So I was asked today what I thought of the fiscal cliff. I said I feel like this entire country has been disenfranchised. Our congressmen have ceded all responsibility to the Speaker of the House, and all of our senators have ceded all responsibility to the Majority Leader. Unless your a citizen from the State of Nevada or the 8th district of Ohio, what the hell is the point of voting? Your representative or senator are just going to do what John Boehner or Harry Reid tells them to do, unless your lucky. And in the case of the House even if you have a good rep who votes their conscience, the majority have sold their souls that it doesn't matter because leadership, whether Democrat or Republican, will get their way.
But really, its about the nature of our government. We have elected an incompetent President unready for the job, a gutless Speaker who has know idea what he believes in, and a tyrannical Majority Leader who could care less about anything other than power. Instead of our individual senators and congressmen representing us, they are pressured by "leadership" to tow the line or have their money dry-up for fund-raising and the prepetual reelection every politician seeks above all else. There is too much power is in Washington, no matter what party you belong to, and it has neutered our elected officials. The biggest problem in our country is political conformity. The days of the individual representing their districts and states are over. Now its all about a generic Republican who will do what they are told or a generic Democrat who will do what they are told. What happened to the Wayne Morses and Barry Goldwaters? The George McGoverns and George Romneys? They are gone, replaced by these amorphous blobs shaped into not what their district wants, but what the leadership wants.
Then back home, we have too many political yes-men who are just as bought into this. Too many times we see the "Congress is bad, except my congressmen" meme. No. You know what? Your congressman is just as terrible as all the others. We get these obnoxious emails telling us "I'm fighting for you," but they really aren't.
We are now being given a false choice in America, as it stands now. I don't blame the Democrats, they are the only honest party right now. They know exactly what they want to do. Its the Republicans that run around talking about small government while caving and, at times, initiating all the problems we face today. I feel like, what is the point of voting? Most of these districts are gerrymandered, our "betters" tell us who the candidate will be anyways, and when they get to Congress more than likely they will be come doughfaces to whatever "leadership" wants anyway. Then, when you have upstart grassroots revolts (like 2006 and 2010), those young members are broken-in or eventually ostrecized. So I tip my hat to the fine folks in the Silver State and the 8th district of Ohio, your the only people who's votes count right now. As for the rest of us? Does it even matter?
The good news tonight is that Boehner is now abandoning his one-on-one negotiating with Obama. This notion that the Speaker, and only the Speaker, can negotiate with the President and then bring back something and force Congress to accept it up or down is absurd. The disenfranchises Congress, which is a co-equal branch of government, by the way. The process of going through committee and debate allows congressmen and senators to actually represent their districts. Justin Amash or Kurt Schrader have the exact same power, constitutionally, as John Boehner.
But this fiscal cliff was one giant debacle after another that turned into a giant embarrassment. We somehow came to an "agreement" that still increases the deficit by $4 trillion, raises taxes, without any meaningful cuts, and all tough decisions pushed down the road (again). Forget liberal versus conservative, I WISH this was between true conservatives and true progressives, this is about chickenshit congressmen and senators trying to cover their asses and do as their told.
I have a bad feeling we will see this again in two months.