Isn’t it time that we got out of the sandbox and off of the playground? When are our senators and congressmen going to grow up? We, those they represent, are expected to confront life’s challenges in mature and responsible ways in order to survive. They play word and procedural games with the issues vital to our economic and physical well-being. We work hard to do the best we can for the sake of our families. They work to, first and foremost, maintain their positions of privilege and power. We realize that there are many issues that we are not knowledgable about and appropriately defer to those with expertise. However, it seems that there is a sense within congress that all valid and important information resides solely within its hallowed walls.
This is particularly true every time this nation is confronted by an international challenge. Whether it be the Middle East, Europe, Asia or any other part of the world, there are those in the Senate and Congress who perceive themselves as experts and can’t wait to provide their “all important” opinion. However, in fact, there are real experts in Washington. They have spent their lives studying, visiting and observing particular countries or regions. They are not only knowledgable about the obvious, but also the more subtle nuances. They understand the intricacies of “intra” and “inter” relationships. They are aware of economic and security issues. They have studied the culture, the language and the history. They are keenly aware of how any particular statement or action by the United States will be perceived and responded to. They are paid for their expertise as employees of the State Department, the Defense Department and the CIA. Why, then, does some senator or congressman feel that what they have to say is so important?
The idea that “politics ends at the water’s edge” was a rule respected by both parties for decades. The understanding that the United States is strongest when it displays a unified front to all international challenges has been a “rule of thumb”. All parents understand that if the kids see even the hint of a difference of opinion on an issue they will exploit it. This is no different. That isn’t to say that we must all march in “lock step” and abide by the decisions made by those in authority. Certainly that wasn’t the case during the Vietnam War or more recently during the war in Iraq. Yet publicly pushing a policy in one direction or another before the President has even had an opportunity to develop his own strategy simply comes off as being a “knee-jerk” reaction. This is especially so when that push is always in the same direction by the same people regardless of the particulars of the situation. In this case I am talking about McCain, Graham, Rubio and Cruz. They, the non-experts, lacking knowledge and specifics, all too quickly condemn the President for weakness and inaction. By doing this they perpetuate a self-serving narrative of a President who is indecisive and lacks the resolve to protect America. The inherent dangers in this action are obvious as the selfishness.
It is time for America to elect a Congress that is prepared to first and foremost serve the interests of the people. We now have a Congress that is in perpetual campaign mode and is interested only in winning the next election. The Legislative Branch of the government has an important role to play. While it is there to “check and balance” the actions of the Executive Branch, it is not there to paralyze it. The President, first and foremost is responsible to the security of our borders and the safety of all Americans. Compared to President Bush, President Obama has done a superb job in this area. Can’t the GOP stop campaigning long enough to celebrate our victories and enjoy our national security? It is time for McCain, Graham, Rubio and Cruz to give it a rest and support the President as he does his job.