Monday, September 9, 2013

This Week...Politics DOES Matter!

If you love politics this week was made for you.
Congress returns from its recess to take up the debate over whether to authorize the president to use military force in Syria.  The stakes could not be higher.
A “Yes” vote in congress gives the president credibility.  It tells the international community that when the president draws a line in the sand the nation stands behind him.  It ties congress to whatever action the president might take as well as the unintended consequences that may result.    It also emboldens the president to press forward with his domestic policies as well; something most conservatives are loathing to do.  A “Yes’ vote will also incur the wrath of a vast majority of the voters, 80% of whom want no part of the Syrian conflict.  And after all getting re-elected is job one.
At risk for the president is his very presidency.  With a “Yes” vote he can move forward on a whole host of issues both foreign and domestic.  But a “No” vote cripples him.  It sends a signal both here and abroad that his word carries little meaning; that he does not have the support of the people.    He becomes the lamest of lame ducks even before his second term has a chance to gain traction.  The president understands this.  That is why today he will sit for interviews with all the major networks and tomorrow he will address the nation in a prime time address; making his case for military intervention.
And what consequences does this week have for us as a nation? 
This vote will be instrumental in defining the country’s future place in the world.  Do we want to continue to be the world’s policeman; investing our blood and treasure while the rest of the world sits idly by.  Or do we tell the world that it is time for them to fight their own battles.  That America will no longer intervene unless its national security is threatened.    
No matter the outcome, this vote will have far ranging consequences.
Oh, in case you forgot…while congress obsesses over this one very important issue…the US economy is weak and unemployment is high.  The number of Americans living in poverty grows every day.  Our education system is failing and our infrastructure is outdated and crumbling.  Our health care costs are the highest in the world and the debates over voting rights and gay rights and women’s rights tears at the very fabric of our democracy.  In two weeks the government will run out of money and our $16 trillion dollar debt casts a shadow over our economic future.
If you love politics this week was made for you.
For this week politics really DOES matter.         

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