The Republicans are hopping mad, with an attitude that basically says, “Now you’ve really done it! Just you wait, you’ll get yours! Wait until we’re in control, then you’ll see. You’re going to be sorry for this.” What is irksome is that they act as if they themselves are completely innocent; as if they are doves come straight from heaven itself. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
They accuse the president of power grabbing by this Filibuster Rule change. Yet, it seems to me that much of the Republican action, in both Congress and the Senate, have been nothing but about power maneuvers—asserting power, blocking power, and manipulating power. Of course, the democrats are no less guilty, or are they? It is the Republicans who have way overused the Filibuster that drove the Democrats to finally say, “Enough!” It often seems as if the Republicans would have only their way or no way at all—remember they were the ones willing to shut down the government to get their way and it didn’t work.
Of course, government is always about power. Fact is, throughout history, be it Alexander’s Greece or Caesar’s Rome or the Czar’s Russia or Queen Victoria’s British Empire, whatever the form of government, it always comes down to a question of power—the power to rule, to lead and command, to decide the fate of a nation and its people—not to mention the power to tax, to accumulate and spend an empire’s wealth or to keep it in the hands of a selective and privileged few.
Good ole Abe Lincoln told us that our government is “For the people, by the people, and of the people?” Distributed power, shared power, people power. It sounds nice, even inspiring; it makes one feel proud to be an American. But in today’s context they sound more and more like fine sounding words with no substance—a taste of honey on one’s tongue, going sour in one’s stomach—wishful and idealistic in the face of hard reality.
Abraham Lincoln referred to the American system of self-government as a Great Experiment, especially under the shadow of the Civil War. Would it work? Will it stand the test of time in the face of severe division and disagreement? After the North won the Civil War, we thought the Union had been saved. It survived. The question is: Will it continue to survive?
Yes, this is the real world. Reality bites. Our ideals seem to be losing ground in the face of Reality, and losing it fast. For example, we are fast becoming a government of power and wealth—for the wealthy, by the wealthy and of the wealthy. And the wealthy will take and take, and give little in return. Am I being too hard on the wealthy/powerful? Consider the last economic financial crisis that Wall Street and the Bankers got us into, from which our nation is still trying to recover. The very people that were the cause and source of our economic downturn are the ones that walked away form it Scott Free, unscathed, and with profit in pocket.
Yes, in my humble opinion, our government IS in trouble, and it is about power. But the power plays and power grabbing that is going on, runs much deeper than a mere Filibuster rule-change reflects. I believe that this change is a symptom of a much deeper sickness within our present government system.
Republicans overused the Filibuster. That’s a fact. The Democrats have now made a counter move. So, watch and see. The Republicans have the next move. No doubt, they will be just as culpable, if not more so. Yes, let us wait and see. Washington is ill, feverish even. And apparently there is no cure, no medicinal balm from Gilead to ease it back to health. All we can do now is sit and wait, watch and pray for the fever to break and hope that the body’s temperature will return to normal. Time will tell.