Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, good solstice, a wonderful Saturnalia and a Happy New Year from your United States Congress. More specifically, from members of the Party on the Right. They are the ones giving the citizens of the United States a wealth of gifts for the season.
Let me rephrase part of that. They are giving the wealthy citizens of the United States gifts. Yes, the rest of us can keep what we’ve had for the past few years, but the wealthy are getting more.
The party of “family values” has spent little time in the seat of government, filibustering legislation and blaming everyone else for the troubles in Washington, only stopping their filibustering once the wealthy got their tax breaks.
Example: Before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the omnibus tax bill, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., threatened to have the entire spending bill read, word for word, page for almost 2,000 pages. Why? In DeMint’s words, “(W)e’re trying to run out the clock. They should not be able to pass this kind of legislation (the monies to run the government) in a lame-duck Congress.” Trying hard not to do the people’s business.
*The GOP had gone as far as declaring that New START can wait, putting every person on the planet in a nuclear holocaust zone, before Tuesday's announcement that the Senate leadership had gathered the necessary 70 votes for ratification. Even GOP senators who know how important this issue is removed their support because of, what I believe to be, an implied or actual threat from their leadership before coming to their senses.
The Party on the Right has gone as far as lowering itself in to the muck, using religion as a basis for their doing nothing for anyone.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., railed against the Democrats for forcing Congress to work into Christmas week. Like there are no Democrats of the Christian faith. Said Kyle on the floor of the Senate, “It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out … without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff.”
Mr. Kyl, you can go home Thursday and come back to work on Monday like the rest of us. Congress does not work on Fridays anyway.
You know who else would like off for religious holy days but cannot take that pleasure? Our police and firefighters, and members of our armed forces serving around the world to protect our interests, our borders and our citizens from harm. How selfish can one political party be?
To say this is not a Missouri issue is wrong. Our own Sen. Kit Bond, a Republican, took to the floor Friday afternoon to talk about the need to mine rare earth minerals in Missouri instead of China.
Yes, this is an important issue, but using basic triage, this is a minor wound as compared to the hemorrhaging of the American middle and lower economic classes. Why isn’t Bond, in his last days as someone who can do something, talking about the spending bill and the nuclear arms reduction treaty?
The voters in 2010 do not make a Republican or conservative mandate. It was a mandate for Congress to do its job. The Democrats are. The GOP?
“What did they do? Nothing. Nothing. That Congress never did anything the whole time it was in session, but they tried to sabotage the (country).” Barack Obama? No, Missouri’s own Harry S. Truman in 1948 talking about the congressional Republicans. Its déjà vu all over again. (Sorry Yogi.)
We, as citizens, can no longer allow the GOP to push its weight around like an old bull elephant. We need to move forward, not in reverse, pulling like a good Missouri mule.
In this season for peace, goodwill to all humankind, and health for our Earth, I hope this finds you all well, in great spirits and safe. Remember the poor and homeless. Hug your family, neighbors and your enemies. Matthew 5:39.
David Rosman is an award-winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at InkandVoice.com and New York Journal of Books.