Heel Digging

I’m not sure what’s more depressing about the current political cycle–that both sides, Republican and Democrat, continue to shoot themselves in the foot; or that the refuse to notice how stupid and ignorant they’re acting.

I’m pretty sure that the 2012 campaign season started off the day after the election in 2008. Obama had the hopes and dreams of millions of people, including his entire party, riding on his shoulders. And as I said right after the election, the expectations could not have been higher or more unrealistic. It’s simply impossible to turn around an economy this large in just two years. And considering how bad the situation was, there was a long way to climb back up.

But then when the Republicans won their House majority in 2010, They raised expectations of their own and of their party. And they haven’t lived up to them, either.

Both sides claim gridlock, but I think the picture’s becoming clearer: The people and organizations with whom both parties are strongly connected for money and power aren’t cooperating.

Businesses, the supposed drivers of the economy, aren’t hiring. Instead, they’re retrenching and downsizing to make profits bigger. Consumers aren’t spending because they aren’t working, or aren’t confident about the economy, or want to make sure they’ve got money left for retirement years down the road.

In a sense, politicians now are being held hostage by their interest groups. The Tea Party is pulling the strings on so many conservatives now that I don’t think they can think independently. And the old social liberal base is still dictating to Obama, but he’s either smart enough to know he can’t get anything done with their ideas, or he’s realized he can’t win reelection if he doesn’t come back toward the middle.

But no one is moving. No one is trying to agree. Everyone has decided that the best way to move forward is to dig in their heels and stand still.

Do we see the problem now?

So what happens if our leadership just stands staring at each other waiting for the other side to blink? With apologies to Tea Partiers and anarchists everywhere, the result would be bad, because the only thing worse than a government that does too much is a government that does nothing.

See you tomorrow.