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Staring Into the Face of a 'Fiscal Cliff'

From Issue: Volume XX - Number 23

Les Robbins

“The Republican goal will be to make Barack Obama a one term President.” This was the now infamous quote from Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, who just four short years ago informed the world just how politics on the Right side of the political aisle would operate.

I am not sure just how hard core Republicans would evaluate the last four years from a political perspective, but the American voters last week seemed to have given the Republicans a less than average grade for all of their work.

While I sat awaiting the election results last week, and I admit that I was somewhat nervous, I never believed what the right wing political pundits were predicting and was not surprised that not only did they not re-take the White House but they lost seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Furthermore voters got rid of some of the most radical republicans on the ballot, sending people like Joe Walsh, Alan West and Todd Aiken packing. I was only sorry that Ms. Bachman didn’t join them on their trips back into oblivion.

There is a ton of speculation on the right side of the aisle going on right now and I have to admit that while I rarely watch FOX News, I have enjoyed watching it these past few days. They were all drinking the Kool-Aid and believing everything that Karl Rove and the rest of the boys were telling them about just how the election would turn out. Lots and lots of finger pointing going on.

If the Republican Party leadership wants to point fingers at anyone with respect to their disappointing election-day results they don’t have to look any further, than the extremists within their own party. Between the Tea Party and the Religious Right the party has moved so far to the right of center that not even Ronald Reagan could get to first base during a primary battle.

If they don’t figure out how to right their ship, it will be a cold day in hell before they can regain the votes of middle class America. They need to accept the fact that the complexion of American is and has been changing. They no longer look like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, or me for that matter. Obamacare is here to stay, in one form or another, and for four more years so is President Obama. In spite of what I feel was a very negative campaign waged on the part of the Republican PAC’s and special interest groups the American people rejected their messages and chose to stay the course instead of putting the reins back in the hands of the very same people and philosophies that got us into the worst economic downturn since 1929.

So where do we go from here? Congress is now staring into the face of another ‘fiscal cliff’ just like it did a year ago. If they learned anything from the way it was handled then they will figure out that there must be a better way to deal with the issue of the budget and spending and find a course that will not end with another stock market crash, which hurts anyone and everyone in this country who depends upon a pension of any type after they retire from their working days.

I am reminded of another quote from a much more capable and famous leader that goes like this: “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” One of the many quotes from John F. Kennedy that I dearly hope will be the mantra of our congressional leaders for the next four years.