By: Steven Goodman – Asst. Opinions Editor
The events that led up to and followed the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sound like something that took place in a middle school classroom. Speaker of the House John Boehner went behind President Barack Obama’s back to invite the Prime Minister to speak on the Congressional floor. Obama, angry that the White House was not consulted on this visit, vowed not to meet with Netanyahu. Both Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry “made plans to be out of town,” according to Politico.
An important speech by Netanyahu, which criticized the U.S.’s negotiations with Iran over nuclear weapons, has been overshadowed by the polarizing bickering between politicians. This is by no means the first time. Looking back a year or even one month, probably even one week, the howls of disagreement ring from the Capitol building and the White House’s halls.
At this point, it seems the Democrats’ and Republicans’ sole goal is to break the other party. After all, the focus of midterm elections was on who would hold majority in the Senate, rather than how the current state of the U.S. would be affected.
I get the impression that those in the highest leadership positions in the U.S. are playing a game with each other, and the winner is the one who humiliates the other in the public eye.
These individuals might be running our country, but they seem to be more concerned with showing the world a humiliating performance by a member of the opposite party. Ideally, shouldn’t they feel the same way about passing some sort of meaningful legislation? Preferably not at the eleventh hour like the last minute funding for the Department of Homeland Security a couple weeks ago.
I know some will argue that Congress did, ultimately, succeed: It passed a bill to keep DHS funded through September. Then again, as most college students know, doing something at the last minute is usually a bad idea. It might work well the first time, but will go downhill if it becomes a habit. Projects, or legislation in the case of Congress, will be completed closer to the deadline until they are finished after the deadline. Or simply not at all.
More than likely, all of this information is nothing new to the majority of Americans, or anyone who follows politics in the U.S. I’m sure many remember the infamous government shutdown in 2013. Republicans blame Democrats and Democrats blamed Republicans. It is just another example of how our politicians like to play the blame game.
My favorite criticism of Congress came from The Onion: the Capitol building was demolished in order to hide the horrific events of the 113th Congress that transpired there.
Sadly, this seems to be the attitude we have all taken, and rightly so. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it’s time that our representatives in Congress worry less about embarrassing the opposing party and more about fixing the issues in this country.