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When Leadership Has Gone Sour

So far this year we have seen relative civility among the boys and girls in Washington. This, as compared with the last two years when it was like a virus had spread around D.C. affecting the lawmakers' ability to work together or at least disagree in civil ways. As a result taxpayers received little from Congress for their money in the form of progress. It was no secret contempt for the president was driving much of this.

The health care reform bill attributed to the president and passed last year by the Democratic majority was a major bone of contention, but the problems started long before then. Every little thing the minority party could get a hold of was used to cut down the president. And this was a person who had just started his presidency. It was not as though he had been in office for a term previously and had taken all manner of heinous action to rankle voters upon getting in. It really was strange.

The president was blamed for a stimulus package he and his party were trying to pass and did. But there were stimulus packages all across Europe including, in perhaps the last holdout, Ireland. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-21/lenihan-says-he-will-recommend-ireland-should-formally-ask-for-eu-bailout.html) The world's second largest economy, China also had a huge stimulus and considering the relative size of their economy was arguably much larger than ours. (http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/chinas-gdp-surge-why-is-their-stimulus-package-working/19099781/)

Germany emerged strongly from the global downturn thanks in part to their stimulus and the fact they traditionally held on to their manufacturing sector which is a key driving force in any meaningful economic recovery and economy. (http://www.thelocal.de/money/20090724-20807.html) China's manufacturing combined with their stimulus also helped to propel them forward even during tough times.

President Obama was not in office when our manufacturing base was being exported overseas to in part help boost our Cold War allies in Asia - even after the Cold War had ended. He was in office during the second phase of economic injections and bailout measures since the onset of the recession. But of course the Bush/ Cheney administration that was at the helm when the first financial injection TARP was put into effect.

All that's the past now and we have a slightly new dynamic in Washington, and with the new change an opportunity for people from both sides of the isle to perhaps feel as though they can sit down and negotiate. Hopefully we will not see a stubborn refusal to essentially work repeated over the next two years. It was perhaps more damaging than any thing else which occurred as so much more could have been done.

Just look at what was accomplished given the more relaxed atmosphere in Washington in December of 2010. All manner of praise was heaped upon both the president and Republicans during that time. Had they tried that tack since January of 2009 who knows what strong balanced legislation they could have provided our nation with.

All things change with time and including modern societies. Those changes need to be addressed through legislation relevant to an ever evolving American public. Through technology and social changes and movements we have altered the way we view our lives, each other and our nation. Legislation should be able to keep pace with the demands of an evolving nation and not be put on pause for over a year just because some politicians feel insecure about their political position.

There are better ways to deal with slumping ratings including catching up and becoming a party that navigates from a perspective of looking forward, instead of from desperation and bitterness. That goes for both the current parties and those that may see sprout up over the next ten to twenty years. Leadership cannot be effective when it fails to lead.

Over the last few weeks in North Africa the world has watched as ordinary citizens set themselves on fire to protest their respective governments. These were truly frustrated people, desperate and at their ends because life had become so unbearable they felt that was the only way to draw attention to their plights. (http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/18/four-more-set-themselves-on-fire-as-political-protest-grows/)

Things have not gotten so bad as that here and hopefully never will. Our leadership does need to start working to get our attention through accomplishments as opposed to a lack of will. In an interview Stevie Wonder recently said, "God takes care of babies and fools." (http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1101/17/acd.01.html) Hopefully all our elected leaders will try to be neither over the course of the next two years.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.

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