Monday, September 18, 2006

Politics of Control

John McCain spoke in New Hampshire Sunday and his finished his remarks in response to a question about running in 2008 with the following, "But there's no point in going through the decision-making process until after this election. I'm spending all my time trying to get our candidates (elected to) keep control of the House and Senate."

If you stop and think about it, the last part of that comment is pretty sickening. He wants his party to “keep control” of Congress. He doesn’t want his party to be in a predominant position, he doesn’t want it to guide policy, he doesn’t want it to be in the majority, he wants for his political party to be “in control.”

That phrase should not be in the lexicon of any legislator, for it implies not just the advocacy of one’s own ideas, but the ruthless suppression of the ideas of others. It is the antithesis of democracy in action.

Yet that is indeed the way that Congress is functioning under the control of the Republican Party. Bills are presented to the floor and rushed to vote without sufficient time being allowed for them to be read and debated, often only a few hours between the introduction of a bill amounting to thousands of pages and its final vote. Bills are presented by the Republican-controlled committee and vote is called with no amendments permitted from the floor. Other bills that are failing have the vote held open for many hours so that Republican “leaders” can browbeat junior legislators into favorable votes. Bills are presented which have as their sole purpose casting favorable impressions on the electorate, or causing the electorate to perceive the Democrats unfavorably.

The rhetoric isn’t about getting elected in order to serve your country, it’s about keeping your party in control.

Having been elected, the process isn’t about maintaining the well-being of the United States of America and its citizens, it’s about keeping your party in control, tightening that control, and ruthlessly suppressing the opposition.

We no longer have a two-party system. We have a one-party system – which ever party is in power.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:00 PM

    While I had admired John McCain for years, of late he has succumbed to being a politician too much for me. It makes me sad, because he could have been one to pull this country back to where it belongs.