Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

scalesI’ve recently found myself having second thoughts about the Tea Party Movement. They are not the threat tof the Democratic Party like I first imagined, they are its savior.  Not only are they destined to fail by design, they are going to drag the GOP right into the black hole with them, until the GOP throws them under the bus that is.  But, if the tone-deaf strategy the Republicans have embraced going forward after getting shown the back of Obama’s hand on Health Care Reform is any indication, not only will they not see the bus coming, they won’t even know there was a bus until they read about it in their government-paid-for intensive care suite.
 
Now I must first admit, I hadn’t taken the time to look into the Official Site of the American Tea Party Movement  because the vile behavior I’ve seen on display at some of their rallies already made my mind up that I am not even remotely cut from the same cloth.  The fact that they tried, and are still trying, to adopt the wayward Sarah Palin as their matriarch was also a distress flare so bright that a welders mask should be required to look directly at it.  But, I finally succumbed to the same primal urges that somehow compel me to peek at the carnage of a car accident as I’m slowly being waved by.
 
 
When I arrived at the site, the first thing I noticed was post after post of user submitted content, with topics about things like Global Warming alarmists, Castro-Care, American ignorance, Satanic Obama defying God in Christian America and a slew of others topics that are just so bang-zoom-to-the-moon out there to me, I actually found myself feeling pity above all else. But maybe that was just the luck of the draw, maybe I happened to make my first visit when the lunatics were rioting for control of the asylum.  So I went straight to the horses mouth, the mission statement. 
 
Clocking it at just over 500 riveting words, the breadth of this glorious proclamation intended to define a movement can be further condensed to these three phrases, Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets. In the name of fairness, you can read the whole thing yourself here .  It should take you all of three minutes to peruse the whole thing.  Personally I was hoping for more from a movement that claims to find its roots in the mold of our founding fathers, because those guys could really lay on the eloquence whenever their pen hit parchment. 
 
Here is the problem though.  Where do they stand collectively on the society-defining major issues? Will they paint over their Pro-Life posters when it’s time to discuss the death penalty?  Will they be able to put a straglehold on the White Supremacists and Anti-Semite groups  that are using their rallies as a recruitment smorgasbord when the time comes to air their views on immigration and civil liberties? Will they successfully toe the line between the “tyrants” of our freely elected democratic government and their contradictory position that it is not actually a government of the people, by the people and for the people?  Will they embrace the fringe of their movement that are forming militias and contemplating acts of domestic terrorism?
 
They don’t know, they don’t have an answer.  They don’t have a leader and therefore no singular place to direct these kinds of questions, no one voice we can be directed to that can stand up and say THIS is what we are all about on any given issue.  They are of course against such hideous and violent idealism when called to the mat, yet they are powerless to control its spread within even their own ranks without a hierarchy in place to condemn or support such actions. 
 
At this moment in time they are an exercise in irony.  Their biggest mouth-pieces right now are the bottom dwellers that are the poster children of hypocrisy.  People like Mike Vanderboegh, the guy who started the window breaking business at Democrat offices in the aftermath of the Health Care Reform vote, a guy that is living on the very government entitlements that he was forced to “fall back” on after a congenital heart problem made it impossible for him to work, all the while sticking the concept itself with a pitchfork every chance he gets, a guy whose brother is a US Army Lieutenant Colonel that calls the US government the enemy!   
 
And don’t even get me started on these fools painting Hitler moustaches on posters of President Obama and calling his an agenda of Nazism, standing and walking shoulder to shoulder with some of the same pathetic hate-peddlers that emblazon themselves with swastika tattoos from toes to forehead and consider Hitler’s birthday some kind of solemn holiday, talk about hypocrisy.  In a logical world, shouldn’t they instead be bowing before Obama if they idolize and bear the mark of the guy they are so desperately trying to make him out to be?   These are the nuts falling from the nut tree right now and the gathering nets are filling up fast, all the while suffocating any struggling saplings that may have had at least some kind of reasonable hope to grow into a stout, respected tree on the American political landscape.
 
 
The GOP knows it too, they see in vivid color the backlash winding up.  They are very worried about the Tea Party fracturing the purity of their far-right-from-center conservative base as they watch them lock horns with the same, albeit loosely defined at the moment, conservative idealism of the Tea Party Movement.  To even loosen that once immovable cornerstone of the Republican party would be a harbinger of disaster.  But, at the same time, they are attracted to the fiery activism of a somewhat-allied grassroots movement like a moth is to a flame.  They saw firsthand the awesome force of the grassroots movement Obama started during his historic election and he’s been kicking their collective backsides with it ever since, and they are now desperately seeking their own foil to his power.  In the back of their minds though, they keep seeing what happened to the curious moth, so they have mostly kept the Tea Party at arms distance as best as they could so far, but the day is quickly coming when they are going to have to finally squeeze, or get off the pot. 
 
If the Tea Party movement doesn’t swallow its own tail and finish the meal itself before November arrives, the Republican party is going to have to swallow whatever portion is left, and that will spell heart burn and upset stomach.  It will also cause those moderate and independent voters of a more delicate palate to be forced to find sustenance elsewhere. After all, it wasn’t spicy or novelty foods that made McDonalds number one in the world, it was the food that goes down easy, standard menu items that a great majority can bring themselves to swallow.  Our democracy bends to the same rule.
 
When Sean Hannity calls those at a Tea Party rally ”a bunch of Tim McVeigh wannabes,” and they CHEER?!!?, most of the center lane starts reaching for the left blinker, the images of dead and anguished Americans doesn’t sit very well with true patriots and they don’t want anything to do with it, no matter how much they may have embraced some of the Tea Party’s basic principles and idealism concerning what the role of government should be in our lives.
 
Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party’s infatuation with her, is another wild card that I don’t think bodes well for the GOP.  If there is one thing time has testified to when it comes to Sarah Palin, she loves to follow the spotlight around and the almighty dollar has no truer servant.  When the flame of fame starts to dim, and by extension the money quits rolling in, she will more than likely reach for the kerosene bottle to get things going again, Palin-style. 
 
I think that time will come when she inevitably finds it aligns with her best hopes for staying nationally relevant to finally step up and wholly take the reins of the Tea Party, and she will be taking a good portion of that conflicted conservative Republican base right along with her.  If they make her an actual candidate next year to run for the presidency on a third-party ticket, I assure you the scales of Demos vs the GOP stand no chance of tipping in the GOP’s favor. Even though the plurality of Americans from both parties think Captain Crunch is more than on par with Sarah Palin when it comes to taking the wheel of our nation to navigate the swirling, reef-laden waters of Washington, she will still tug at the heartstrings of the Tea Party faithful and siphon votes from the GOP. 
 
So, to tie everything together, if the Tea Party can keep themselves relevant, and that will require naming some kind of leader eventually, the GOP is going to lose a good chunk of their most stalwart conservative supporters, and that’s bad news in political contests that are often won and lost by a razor’s edge. 
 
If, on the other hand, the Tea Party consumes itself, most of the now vocal and FOX recognized “Tim McVeigh wannabes” are going to be forced to pick sides, and they are going to naturally gravitate to the same place they have always been, locked and loaded for the GOP, which means no net gain at all.  They will simply have managed to take the long scenic route, paying high tolls for using the road in the process, only to end this journey at the same starting line they have always just walked up to for free in the past. 
 
But, do you think the worst and loudest elements of the Tea Party are going to ever magically close their mouths now that they’ve tasted the national spotlight of recognition? I don’t think so. And this will end up costing the GOP, in a guilt by association scenario,  the centrists needed to win big elections, a crucial group that they’ve had moderate-to-good success wooing in the past.
 
So what do you think?  Is the Tea Party movement really a threat to President Obama and the Democratic Party? To borrow a line from the queen bee Sarah Palin herself, I’m now thinking, “Hell No!” But it is one heck of a torpedo aimed at the USS Republican and it looks like sink or swim time is quickly approaching.  If they choose to swim, it is going to have to come in the form of participating in actual governing for progress instead of blind, status-quo obstructionism, it will be the only way they can hope to stay afloat, and that in itself would be good news for all of us looking to move forever forward.
 
I never thought I’d say it, especially without wincing, but here goes … ”Gooo Tea Party!” 
 
 
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Enterprise damagedThis week, Health Care Reform was, at long last, signed into to law in America.  While this particular episode of tomorrow’s History Channel took over a year to film, the final cut is going to play like a great Star Trek episode.  
 
Fan or not, we all know the characters and we all know the situation will eventually be desperately grim, and the chances of survival will be infinitesimal at best.  This moment comes when a Klingon Bird of Prey suddenly de-cloaks and sends a Scott Brown proton torpedo, along with some well placed laser fire, right into the unshielded hull of a caught-off-guard Enterprise. 
 
Federation President Obama himself happens to be on board and as a Commander-in-Chief that had proven himself worthy of battle in the past, he takes charge from the Captain.  He immediately calls for “shields up” but the damage is already done and it is immense. With the red alert now blaring on all decks, panic breaks out among some of the crew.  But the President remains unfazed, he has his Vulcan half to thank for his temperament, and his logic. The damage report reveals breaches on many decks. 
 
They had started this mission with a skeleton crew and already had barely enough bodies to man the 216 stations it would take to arrive at their planned destination.  The first crew count was sketchy, roughly 200, it was impossible to tell how many were lost for good and how many simply lost their way in the smoke-filled chaos.  Warp drive was lost and there was heavy damage to the weapons stations.  The crew was losing hope, they started to give up.  But with his uncanny ability to feel their pulse , President Obama’s very human core takes over and he opens the comm channel to all decks. He talks with passion, his words bring about a calm amidst the turmoil, he reminds every soul on board of their mission, he reminds them all why they signed up and how each of them promised themselves they would act in the face of insurmountable odds, he reminds them of pride, honor, dignity … and sacrifice. Always a student of history, he invokes Lincoln to paint the strongest stroke,  ”we are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true. We are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to let whatever light we have shine.” 
 
The comm starts crackling with chatter, the voices of the crew thought lost to the carnage start checking in. Engineering reports they will have warp drive up shortly, the weapons systems start coming online, and all stations are now manned, with three souls to spare.  The Enterprise is back in the fight! 
 
You know the rest, President Barack Obama makes his rendezvous with history.  He and his crew are granted a brief reprieve to reconstitute themselves in a fragile sanctuary. He and his crew boldly go where no president has gone before… 
 
But just as the climactic ending starts to wear off and our pulse returns to normal, we hear that oh-so-familiar refrain, “Stay tuned for clips from next week’s episode.”  And I must say, it looks like one heck of a scary ride.
 
The Klingons are mad as hell, turmoil and dissent are spreading on the home-world. The escape of the Enterprise from their clutches has damaged the very essence of the Klingon empire, their pride. They have broken into family factions, and while they have all been part of the Federation of Planets for some time now, they have always loathed the weakness of the Federation’s current leadership and their constant strive to pursue social justice and equality.  In a Klingon mind, war is always the right answer, sheer brawn triumphs all, compromise is forbidden, and the weakness exemplified by mercy and compassion is a plague that must be contained at all costs. 
 
From the hallowed high council floor, a bellicose Brigadier Boehner incites his home-world, vowing to fight the Federation’s agenda tooth and nail in the halls of power, every step of the way.  He calls them liars, he calls them corrupters, he calls them thieves of Klingon treasure, he admonishes them on every front imaginable. 
 
But one of the families that make up the empire, a family that has been slowly growing in strength, doesn’t think words are enough.  This family had tried to organize around a matriarch in the beginning, a simpleton from the northern lands named Commander Palin, she was launched to prominence when Admiral McCain surprised everyone by announcing her as his second-in-command during his failed bid to become President of the Federation, but she had thus far refused to completely take the reins, although she did leave the door open in case future events would dictate such a move could serve her own self interests.  So instead of a tight knit family with purpose and direction, it was more like a headless monster, wobbling along, with family members of lower standing and recognition trying their best to seize control through tactics of fear and terror.  
 
Fanatical nobodies start crawling out of the woodwork in the vacuum of power, riling up the mob mentality with talk of militia, revolution and weaponry.  The sting of defeat started to allow the tone of defiance to evolve into the actions of treachery. The division of idealism saw the chasm grow wider. 
 
How will things turn out?   Will the President and his crew be able to withstand the confrontations they are sure to face on their perilous trek back home though hostile territory?  Will their precious cargo survive the trip?  Will the Federation stand?  Will the Klingons acknowledge the possibility of an alternate path to a better mutual future?
 
Stay tuned to find out!
 
Now that I’ve had some fun taking creative license to blur the lines of fiction and fact, and I got to have a little chuckle inside from the images in my mind of Rep. John Boehner with tussled hair and crooked teeth, launching spittle as he rants , or Sen. McCain with long flowing hair and a moustache, or Sarah Palin (sorry,  I don’t know what title to give her these days, adventurer, author, huntress, commentator, wilderness girl, almost-full-term-governor, Tea Partier?) with protruding skeletal features on her forehead, and of course the hint of those points on our President’s formidable ears,  I do want to make sure that the message itself  is not taken lightly.
 
The sad truth is, there really are misguided fanatics out there like Mike Vanderboegh, a self-proclaimed revolutionary militia leader, part of a small group of lunatics that seem to be gathering on the fringe of the Tea Party movement.  It’s not a rumor mind you, I heard his words myself in this interview
 
Somewhere along the line, these geniuses jumped the tracks from the righteous fight of our Revolution for Independence from a real tyrant, and landed on another track of our history, the Civil War.  You know, only one of the darkest pages of our past that saw American brothers dying at the hands of one another.  
 
He actually said their ranks comprise of 3% of America’s gun owners, 3 million muzzles that can be pointed at the hearts of tyrants, and he actually advocates getting good and prepared to do just that! 
 
Well, I’ve got news for Mr. Vanderboegh, 3% is not a very mighty number when your talking about a slice of pie.  When a person threatens to take aim at the heart of another citizen because they failed to have the majority voice in a civilized democracy, it is not tyrant-hunting, it’s treason, and I know how America will respond.  I just hope they skip a few chapters to the back of the book on the Civil War and see how it ends before they go and do something stupid. 
 
Just to help them along, America has fought on this ground before.  The Union, the banner under which the federal government fought, was led by a noble man by the name of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican I might add, and they fought for the ideals of equality and social justice that still define our nation today.  The Confederacy, a band of 11 Southern states that declared secession from the Union, was the enemy of that government, but their undoing proved to be numbers, Southern “Unionist” armies formed in every Confederate state, sapping the strength of the Confederacy from within.  So if you and your cohorts really want to tread this dangerous ground Mr. Vanderboegh, I advise you to take a good look at the size of the piece of pie in your hand, because I assure you, I’m not the only one that would stand in opposition with the ability to  snuff out a candle at 100 yards. 
 
But let’s be wise enough not to repeat that dark chapter of history, shall we?  Today’s America is better than that.
 
  
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Working Hard for You!

Working Hard for You!

One undeniable fact that history has always shown us without fail, is that every empire to ever see its moment of glory under the sun, no matter how breathtaking in scope and dimension, eventually crumbled.  The good news is that human history has been painstakingly recorded so future generations can learn from past mistakes and avoid the same pitfalls, the bad news is we don’t seem to be grasping the warnings.
 
Democracies of ancient times had the concept down pat, the voice of the people should reign supreme.  But then, because there was no way to effectively streamline the will of the masses into a manageable structure, legislators were born, a chosen few granted the honor and privilege to represent the voice of others.  But, with the birth of the legislator, came the inevitable afterbirth, corruption.  Just like in ancient days, it always seems to gravitate to those granted the power to speak for others.
 
We’ve never known a civilization that didn’t fall victim to this particular scourge in the end, and now at the dawn of the 21st century, the 535 bodies that make up our own Congress are rumbling down the very same road.  The one million dollar question is, are we going to just passively sit in the nosebleed section of the bleachers and watch it happen?
 
Barack Obama swept into the White House riding a wave fueled by America’s desire for change.  The Tea Party is trying to find steady legs by whistling the same tune, counting on the rampant frustration out there that is growing by the day.  But, we are treading on a trap door when we embrace change just for the sake of change without a clear rationale or direction.  It seems the common practice of picking the other party is the misguided concept that is all the rage these days.  The common thinking  is all we have to do is change the Ds to Rs, or vice versa, and things will change.  Unfortunately, the way our government is set up to run, the exact opposite becomes true. When it is too late to make a difference, we realize we embarked on another fool’s errand with more stagnation and corruption of the system becoming the ugly truth once again.
 
It should be an honor to be elected as a legislator.  It should be the spirit of service to the greater good, not ambition for self advancement that drives anyone’s decision to run for office.  Sadly, that has become the exception, not the rule.  To make things even harder to find a diamond in the rough, in today’s information age we are bombarded from all sides with celebrities. They are driven down our throats and engraved into our psyche which makes us comfortable with them, like our favorite old shoes.  And then our gravest weakness is preyed on, our desire to be represented by someone that is just like us, someone with our quirks and faults, someone that we hope can identify with us on a personal level.
 
It is time to take a step back and see how this completely defies logic.  I may be a wiz at “the Google”, but should I be the one diagnosing what ails a sick loved one? Of course not, I want someone better, I want the best.  I want Dr. House on steroids.  I want someone that makes me look like an elementary school drop out.  We should want the same in Washington.  I don’t want the person that wakes up needing to read the headlines to set their direction on any given day, I want the person that can write volumes about tomorrow that will make them seem clairvoyant when tomorrow comes to pass. 
 
The fact that Sarah Palin and the word President are even mentioned in the same sentence is an example of this dilemma, and it chills me to the core.  Has our mighty nation fallen so far?  Have we become such a celebrity addicted people that something like that is even in the realm of possibility? Are mainstream media outlets, corporations beholden to the bottom line, the best place to find the shoes we want to be wearing for the next decade and beyond? Will we be content with the next jack-of-all-trades that is a master of none? Shouldn’t we be moving mountains  instead to find the master of ONE?  It’s like wanting the creator of the Pet Rock to become the new Secretary of the Treasury because he managed to make millions selling something as simple and worthless as a rock.  But, I wouldn’t want the guy that happened to stumble over the leprechaun at the end of the rainbow and found his pot of gold, I want an economic Beethoven, that unique individual that I know is out there, the one that can taste numbers and has always had the gift that would allow them to just sit down and play that particular piano. 
 
Shouldn’t we want the same thing in a legislator?  I can’t speak for you, but that’s what I want. I want the wisdom and moral high ground of a grandparent, the heart of a teenage rebel, and the passion of an artist all rolled into one.  I want an unwavering hero to champion my causes, a knight of the modern world that still puts ethics, honor and integrity above even their own ambitions.  I want someone that feels blessed to be in such a prestigious position, but is still humbled by the power they wield each and every day.  I want someone that towers above mediocrity, not the poster child for it.  I want someone that thinks $155,000  a year is a lot of money and believes they should be working their tail off for us every single day to earn it.  I want someone that would vote against a pay raise for themselves when so many are in dire straits, not because it’s politically savvy, but because it’s right.
 
Barack Obama is president today because the majority of Americans saw these qualities in him.  There is no other feasible explanation that could account for a virtual unknown to ride the rocket from obscurity to leader of the most powerful nation on earth in just two short years.  He vocalized the change we have been seeking. He made sense and stirred that primal instinct we all share to leave the generations of tomorrow a better world.  We gave him the keys and told him to drive, but we seem to want to leave the boot on the car.  That boot is partisan gridlock in Congress and if we want any chance to arrive quickly and safely at our destination, we have to find a way to free up the wheels.  Swapping Ds for Rs, or Rs for Ds at the first opportunity is not going to remove the boot, it will simply put it on another wheel, but the car still won’t move.
 
The stench of congress is overwhelming a majority of Americans now.  Polls show it, pundits talk about it, and we are all starting to smell it ever more potently.  When so many people can smell something  this rotten, rest assured that opportunities will soon be seen on the horizon to change it, but it will be up to us all as individuals to seize the opportunities when they present themselves.  It is up to us to  and make the wise choice and scream with the power of a unified voice that we will not tolerate mediocrity any longer. 
 
We gave President Obama the keys because he had a map that most of us agreed with, otherwise he would not be in office today.  Don’t you think it’s time we took the boot off and let him start our journey forward?  If we find him veering off course in the next three years, we can snatch away his keys and give them to someone else that earns our trust under the hot lights of a presidential election campaign.  But, until Congress strives to find solutions instead of obstacles, we will find ourselves crawling along at a newborn’s pace, and while a baby crawls faster than a Lamborghini with a boot on it, is that the style in which America should be traveling? 
 
We are a nation that has always set the pace, blazed new trails and set an example for the world to follow.  If we don’t start getting that edge back, we will just become another glorious empire relegated to the footnotes of history.  The power is still in our hands, we just have to quit embracing mediocrity in Washington and look past celebrity and name recognition to find those few unique individuals that are the gifted prodigies, the ones that are not like most of us, but something more, the ones that feel honor and pride in being given the privilege to represent our voices and desires.  It is high time we start to do the back-breaking work of panning for gold again if we ever hope to find those precious nuggets that can change our stars from inside Washington. 
 
Time stops for no one, and wasting even one more second in the ridiculous quagmire that Congress has become is a poisonous fruit that we can’t afford another bite of.  So get in the ear of your legislators and let them know that you are not going to take it any more and may the will of the majority finally be done.
 
Partisanship today is serving no one, but somewhere out there are the right people with the right stuff.  We the people deserve nothing less as long as we are willing to part the party fog and turn over every stone to find them.  Until we do, Rome is burning.

 

we the people
The state of our union is strong. 
 
 Ever since George Washington declared the “favorable prospects of our public affairs” in 1790, every president since has taken great care in giving us comfort by expressing to the nation that all is well.  Even during some of our most miserable times, like the Great Depression, or the Vietnam War, the annual address to the nation has always been painted with the brush of optimism and I’m sure that legacy will continue tonight when Barack Obama makes his pitch to the American people about where we are and where we should be trying to go.  But, the sad truth is that our collective future is being held hostage by legislators that seem to have forgotten what their true duties really are, they have forgotten what their commitment and service to the American people should entail and I hope that tonight, somehow, they will be taken to task in a most public and embarrassing way, but it would only be just if this particular tongue lashing was a very bipartisan one because the fault does not lie squarely on any one side.
 
 Just one short year ago, Barack Obama rode into the White House with a clear mandate from the American people to bring change to the long broken culture of Washington and with our precious votes we hoped that we, at long last, found a man that would finally be able to start reining in the power of deep-pocketed special interests and any other obstructionists to our prosperity wherever they were found.  It pains me greatly to say it, but if we were a monarchy, or even worse, an iron-fisted dictatorship, one man may just have been able to do that job, but we are not.  We are a free thinking, free speaking and free living democratic society that have entrusted our future to a chosen few.  We embrace a democracy that was founded on the vision that the voice of the people would be heard above all else and that collectively we would lead our nation to great heights by choosing and voting only those into power that would represent our voice and that through that power of democracy we would choose and empower great individuals that would spend every breath striving to see the vision that we want as a people become realized.  What we seem to have instead is a bunch of selfish egomaniacs that only serve one ambition, self preservation.
 
 Sadly, at this crucial moment in our nation’s history, we are letting them get away with it by means of the far too prevalent flaw that is the bane of the modern era, complacency.  When did we become a nation so fixated on partisan politics that we forgot the true, noble  agendas that formed our parties to begin with?  When did our voices become so weak that we no longer follow the moral compass that allowed us to become the greatest and most advanced nation on earth?  I am disgusted with partisan politics that take into account nothing more than individual agendas, where scoring points for party instead of for country is an accepted mode of governing. 
 
 When Barack Obama exploded onto the national stage with his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he did it by rekindling the patriotic fire that makes us proud Americans.  He did it by illuminating the dangerous mockery that the battle of red vs blue has become, he did it by speaking in grander terms than party lines, he did it by connecting to our mutual ambitions, he did it by making us remember that the future we want to create for the generations to follow will not be forged by endless bickering over comparatively small idealistic issues that have long divided us along a partisan line, but by finally stepping over that line to meet the common aspirations we all share, regardless of party affiliations. 
 
 Partisan politics is quickly becoming a grotesque abomination of the mechanism it was intended to be and it has and will continue to cost us all dearly if we keep sitting on the sidelines waiting for any of these Grand Poobas to risk their own political neck in even the most miniscule way.  How dare the Republican caucus approach our president with a preconceived idea to repel any legislation before it is even reasonably discussed for fear that it would show party weakness to do otherwise, even if it would benefit the American people that have done their fair share of suffering under the current unsustainable trajectory that we have been on for too long already.  To me, that borders on treason and should be dealt with by severe means in kind .  By the same token, how dare any Democrat tuck their tail on Health Care Reform because it is harder to pass without a filibuster proof majority, or to threaten to scrap the whole thing because even a single component is not to their liking. That is not how change happens people and it is time we hold them all accountable for their dereliction of their duty to us.  
 
 Barack Obama had a 70% approval rating from the American people when he was sworn into office and it was no mystery that Health Care Reform was one of his main priorities, so why should we be punished for the failure of congress to legislate our wishes? Why should the many Americans that pays for our future with their own blood, sweat, and tears expect any less from those in the halls of power?  If their seat is sacrificed because they stood on principle and not on the party line, they should sacrifice it gladly if they are truly worthy of their position. 
 
 I for one would not be saddened if we would finally remove the little Ds and Rs from everyone’s name on a ballot and make it more about the people’s wishes than the idealism of a particular party. I also would not be at all opposed to limiting congressional terms to the same 8 year limit imposed on our president, maybe then every decision would not be made through the lens of career-oriented, selfish political swordsmanship. 
 
 I know this, the majority of America will agree with Barack Obama tonight on a very personal level because he will rise to the occasion once again and vocalize our collective dreams and aspirations.  He will touch on the same hopes that made the whole world swoon during his historic election and forced even politicians in other countries to change tact because they saw how receptive their own people where to his global message of hope and they heard the grumbling from their own constituents about not having their own Obama-like leader to take the wheel.  But, when the speech is done and the lights are turned off, it will be up to us to hold accountable those that have the true power to make those dreams realities, those that have been granted the privilege to represent US, not themselves or their own best interests. 
 
 For any hope of progress, I think it is high time we realized that our country must be governed from the center, not the far left or far right.  To try to do it any other way will just propagate the stifling gridlock we have come to know all too well and we will never even catch a whiff of the change we so loudly clamored for in 2008.  Our failure to hold the House and Senate accountable for their inaction at this defining moment in our history will bring about nothing but more of the same in the end. 
 
 So tonight, listen with your heart as well as your head and if you agree in part, or in whole, with the direction and agenda that will be laid before you, make your voices heard to those that you put in position to represent you.  Make it your own mission to hold them accountable to get the American gravy train back onto the track it was always meant to be on.  “I must do something” always accomplishes more than “something must be done” and if our legislators in congress are not getting it done, it is up to each and every one of us to make their lives a miserable living hell until they do.  Silence can not be an option.
 
 The greatest thing about our nation is that even in the most dire times, even in the face of the greatest adversities, the one thing that we can always count on is the fact that the state of our ”union” will always be strong.   It is only the state of our partisan “disunion” that could ever threaten to unravel it and that is something that no American should ever stand for.