Sunday, July 24, 2011

A note on governing

A short rant.  I have been doing a slow burn over the last several months whenever I hear Congresspeople talk about "how hard we are working" and "how tough our decisions are" as they consider budgetary issues in their legislative sessions.  If they want to think how hard work really is, consider the jobs of nurses, housekeepers, transporters, respiratory therapists, lab technicians, and others in clinical settings.  If they want to think how tough decisions are, consider the ones that have to be made in real time by intensivists, surgeons, oncologists and other doctors.

Not to mention how hard it is for normal people, in all walks of life, to get by day to day.  Or how tough their decisions are.  Check out the the two stories below for a view of that, one, an immigrant intent on serving his country, and the other, a person who inadvertently discovered that he had stage four kidney cancer.

No, dear legislators, you do not have it hard or tough.  You often seem to be making it harder on yourself by maintaining unreasonable and extreme positions, and by forgetting that a key component of governing is learning to compromise for the greater good.  Our system of government was designed by John Adams and all those really smart people to have checks and balances.  That is the best way to insure that minority rights are protected.  What is going on in Washington right now is a serious and dangerous perversion of those principles.

13 comments:

Jock Hoffman said...

It is ever more evident that too many elected officials believe their "job" is to get re-elected so that they may be seen and heard talking about work they don't actually do. Shirking responsibility by positioning themselves in an inflexible position is not work (nor hard), it is juvenile, lazy, mindless, and easier behavior than thinking and acting in response to the needs of all constituents the represent (not just those who voted for them).

A Tired Hospitalist said...

It's nice to find someone in the medical field that shares the same, somewhat disgust, at the current state of our Congress men and women.

Darrin Jenkins said...

I really enjoy the views you express on your blog. I think the idea of compromise for the greater good is a dying art. I hope someday our government will get it.

Clary Tedford said...

Right on. Their [politicians'] jobs are hard but, unlike EVERYONE in clinical settings, they are surrounded by constituents who rally around to support them and feed them their material. All they have to do is look good and their only worry is that people might not "like" them. They only have to worry about the majority. What if an anesthesiologist said, "Well, a landsliding 51% of my patients survive surgery." Nurses, surgeons, lab techs, ANYONE who works in hospitals... Well, no matter what their job descriptions entail, THEY are to blame if something goes wrong. I don't work in the medical field, but I do appreciate the work of those who do.

Steven said...

From Facebook:

Right On, Paul. Theirs is a fabricated "idealistic" toughness compared to the every day challenges faced by "ordinary" people.

Barry Carol said...

While the increasing polarization in Congress is both unfortunate and discouraging, I think, in the end, we get the government we deserve. From my perspective, too many people in the broad middle class and below demand and expect more from government than they are willing to pay for. Some on the left convey the impression that all we have to do is tax high income people more and everyone else can have a free ride. To them, a “fair share” is always more than whatever they’re paying now no matter how much that is. The reason that higher taxes on the wealthy enjoy widespread support is that they would only affect about 2% of voters. I actually support higher taxes on capital gains and qualified dividends even though I personally benefit from the current low 15% rate. However, in the end, the broad middle class has to pay for the services delivered to the broad middle class.

If it were up to me, I would call in every significant interest group and ask them what tax increases or program cuts each supports that affect THEM. Everyone wants to solve the fiscal problem at someone else’s expense. That won’t work.

Adam said...

From Google+:

Problem is, we elected these bozos. Each and every one of them! November 2012 can't come soon enough.

Bobbie and Alex said...

From Facebook:


Bobbie:

Thank you for saying this, Paul.

Alex: Bingo!

joedene said...

I agree with all of you what the politicians are doing in washington.What strikes me as strange is the health reform bill would with the public option in it would have given every American the opportunity to be a part of a health care program in which elected republican politicians recieve because they work for the federal government. can any of you tell me why they don't want the average american to have a good subsidzed insurance like they do

Anonymous said...

Rapped up in my feeling about health care, i forgot to give praise to those of you in the medical field. i have a daughter who is a nurse, i see the seriousness in her emotions when she have patients whith serious illness. i my self just recovered after a year with a LVAD and two and a half years recovering after a heart transplant,i had a great caring team of doctors and nurses! thank god for people like you who have study and really care for the people you give care too. thank you and GOD BLESS YOU AND COWORKERS for the service you provide.

Pam said...

Amen on your commentary. I think you are precisely right and have summed the whole miserable situation up perfectly. Thank you.

Paul Levy said...

Meanwhile, The Onion's "report" seems all too truthful:

WASHINGTON—Members of the U.S. Congress reported Wednesday they were continuing to carefully debate the issue of whether or not they should allow the country to descend into a roiling economic meltdown of historically dire proportions. "It is a question that, I think, is worthy of serious consideration: Should we take steps to avoid a crippling, decades-long depression that would lead to disastrous consequences on a worldwide scale? Or should we not do that?" asked House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), adding that arguments could be made for both sides, and that the debate over ensuring America’s financial solvency versus allowing the nation to default on its debt—which would torpedo stock markets, cause mortgage and interests rates to skyrocket, and decimate the value of the U.S. dollar—is “certainly a conversation worth having.” "Obviously, we don't want to rush to consensus on whether it is or isn't a good idea to save the American economy and all our respective livelihoods from certain peril until we've examined this thorny dilemma from every angle. And if we’re still discussing this matter on Aug. 2, well, then, so be it.” At press time, President Obama said he personally believed the country should not be economically ruined.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/congress-continues-debate-over-whether-or-not-nati,20977/

Kristina said...

I agree with Darrin. I love reading your post! Most of the time I agree with your view points and find your post intriguing. If I am not knowledgeable on the matter your post inspire me to research or have discussions with others are knowledgeable.
I find it extremely frustrating that congress is "debating on whether or not to allow...economic meltdown" Isnt it the governments job to do all they can to not allow such a thing? Why are they spending precious time debating such a thing?
If the country goes into default, effecting, government workers paychecks, how will it affect college students and their federal loans?