What We Can Expect After 2012
Frustration, Anger, Confusion, Distrust. These are all words I consistently hear when talking to friends and family about the current political climate. Since moving to DC two years ago, I have been entrenched in the world of politics and political operatives. My day at work consists of talking about politics, meeting with politicians, reading the news about politics; and after work in DC is never better with frequent dinner and bar conversations revolving around topics like Planned Parenthood & Etch-A-Sketch gaffes. Living in this city, you often forget what “normal” Americans see and feel in regards to their elected officials. What I have found over the past few months is that what they feel, more than anything, is frustration.
For political operatives and politicians in DC, this lifestyle is like a game, everyone worried about their next move and defeating their opponents. But to Americans working in the private sector, politics is not a game to them, but yet a constant disappointment. Today, with political parties more partisan than ever, Americans are consistently let down by their “do-nothing” congress and extreme partisanship on both sides. You are seeing moderate Republicans and Democrats being “pushed out” by their parties for not voting straight party line, for example Senator Olympia Snowe (R). Snowe is the latest in a string of centrist senators to announce that they will not seek re-election in the fall. The voters want bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems, but inner party politics and back room deals are ensuring partisan warfare and driving Republicans further right and Democrats further left.
Looking past the 2012 election cycle, the problem will likely only get worse. With President Obama’s probable re-election in 2012, the checks and balance of our government system will come from the House and Senate. The GOP will likely hold the House, but lose several seats, making it a nearly even divide. And in the Senate, we are likely to see a 50 – 50 tie between Republicans and Democrats. So what does this mean? Well in the current political climate, it means nothing good for Americans. With politicians being pushed further and further on both ends of the spectrums and relatively few in the middle, compromise becomes increasingly difficult. While a solution to the problem currently is not clear, we are likely to see partisan warfare in 2013 at the expense of the general public.