Rubio is wrong. The problem is not that we don’t have the right people running America. The problem is that the people pulling the strings hold us hostage to politics. No matter who wins the presidency next year, if that person is savvy enough to pull off an election victory then they also know they will have to play the same game that every president plays. They are going to work with Congress to hold you hostage because that is how the system works.
One fundamental truth: politics before people
There is a fundamental truth in American government that overrides all others: politics comes before people. Always.
Try as he did first with a strong majority and now a minority in Congress, Obama’s Hope and Change has accomplished little. His signature health care bill was only passed because of his early first term majority. Politics in Washington became so hostile that he was forced to strike out on his own, so now we are being held hostage to executive orders Republicans would rather talk about than get rid of because endless talk and criticism make for the best political hijinks.
If you are a liberal, Obama is likely the right person to run America even if he is not getting the job done. If you are a conservative he is the wrong person, but what have Republicans done for you? Not much more than Obama has done for liberals. That’s because politics is more important than results. Protracted battles that can span years make for better political exposure than solutions.
Seven issues that hold you hostage
Is the lack of progress on Capitol Hill the fault of Republicans or Democrats? How about both? Until we figure out a way to tie the fate of the nation to the futures of politicians we are going to be held hostage for as long as lawmakers can manage. Here are seven issues in the headlines that are going nowhere and hold you hostage to the usual partisan fun and games:
1. Security: securing the border, rooting out domestic extremists, and coming up with a workable policy for the Middle East and other hotspots are at the top of our security worries. Every one of these concerns is being made worse by partisanship, from our refusal to protect the Southwest border to Middle East policy that rejects Israel out of the mistaken belief that we can make Iran our friend. The real problem is that if we were truly safe and secure both parties would lose speaking points.
2. America’s financial future: the next time you hear a Republican talk about spending cuts or a Democrat lament not having enough money, turn and walk away. We have watched the same debt, deficit, and spending charade play out time and again. The result is always the same. Republicans and Democrats collude to hold you hostage to more debt.
3. Obamacare: the House is still voting to get rid of the ACA, but as next year’s election comes closer you can bet Republicans will back off. How do GOP party honchos plan to tell Americans they are clipping their subsidies and sending them back to the private insurance market? They can’t, at least not until 2017.
4. Race: the left gets the blame for this one. The Obama administration has pursued a policy of stirring up racial animosity using issues like inequality and policy brutality (see: Civil Rights Violations are Hard Work for DOJ). Every incident that can be construed as race-related hits the headlines moments after it happens. Protests inevitably lead to violence, as we suffered through in Ferguson and are now seeing in Baltimore. How do Democrats justify encouraging racial unrest while blaming those who restore order during race riots for causing it? It’s good politics.
5. Social unrest: the minimum wage game is going to keep being played even though we all know there is no $15.00/hr. federal minimum wage coming in the foreseeable future (see: Everyday Average American Won’t Fight for 15.). Republicans will dream up a compromise. Democrats will shake their heads and complain about the 1%. The protests will continue. Nothing will come of it.
6. Women’s rights: it’s primary time. Women are about to matter again. Wage equality, worker leave, and other issues are going to come back front and center not because either party cares about women, but because they want their votes. Everyone seems to understand this, but no one wants to talk about what an insult it is to women that they only count politically every four years.
7. Immigration: the biggest inside joke and perhaps greatest political issue of all time. Both parties worked together to create a mess that brought 11 million people here that no one has the courage to get rid of. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are going to do anything to fix the problem because it is so much more valuable as a contentious issue than as a law passed too late to repair the damage already done.
Rubio’s “wrong people argument” is just more of the same
With an election coming we are going to be subjected to a lot of trite, hackneyed remarks about America’s promise, about giving government back to the people, about responsibility in Washington, about the wrong people being elected, and all the other stumping mainstays candidates like to blather on about. Don’t listen to any of it. Whoever wins next year, that person is going to hold you hostage to the same issues you are being held hostage to this year. This is about politics, not solving problems. Only the faces change.