The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: Republicans will halt Obama's progress

3 min read

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In the infinite power struggle of politics, the Republican Party used fear tactics to scare their conservative constituents into voting, and is now the majority in the House of Representatives. Democrats still hold majority in the Senate under representation of Majority Leader Harry Reid.

First off, this rebellion by the American people is completely unwarranted. The socialist rhetoric spewed by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh has undoubtedly motivated thousands to go to the polls and end what they thought was a “communist revolution led by Barack Obama.”

How quickly the American people have forgotten that the largest increase in federal government was under President Bush, the man who passed the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and who passed the first budget of nearly $4 trillion. Bush began an unprecedented expansion of executive power. Where was the rebellion then?

Now, President Obama must deal with a divided Congress. Most would emphasize the benefits, forcing the Democrats to represent all people rather than just their liberal supporters; however, many will question the President’s ability to make any progress. Our tax dollars are not being spent to pass legislation, but to support theatrical bickering.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has set the tone, stating, “We’re determined to stop the agenda Americans have rejected and to turn the ship around.”

As Obama stated in his press conference the day after the elections, “I’m not suggesting this will be easy. I won’t pretend that we will be able to bridge every difference or solve every disagreement. There’s a reason we have two parties in this country, and both Democrats and Republicans have certain beliefs and certain principles that each feels cannot be compromised.”

Political debate is necessary in our government, but the current political climate seems inept at handling this GOP victory.

Even with a minority in Congress, Republicans attempted to filibuster every legislative move by Democratic representatives. Now that Republicans have the power to now vote bills down, how will this division make government more efficient? America should prepare for intense political combat about to begin.

The economic crisis allowed each party to indulge in their fundamental ideologies while they searched for solutions.

The Democrats preached a larger government, while Republicans claimed the supremacy of the free-market. Every argument pushed each side a little further from the other, ousting any chance of compromise and gradually increasing in intensity. Each side now has articulated their arguments into delusional extremes, making it virtually impossible to work together.

First and foremost, politicians need to pledge their allegiance to the country and not to political parties, or nothing will ever be accomplished.

Our newly divided Congress will have their first round of interactions with the Bush Tax-Cut debate. These tax cuts will expire at the end of this year, practically raising taxes for every American. Obama and the Democrats vowed to extend the cut to those making under $250,000 a year. McConnell has already stated his desire to extend the cuts for even the wealthiest classes of society. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

Political debate is obviously necessary for a successful government and one party in power can lead to unwarranted expansions of that power, but it seems that the political climate we face is so separated that it cannot handle this division. The progress of the Obama administration is now under threat.