Good government elusive

Will Rogers famously said “I do not belong to an organized political party – I’m a Democrat.” I have just one question: Has someone dumped LSD into our water supply? I ask this having followed the abysmal performance of the Republican Party in the latest “fiscal cliff” negotiations and the past two presidential campaigns.

The conservative base, having failed to nominate a candidate capable of passing its litmus test of a “true” conservative, stayed home pouting to teach the nation a lesson on how bad liberalism would be. Although, it must be said neither of the past two Republican presidential candidates showed any inclination to actually fight for the office. I believe it has been said that anyone who won’t fight for the office of president probably doesn’t deserve to have it.

On top of that a former candidate, a disgraced former speaker of the House, gave President Obama his most potent ammunition by attacking a fellow Republican for being a capitalist!

In the six weeks following the last election, our fearless leader, House Speaker John Boehner – obviously having never managed to pass remedial negotiations, much less Negotiations 101 – falls all over himself making offer after offer, going through contortions that would be the envy of any circus performer – all on the subject of taxes – to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.

Why? Taxes are irrelevant. The perceived conservative wisdom of the day is that we don’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. Going over the cliff would have guaranteed genuine cuts in spending – something that neither of the Bushes nor even Reagan himself accomplished.

Wallowing in its own impotence, the House was ripe for Obama to engineer his own plan through the Senate: raising taxes and cutting nothing.

What was Boehner’s fate after this debacle? Was he forced to resign? To go home with his tail tucked between his legs? Does he have to wear a paper bag over his head in public? No! He is re-elected speaker of the House. After all, he is better than letting Nancy Pelosi back in – says who? Could she have done any worse?

One last aphorism: America does not deserve to have good government. But it does deserve the government it elects. God forgive us.

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Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon