It’s déjá vu all over again

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I did, almost a year ago to the day. You remember, don’t you? The last time our esteemed senator from Colorado, Mark Udall, introduced a harebrained resolution at the time of the state of the union speech. Udall offered his version of a Sadie Hawkins dance gone insane with his proposal that members of Congress make the state of the union address their personal date night with a member of the (gasp) opposite party.

As my column stated, this kind of fixup could lead to close dancing and making out under the bleachers — or worse. As the American people have come to learn, when members of Congress are bumping uglies and making kissy face, things tend to go very badly. Obviously, the legislative and executive actions over the past year have proven this to be an undeniable truth.

But as is the talent only known to a senator, their ability to make things substantially worse is surpassed only by the ideas our president presented at the state of the union that will, indeed, make our lives substantially worse. But there’s no sense in attacking the obvious of what Obama offered. OK, let’s do one. Warren Buffet doesn’t pay a 15 percent tax rate, he’s actually paying a second tax on his investment income for which he’s already paid a 35 percent tax on from when he earned it. Short and sweet, Warren is taking it in the short hairs, no matter where his sweet secretary gets invited to sit.

That said, let’s go straight to the bizarre, indecent proposal of Udall. As Democratic members tend to do, they double down on dumb and the things that don’t work in the real world — although, sadly, his idea last year at this time did work, which was bad news in and of itself for all of us. So this year, Udall proposed to not only take Republicans (and the American people) to the prom in a pretty dress, he proposed that the dress hit the floor while the Democrats do the Republicans the dirty deed with his “let’s spend the night together 24 hours of Rodney King why-can’t-we-just-all-get-along-a-palooza!”

In his blog, Udall states that he thinks, “Civility and bipartisanship should not be limited to one night per year, but 24 hours of civility is a good start.” Um, no. The American people saw what Congress is capable of over the past year after just the one date proposed by Udall. Heck, we’re sickened by the destruction Congress causes when no one is even talking. I, for one, would hate to see the scorched-earth policies Congress could create if  members actually shacked up for the night!

Udall goes on to state that without his outreach for bipartisanship, he, and Congress, could not have been so successful in, “permanently banning earmarks; bringing a balanced budget amendment to the Senate floor for a vote; and spurring job growth in our mountain communities, to name just a few.” Sen. Udall, while that all sounds nice, none of what you just wrote actually happened for most Americans. There are fewer Americans working than when you took office regardless of any rate you choose to cite, earmarks can (and probably are) be buried inside the thousands of pages of omnibus bills Congress passes without reading  and bringing a bill to the floor has little to do with getting it passed — or worse, what is passed is actually worse than the original bill. The examples are legion and their authors need to be cast out.

Udall’s laments: “Congress’s approval rating is at 13 percent right now. That’s a pretty strong signal to me that the American people are fed up with the hyper-partisanship that has hog-tied the legislative process. They want results. And bipartisanship is the vehicle to get us there.” That’s simply misguided. Bipartisanship-based results from Congress and wild ideas from the all-knowing who occupy the Oval Office, coupled with the express ignoring of our Constitution and the intent of our founding fathers, is what got us here. The last thing we need is more results from your John and Yoko bedroom press event! And as that photo op frighteningly brings vivid images to my mind, could you shave a little (or a lot of) something off the budget?

Udall closes his blog with, “Working together is the way we do things in the West, and that’s how I work in Washington, D.C. It’s time for Congress to follow Colorado’s lead, collaborate even where we have differences and lead by example. I hope you will join me in calling for 24 hours of civility.” What our senator refuses to recognize is that working together to do something that’s wrong or unconstitutional is never in the best interest of the American people, no matter how good everyone on the progressive side feels. The legislative process of feeling good has our government spending in excess of $1.5 trillion more than it takes in every year. That’s not an example of how to lead, unless your goal is to go over a cliff. Then again, I’m sure the wind in your face will feel really good, that is until you have to land. This simple example doesn’t work in the real world Americans live in, and it will fail for Congress as well. Then again, everyday Americans use their own money.

Personally, for 2012, I’m rooting for a couple’s spat of 8,760 hours. Maybe even a nasty breakup.