Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No Labels II

Written : Dec. 31, 2010

The philosophy of the No Labels movement is a thoughtful one. It’s based in understanding and kindness. No Labels believes in not forgetting about, but putting aside our labels (such as Democrat, Republican and Independent) in order for the Congress to do the work of the people in Washington, D.C. They say, “Not left, not right, but forward.”

Former Representative Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) wrote an article for the Washington Post on Dec. 31, 2010 outlining five tips for what new members of Congress need to consider as they join their respective Houses in early January, 2011. One of these is: "...real leaders aren't afraid to compromise." He further states that the newly elected (mostly Republican) leaders should not "...allow party orthodoxy or leaders' expectations to stop you from doing what's in the best interests of your constituents and the country." He's right, of course, and No Labels has many supporters.

But, one must ask: Where was former Representative Ford's bipartisan sentiment when Democrats called for a criminal investigation of the entire Bush Administration for war crimes and the like? Where was Mr. Ford when Senator Harry Reid squinted his eyes, and with anger in his voice said the Democrats wouldn't let President Bush fix Social Security? Compromise was not in the cards in those days!

Was Congressman Ford sleeping when Nancy Pelosi called President Bush "a total failure" in 2008? Or when Senate and House Democrats created the 2,000+ page Health Care bill in the dead of night without consulting the Republicans? Or when President Obama told the Republicans, "I won," to indicate to Republicans they would be shut out of the discussion on the Health Care bill if they didn't support his agenda? Where was he when the Speaker said, "If the election results close one door to reforming the health-care system, you go to the gate; if the gate's locked, you climb over the fence; if it's too high, you pole-vault in; and if that doesn't work, you parachute in?" Was Rep. Ford absent when the Dems rammed the unread and non-debated Health Care bill through without a single Republican vote? Why does his article appear now?

Even after their loss of over 60 seats in the House and after the creation of the No Labels movement, the Democrats kept the lame duck session of Congress open and in a partisan manner pushed many pieces of legislation through. The Republicans were voted in and will now be in charge of the House of Representatives. Therefore, one must wonder: After all the partisan bickering since the Democrats took over in 2006, why is everyone suddenly calling for bipartisanship?

After saying all of this I still believe each side needs to listen to the other, and we do need to work together to solve America's problems. But remember, in the event of a tie, we won!

For more information about Mark A. Cohen, see The Castle Rock, CO Gathering Place, Writer of the Month for Nov. 2010


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