Although he and I come from wholly different ends of the political spectrum, I am happy to call Joel Rosenthal, former state GOP chairman, a friend of mine. Why are we friends? While we disagree, there is a mutual respect that stems from being honest with each other about what we think and where we stand. JR also generally pulls no punches and calls it as he sees it.
The latest case in point: his blog post Monday, “Mell of a Hess.” The most notable excerpt:
Americans want solutions to real problems, protecting America, affordable health care, solutions to the energy crisis, retirement security, quality education, and good jobs. Congress has for the most part ignored some of these problems while focusing on divisive social issues and other issues that have little chance of being enacted but play to the electoral base.
I both agree and disagree. I not only agree that this is one of our major problems but also that there’s plenty of blame to go around. The Democrats can’t claim cover just because the GOP is in control. That does not excuse their lack of spine and the fact far too many votes are cast for cover, not principle.
Where I disagree may be a minor point. JR says Congress “for the most part” has ignored “some” of these problems. I would use a much broader brush. Congress has ignored virtually all of these problems as it runs from hot button issue to hot news item. And given the last couple sessions, I think we are starting to see the same in the state Legislature. We’ve got plenty of hot button issues on the ballot and in the campaigns but very little work on education, health care and energy, to name just three.
Perhaps my praise of JR’s post, as well as that offered by CCK, will even further endear JR to various elements of the state and national GOP. But guess what? Sometimes the truth hurts.
Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
Mark Twain, quoted in Albert Paine, Mark Twain: A Biography