When Sen. Lindsey Graham gave his opening statement for the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, he said: “All Republicans will vote yes, and all Democrats will vote no.”
The South Carolina Republican went on to give some educational reasons that the debate might benefit each other and the public, but he really should have told the rest of the implied truth: “We are going to waste your time for three or four days, listening to what you already know or not listening to what you don’t want to know, and then we will vote in a way that’s already predetermined right now.”
Salud, I know you are a member of the House, not the Senate. But I imagine you also must spend hours and hours of wasted time in committee or on the floor, listening to things most of which make little difference because you already know how you’re going to vote. Of course, it’s more fun for you because you know you’re on the winning team in the House. Your side will win the vote, no matter what.
But then the vote has to go to the Senate, and its winning team has been opposite to yours for the last four years. So what you decide in the House makes no difference because the Senate will defeat it or not even look at it. All that work you did to get a bill passed goes for naught.
You have spent most of your time spinning wheels!
Now, you have to face another two years doing the same thing — unless the two Senate re-election votes in Georgia go to the Democrats.
Taking it up to the next level, Joe Biden says he is going to reverse the tax breaks to the wealthy. So the decisions, or at least this decision, made by President Donald Trump, will be wiped out.
Another example is Mitch McConnell’s statement during Barack Obama’s first administration: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” In other words, “we will try and stop everything he does.”
That brings it up to, potentially, four years of wasted labor by you. How frustrating that must be to you and to all members of Congress. What a devastating way to have to go to work every day!
Why does the government work this way? Because we have a foolish system of government. It is like a huge rowboat with two teams of rowers in it.
Unfortunately, the two teams face each other on the boat, so they are rowing against each other year after year, trying to overpower the other team. They all row as hard as they can, but they never get anywhere. Congressman, I see no way for you or any of your colleagues to change this two-party system from within.
However, I do have a suggestion, not for you but for the country. Maybe we as citizens can have our own discussion on how to reform our government and our Constitution.
What if all high schools and colleges and universities suspended teaching in all of their history, social sciences, current events, political sciences, psychology, etc. classes for the next four years, and they discussed and debated only one question: How do we create a new ship of state, a new way for our government and Constitution to work for all?
There was, in fact, a great Broadway show, “What the Constitution Means to Me,” that actually tried to do this. At the end of each show, the audience would vote on whether we should create a whole new Constitution or not. The good news is that the video of it is still available to watch on Amazon Prime.
Maybe Mark Zuckerberg could dedicate a portion of Facebook to have the entire country debate the issue! We, the people, will create a plan that clearly eliminates the evils of our two-party system. Then, in all following elections we will elect only those candidates who agree to establish this new, non-destructionist system.
In the meantime, Rep. Carbajal, we apologize for condemning you to spend 80% of your time supporting a crippled and ineffective ship of state. I know you will continue doing the best you can to work for good with the other 20%. We’re sorry, and we thank you.
The author lives in Santa Barbara.