013  |  Share

If you look at the headlines out of Washington, DC right now, it isn’t hard to see why Sen. Harry Reid is saying that Washington is broken. After all, Congress is even fighting over how to fight (that’s what the question of filibuster reform is about) and for the first time in two terms, Americans are saying they do not believe President Barack Obama is honest. I disagree with a lot of this administration’s policies, particularly around Obamacare, but the person? That’s a little harsh. No wonder so many reasonable people are either getting out of Congress or opting not to run. 

In story after story, we can see how this moment is being shaped, not by what Americans want or need from their government but from the iron triangle of Congress, Special Interests and the Media. 

Except in one story. Whose significance should not be undervalued. President George H.W. Bush and President Barack Obama held a press conference at the White House to present an award to an Iowa couple who created a non-profit that feeds hungry children in 15 countries. President Obama paid tribute to the elder Bush for “how bright a light you shine” and marveled at the fact that the elder Bush parachuted out of a plane at 85.   There is no mistaking that these two Presidents are rising above the partisanship that is turning so many voters off to politics altogether. And that is leadership. 

The senior Bush said it clearly when he went on ABC’s “This Week” recently, “I think it’s very important to fix a broken system and to treat people with respect and to have confidence in our ability to assimilate people.” 

The middle, that reasonable ground in the center, where we parse through legislation and compromise, is missing in action. And when 90% of Americans say they want a federal ban on assault weapons only to watch it get shot down by the NRA, no wonder they’re losing faith in their government. What about the rollout right now on Obamacare and how hard it is to find objective information? This article http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/health-insurance-within-reach/ is one writer’s attempt to explain the program but even this article, while well-intentioned, claims Medicaid will be “free.”  And just a couple of paragraphs later says it’s going to cost the government a lot of money. We are our government. And that disconnect is not only expensive in a financial sense; it’s bankrupting us spiritually. That’s why we need both sides to start working together with an eye to what the American people want from them. Because the cost of all this partisan gridlock and spin is about more than dollars and cents. 

 

 


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