Time to Reject Legislative Obstructionism

Both parties agreed that yesterday’s presidential election would determine more than just which candidate won. It would more importantly decide which vision for America citizens wish to pursue. By a fairly narrow popular vote and a landslide in the electoral college, the Democratic vision, with its roots in the New Deal and the Great Society, prevailed.

After the election, however, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell pushed back against President Obama, saying:

The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president’s first term. … Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House … and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office.

In a way, Senator McConnell is right. His statement is worrisome, however, given his 2010 remarks to do everything in his power to make President Obama a one-term president and to poise the Republican presidential nominee for victory.

It didn’t work.

It’s surprising that more Americans haven’t been equally, if not more, critical of the legislative branch as they have of the President. My hope is that the critical gaze will shift from the Presidency to both legislative Houses. It’s one thing for legislators to push back when the President’s plans need to be adjusted, but it’s another thing altogether — and entirely unacceptable — to reject anything and everything outright because it doesn’t fit your political platform. If obstructionism continues merely for partisan reasons, the public should firmly and promptly reject this.

Huffington Post reporter Michele Nash-Hoff (before election results were determined) detailed at length the severe consequences of sequestration, and she concluded,

Regardless of the outcome of the election, the members of the “lame duck” Congress must act like statesmen instead of the intensely partisan politicians of the past several years to prevent sequestration. Call your U. S. Senator and Congressional representative to urge them to approve a budget that will prevent sequestration. Otherwise, one of companies that closes or the jobs lost may be your own.

Americans turned out in large numbers yesterday to cast their ballots. But their political work is not done yet. The task now is to keep a watchful eye on executive and legislative interaction. If state representatives and senators continue McConnell’s strategy of obstructionism, citizens across America need to intervene by contacting their representatives and say enough is enough.

About C. Ryan Knight

C. Ryan Knight teaches English at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, NC, and he lives with his wife outside Greensboro, NC.
Email: knight.cr@gmail.com

  • http://www.theupsidedownworld.com Rebecca Trotter

    I totally agree with you. I was much less concerned with who won the White House than with the abhorrent behavior of our legislators. Choosing political gain over addressing the needs of the country was a dereliction of duty. Mitch McConnell’s statements last night aren’t a good sign, imo. It would be nice if we got new leaders in place.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X