It appears to be almost impossible to think that there could be a return to cooperation between Republicans and Democrats in Congress. The polarization has been so devastating to positive legislation, and the current manner of conducting politics is to state one side and totally demean the other side. That way nothing happens. Nothing useful. Nada. Zip.
A generation ago there was adult, intelligent disagreement on political issues. The art of compromise, which is what politics is after-all, allowed for communication, disagreement, and then a coming together for the good of the nation. Now both parties seem hell-bent on destroying the United States. It is sad.
Through the years I have found many points of agreement myself on both sides of the aisle. I agreed with much that was offered by conservatives like William F. Buckley, Senator Robert Taft, and even Senator Barry Goldwater. Where have they gone? What happened to the measured reasoning they brought to politics?
While the do-nothing stance of the current Republican Party is advertised as unbeatable in November, overlooked is the fact that that is not necessarily true. During the period May 7-11 a poll was conducted by the highly reputable and non-partisan organization, GFK Roper Public Affairs & Media. The results found that 45% of those polled indicated a preference for Democrats and 40% for Republicans. This reverses a polling trend that had been found just prior to this poll by the same organization. The outcome of the November elections is still very much in play. And that is good. I'm not celebrating the polled preference for Democrats because that will change several times before November. I am celebrating that through all the hateful hoopla, many people are "keeping their powder dry" and still evaluating their political preference. That is the way things should be in an election year.
The things that still have to shake out before many people make up their minds are many. Immigration reform on a national scale is a must. The Republicans must get on board and help get it passed. To simply refuse to cooperate and then blame the Democrats is atrocious. Pass immigration reform!
While health care reform was badly needed for almost 100 years, its passage still has some fuming and waiting for a chance to bring down Obama's amazing ability to pass this reform. Can anyone truly believe that health care reform is not needed? It may not be perfect as passed, but that is what politics is all about. Nevertheless the Democrats are running scared and will try to focus on job creation instead of health care reform because they do better on that subject. It is a wimpy way for Democrats.
The Republicans in the latest poll have lost some support from married women, an important part of GOP victories. Democrats in the lastest poll picked up support from young and rural voters.
In a news story by Alan Fram of the Associated Press on May 16th, he quoted Harley Smithson, 51, of Baltimore, who switched from the Republican Party: "I want to be with a party that's for something instead of against everything." The GOP "no" politics comes at a cost, but they are hardened in this stance.
On the other hand, this latest poll has voters generally stating by only 35% that the country is headed in the right direction. Obama's approval rating was 49% in the poll. Congressional Democrats get 37% approval, with Republicans getting 31%. Neither party can claim success. And both parties better get off of the rear end and DO something good for the nation. We are tired of waiting and waiting.
All the right-wing doomsday forecasts for Democrats are way overblown. And left-wing hopes are being dashed over and over. The Tea Party dislikes mainstream Republicans. Left-wing Progressives feel Obama has let them down. What a muddle.
People are unhappy with current office-holders. With the large Democrat majority in Congress, that party stands to suffer most. But it is a long, long time until November. I still hold out hope that there can be a return to cooperation between the two parties and we can do something FOR the United States.