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Our View: It’s time for new leadership

Posted: August 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 10, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A recent Associated Press poll shows that only 28 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction. The last time confidence in the federal government was this low was in 2006 during the Bush administration — when the Democrats pounded the Republicans and took back the House of Representatives.

And so goes the back-and-forth on the Sunday morning political talking head programs. Republicans vs. Democrats. Right vs. Left. Legislative Branch vs. Executive Branch. The courts vs. both of them. Whichever vs. whatever.

Interestingly enough, polls also showed Americans don’t really think it matters much who is in power. One-third of the people polled hoped that Republicans would take control of Congress, one-third advocated for the Democrats and the final third said, “It just doesn’t matter who takes control of Congress.”

When it came to running the federal government, only 27 percent trusted the Republicans, 24 percent trusted the Democrats and 31 percent didn’t trust either one of them.

The Obama administration blames the Republicans — and specifically the tea party — for blocking important legislation, and to some extent they are right.

On the other side, whatever traction the tea party may have in the movement of legislation was born from a nationwide reaction to Obamacare.

The Affordable Healthcare Act is arguably the most important piece of social legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or perhaps the advent of Social Security, but it was passed in the middle of the night by a party that did not read the bill or have any meaningful discussions about it with the other side of the aisle.

We might suggest that today each side has come to deserve the other.

The federal government has moved noticeably to the left in the past six years. But we’ve also seen from decades past that the pendulum tends to always swing back.

Perhaps in the next three years the parties will switch majority and minority hats, but whichever hat lands where, the culture of acrimony will remain.

What are Americans to do? We are not going to impeach the president. The judicial branch is untouchable. And we cannot round up all of the members of Congress and stash them in Guantanamo until they are rehabilitated.

A more realistic step is to change leadership in Congress.

A crisis in leadership requires a change in leadership.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has become an ineffective seat-filler in the Senate, instead of its reasoned shepherd.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s bizarre behavior is making some question her mental stability.

House Speaker John Boehner is an uninspirational herder of cats.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of those guys who speaks at a funeral and the audience whispers,

“Who’s that?”

Time for a fresh start, both parties. It is the only way we can begin to change the view of Americans and those who watch us from abroad.

In two and a half years we will have a new president. Let us demand that the new president be welcomed to the nation’s capital by a new set of leaders in the House and Senate.



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