Thursday, January 28, 2010

Disloyal Opposition?

I am not sure how much control C-SPAN has over the cameras in the House chamber; but, during their broadcast last night of the State of the Union address, there seemed to be a deliberate effort to play down the subdued, if not sullen, behavior of the audience on the Republican side. President Barack Obama even tried to make a joke out of it. After emphasizing the extent of the tax cuts he had initiated during his first term in office, he looked over to the Republican side and quipped, "I thought I’d get some applause on that one." Experienced as he may have been in winning over a not-necessarily-sympathetic room in Las Vegas during the Primaries, he never succeeded in breaking the Republican ice. In the official Republican response to the speech, delivered by Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell, there was less interest in Obama's acknowledgement of Republican ideology and more in a government "simply trying to do too much." Apparently, it mattered little that Obama had tried to address this counterargument during his speech, reinforcing his position in words that every voter could clearly understand:

How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold?

These are the questions that every registered Republican should put to his/her favored candidates in every election. Obama understands that opinions and values can differ, but he also believes that such differences can be addressed through open communication. If one does not come to agreement, one can at least negotiate a position from which one can act, rather than sit in stagnation. That is how one works with a "loyal opposition." The Republican Party is determined to win the next round of elections by rejecting such efforts at negotiation and embracing stagnation; so the next time around they can claim it is their turn to be the "party of change." There is no loyalty in this opposition. I do not mean this in terms of loyalty to the President of the United States; I mean it in terms of loyalty to those voters responsible for your holding the position you have. In our system of government, we elect others to manage our country by doing things that, one way or another, we are not equipped to do. We do not elect them to do nothing other than bicker over not getting all of the marbles all of the time. It's time for Republican voters to ask whether or not they are getting the representation they deserve according to the principles of our Constitution!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

While (True) {
Wait until (situation is worse);
Plan to take action;
Discuss and debate;
// things might get better?