- Posted September 26, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Common Sense Not Found from Capitol Hill to the White House
A favorite phrase of President Barack Obama and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle as well as independent members is "common sense". Our elected officials love to roll out the term when talking about solutions or legislation either proposed or in effect.
Sadly, even a small child can see that it is as evident as the grass is green and the sky is blue that common sense cannot be found anywhere along the hallowed hallways of Capitol Hill or the corrridors and offices from the West Wing to the East Wing. Common sense long left the building, both buildings.
As the clock winds down toward the witching hour a mere five days from now when the government faces a shutdown without a continuing resolution to keep the doors open and to the roll out of health care insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act, we are seeing posturing and obstinance bandied about on the bully pulpit of the presidency in campaign-style rallies and on the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives devoid of a shred of common sense.
Is a government shutdown in the best interest of the nation in order to derail what is already a train wreck in the making?
Is a red line of no negotiation a brilliant political move as the country teeters on closing the doors?
Neither Congress, certain members of the Republican caucus, nor the President seem willing to act in good faith or to find a way to find comon ground for the good of the country. Yes, both have their core supporters who are demanding this "take-no-prisoners" approach.
The vast majority caught in the middle are foolishly, as usual, remaining silent. This silence indicates a lack of common sense in the majority of Americans as well. No wonder our politicians are devoid of common sense.
An Administration surrogate on CNN's Crossfire the other night suggested in regard to the Affordable Care Act to stop the attempts to defund or repeal for one year. Let the law implement to allow the nation, the Administration, Congress to learn and see where the lemons are and squeeze them then. This would also give an opportunity to see what works and what doesn't work.
That actually may be the best approach. Yes, I do believe and agree with Senator Max Baucus, one of the architects of the ACA, the roll out and the implementation will be a train wreck. But perhaps what the country needs, what our politicians need, is a disaster to wake everyone up and find some common sense.
The Supreme Court in ruling the ACA constitutional in 2012 as a taxing instrument also noted it was not judging the wisdom of the law as it was written. The Justices in the ruling threw the law back to Congress to fix and for the people to judge the wisdom.
Now here we are five days out from the exchanges going live. Has there been any common sense legislation proposed to fix what is clearly wrong? No.
Instead we keep having symbolic votes to repeal from the GOP. From the Democrats we have nothing except agreement the bill is unworkable as is and has problems, but let the train wreck proceed any way without needed, obvious changes.
The Administration keeps touting how down the road the law will be good for Americans. The Administration admits there are problems and the roll out will be less than smooth sailing, but do not offer to correct anything either.
We have the nation being held hostage as Republicans and Democrats put up walls and draw lines, but neither side willing to actually go behind closed doors together and beat the hell out of each other until they can walk out and announce a plan that's good for the country, not a political party or an ideology.
Yes, we want our elected officials to follow the wishes of their individual constituents who sent them to Washington. At the same we elected these people to also make the tough, but right, decisions even when it goes against public sentiment when that sentiment may not be in the interest of the common good.
It all begins with applying common sense.
Where is the common sense in the current stand-off by both the President with his Democratic allies and Republicans beholding to the Tea Party in the House and Senate?
Have we become so polarized that it is impossible for true governance and application of common sense?
Has the digital age of texting and tweeting, rather than face-to-face conversations, so changed the environment Washington is incapable of hammering out differences to forge a resillient and workable solution?
From the Cornfield, I had planned to do my next report on sensible ways to address the Affordable Care Act and begin real health care cost containment, but the pressing deadline of a possible government shutdown pushed me to chime in on the lack of common sense in our nation's capitol instead.