We look at the shambles into which our politics have descended and ask ourselves, “what should we have done differently?” To answer, first consider what was actually done. Upon the election of Barack Obama, the Republican establishment implemented a scorched-earth policy, obstructing the president at every juncture, and ultimately attempted to blame Democrats for their own Republican malfeasance.
This policy dovetailed with decades of mockery of the federal government. (“Government is not the solution; government is the problem!”) Mainstream Republicans, along with the rest of the country, are now experiencing the results of that strategy, whether or not they acknowledge it.
The alternative was to do what is best for the country, and for each party to work pragmatically toward its philosophical goals. Each party could have taken a share of the credit where the good of the country was at stake, and pointed to its doctrinal successes when those proved out.
This approach would still have allowed each party to make its philosophical case without driving the political process and the country into chaos. Instead, Republicans attempted to gain advantage by discrediting not only Democrats but government itself.
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Can we now agree that obstruction is not a fruitful approach?
Robert McDonald, Richland