Featured Letter: Republicans should shift focus to actual work

03/14/2013 6:00 AM |
President Barack Obama inauguration photo.

WHITE HOUSE PHOTO | President Barack Obama inauguration photo.

To the Editor:

It’s no secret Republican leadership met early on in President Obama’s first term and declared preventing his 2012 re-election their primary goal. Ask Mitch McConnell. To him, Mr. Obama was only an ineffectual community organizer anyway, so he deserved to be ousted.

Let’s reflect on that. The country was in its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years, the housing market had collapsed, unemployment was at astonishing levels and the Republican Party’s stated major goal was to make the sitting president fail. Chew on that.

The primary tactic the GOP decided to employ was workable even in the atmosphere of their rather shaky party solidarity. Undermine Obama politically, personally and unrelentingly because a successful demonization of the man would guarantee victory in 2012. They could in-fight at their leisure after their win and maintain strict adherence to traditional social programs that grandma and grandpa adored so long ago. They chose to reject every proposal Obama made. They intentionally tried to stop the government from working to prove it cannot work. What patriotism!

With all that chicanery, a funny thing happened on the way home from the 2012 election. That community organizer guy, well, he won. That’s right. The Republicans wasted four years of their legislative responsibility for nothing. The majority of the public chose the president’s ideas and hopes for advancing the social well-being of the nation. Whether by mandate or not, the public has chosen its leader for four more years.

From the look of it, four wasted years are not nearly enough for the Republicans. So far, they have essentially doubled down on their old, intractable tactics and obsolete social stances and continue to hold the nation hostage through their fierce and unfaltering loyalty to the most financially secure members of our citizenry.

Who loses? The rest of us. Democracy is a messy business at best. Without compromise, it is chaos. The Republican Party can choose between helping the country’s progress through compromise or continuing to rob the public of another four precious legislative years by promoting its outdated social agenda and protecting a tiny slice of the population.

Let us hope that past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Edward Weiss, Riverhead

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