Opinion: Politicians need to cooperate -- if they can

Yahoo Contributor Network
John Boehner and President Bush in Troy, Ohio for the 2004 Presidential Campaign on September 15, 2003

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If you voted in the last election, you are probably already concerned about our country. Well, in many ways, it is the process of elections that makes me concerned. But what worries me most of all is that our representatives are in a position where they need to cooperate and work together, much like most Americans do every day, but I am worried that they will not work together and it will damage our country. Here are some of my concerns.

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Do-nothing conditions could continue

After the 2010 elections, my primary concern is that nothing is going to get done with two houses of Congress in opposition with each other. We have already seen how well the Republican Party sticks together to fight against bills introduced by Democrats. And now they have some actual power.

With Republicans holding a serious majority in the House and Democrats holding a slight but significant majority in the Senate, what I expect to see is a lot of wasted time, with the House producing bills the Senate hates, and the Senate passing bills the House won't stand for. This means budgets will languish and stall while everyone fights. Or, hey, we could cooperate and get stuff done that benefits everyone, right? No?

Political brutality too much like sports

If you watched election coverage, you have probably noticed that coverage has changed over the years to appeal to more viewers. It seems to me that the media and politicians are treating politics too much like sports. News coverage of elections tends to look the same as football or basketball coverage, with both sides slinging insults about the leaders of the other political "team" on the news outlet most friendly to their organization.

This is not Team Liberals vs. Team Conservatives. The media and politicians should be giving credit to the people for choosing, and not to the representatives for winning what they seem to think is a spectator sport.

I am not sure about the rest of the American public, but I am not looking to see two candidates rip each other apart and destroy each other completely for a brief seat in a position of power. Is there any wonder why nobody sane wants to run for political office? I will keep my personal problems personal, thank you very much.

Secret campaign funding makes elections more annoying

Campaign finance needs to be overhauled. Since a January Supreme Court decision overturned many restrictions on corporate contributions to national and state candidates, anonymous donors are having an impact on our elections, and not just on the outcome.

More money for campaigns means more seriously annoying campaign ads, including the aforementioned attack ads. Some restrictions on the nature of donors' anonymity would be nice, but it would all be unnecessary if donors and candidates would act ethically, disclose donations, and maintain a sense of decency when campaigning.

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