George Graham

Expect Another Do-Nothing Year in Congress

President Obama’s state of the union speech was actually the opening salvo in the mid-term elections. His reelection in November was not only the end of his 2012 campaign but also the beginning of a new – and vitally important – sales mission for 2014. The hope and change he promised America back in 2008 have yet to be achieved. And only the decisive defeat of the Republicans next year will make that possible.

The president is not likely to get anything done as long as the Republicans control the House and have that ridiculous filibuster rule in the Senate. But he can campaign. And he’s good at that.

That leaves the television pundits grasping for grist to chew on twenty-four/seven.  Rachel Maddow is obliged to rehash the Big Lie that got Americans into that tragic Iraq misadventure, for example. And The Nation magazine devotes page after page to exposing the CIA’s “rendition” torture camps that flourished in the darkness during those bad Bush years of yore.

The Republicans are milking the Benghazi “scandal” in their desperate search for campaign issues. And vicious dolts like Ted Cruz are raising questions about malevolent organizations that Chuck Hagel might (or might not) have accepted funds from – if he accepted funds from anyone and if an organization named Friends of Hamas actually exists or ever existed.

As they say in Jamaica, “one fool makes many.” And Senator Rand Paul is living proof of that. Rachel played a clip last night of the Kentucky senator (and Republican presidential hopeful) expressing “concern” over the possibilities raised by Cruz and his allies in right-wing talk radio.

I’m sure they don’t believe any of the nonsense they’re suggesting; but they have to find some dark conspiracy to whisper about. The mid-terms are coming, you know.

It looks like a long year for political pundits.

I bet the news folk are thanking their lucky stars for the meteor that exploded over Russia and for those equally explosive rants from the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre.

I don’t know why LaPierre bothers. Congress probably won’t do much about gun control this year or next, regardless of the rubbish he comes up with – and regardless of the president’s heartbreaking eloquence.

I don’t expect Congress to do much about anything this year. Not even the so-called “sequester.”

Those loafers in Washington will take their paychecks and let the country drift while they enjoy the spoils of their campaign victories and dredge up “issues” for the mid-terms.

Of course, you’re going to hear politicians scream about the drastic budget cuts the sequester will bring. But they won’t do anything about it. What do they care if a million more Americans lose their jobs? Nobody in Congress is losing theirs – not until 2014, anyway.

Sadly, what with the rampant gerrymandering that has gone on over the years, their jobs get safer and safer. Red districts get redder, and blue districts get bluer. As a result, political extremism is rewarded and gridlock gets more predictable.

The only mitigating factor is demographic change. With Hispanics – especially younger Hispanics – making up more of the electorate each year, the red states are expected to grow increasingly purple.

But by that time, President Obama will probably be golfing in Hawaii full time, and codgers like me will be a faint memory.

For America to see hope and change anytime soon, voters will have to buy the Obama package next year. In the meantime, let’s yell our heads off for those rousing campaign speeches the president is delivering. It’s good TV.

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

10 Comments

    • Will do Shelley! I know it’s not the same, but you can be there “with me” via live stream. 🙂

      • Yes, I’ve been considering that, but then I decided against it because to see all the people and all the familiar places my homesickness will get worse. So I’d better not.

        By the way, what are these online radio stations you mention? Tell me, tell me! I suck at finding these type of “yard” connections. LOL

        Have you been to YS Falls? If you haven’t yet definitely take a trip!!! It’s perhaps the best attraction on the South Coast. The COMPLETE opposite of Dunns River Falls and certainly St. Elizabeth’s hidden gem.

        • Awww. I understand. We gotta get you back to JA soon!

          There are tons of stations. BigUpRadio.com, Pandora has stations, etc. I’ll send you an email with more.

          Haven’t been to YS yet, I want to do a week and hit up Bluefields, YS, Black River, Lover’s Leap and so much more. I have a LOOOOOOONNNNG list of things and learning more and more everyday. Also just learned about Turtle River Falls in St. Ann too.

  • Jamaica music sweet me a tell yu… We shoud have a radio station in Edmonton playing it 7-24….Nice article looking forward to more culture…

    • Sweet indeed! Learning and listening to more while here. If there’s no station in Edmonton, I know there are a few online stations that can fill that void. Thanks for stopping by. More good stuff coming soon!

  • Awesome April!! Love this. I attended Rebel Salute briefly last year, drove with a friend and we stayed a few hours. Make sure to go backstage (am sure you already have a pass). It was quite a sight though, you’ll love it. I wished I had stayed longer. Can’t wait to read more, you’re definitely in the right place (Kingston) for music inside info and links (wink) 🙂 Have a great time!

    • Yes, Kingston is perfect for the music scene. It hasn’t disappointed yet. Picking up my pass on Friday. I can only imagine how crazy it is backstage…

      Hope you are having a blast in Belize! Thinking I may head that way later this year. Haven’t been yet.

  • I sooooo didn’t want to miss Rebel Salute this year, but this post is the next best thing. Okay not really, because I can’t eat your post, BUT it put a smile on my face anyway. Thanks for sharing as usual!

    • Sucks you wont be around. You could watch online, but you can’t eat that either. LOL Funny thing is, I even met one of the food vendors and looking forward to spending lots of time at his booth in between sets!