The side you are on will dictate where you will get your information: MSNBC, NY Times, Ed Shultz on the left to FOXNews and Sean Hannity on the right. No matter what side you are on in these issues, you most likely soak up and fully digest the arguments that are most true to your heart. I try and listen to both sides. Rarely have I heard anyone come up with a solution.
Someone asked me recently, "If you were a Member of Congress, what you you do?"
(Note: If I were running for office, my advisors would say that putting my response to that question in writing provides the opposition with fuel to potentially obliterate my position. And this, my readers, is why nothing gets done in Washington because both sides are too quick to criticize without working together. However, I'll keep writing).
So, WWTD? My answer may be viewed as naive and because I am not "in" Washington, I am discounted immediately. However, my solution is as follows:
First, we must understand that our national form of government is a republic and not a democracy. The people elect citizen representatives to be their voice in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. Collectively, these two bodies (houses) form one of the three branches of our government. All proposed laws originate in this branch. If a certain piece of legislation passes both houses, the legislation goes to the executive branch of government. It is here that the President can either accept the legislation by signing it or veto it, where it returns to the legislative branch for rework or for possible override.
Over the last several decades, Congress has given too much of its power to the executive branch. Instead of Congress working collectively as one body, it has allowed Presidents to dictate to them what they would sign; therefore, the President has become accustomed to shaping legislation and not Congress.
In October 2013, the GOP controls the House and the Democrats control the Senate. Despite the differences, it is time for Congress or both houses to begin open and honest dialogues. If Congress unites behind compromised legislation, it would put the onus on the executive branch to make the choice of approval or veto.
Unfortunately, the Senate democrats have voiced their unwillingness to to negotiate with the House, thus causing the House Republicans to to negotiate with President Obama. And these talks, will be lukewarm at best.
If I were a Republican member of the House, I would try and build a coalition of R's and D's in the house that would put pressure on the Senate to negotiate in order to come up with a unified plan to the President. Will concessions have to be made? Yes. While I have differences with the President on policies, I do not believe that this current fight should be raging on against only him.
The legislative branch appears to mirror a dysfunctional family. All the American people want to see is that their representatives stop the name calling, grandstanding and downright unwillingness to do the job that they were elected to perform.
This family should get their house in order first. So WWTD? Have a televised joint meeting of leaders and non-leaders in both Houses of Congress and openly debate and discuss the issues before the American people.
Naive? Probably. Simple? Seems so. Hard to get everyone to talk? You bet. However, it is worth a try. Here in America, we tend to overcomplicate everything even talking to each other.
I guarantee you if Congress is united, the President will be under tremendous pressure to agree to their direction. And in the end, the country can take a deep breath, at least for moment.