Take a political vacation

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Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and Arizona’s immigration laws and the nominations for the presidential race are settled, it’s time to take a breath and enjoy our summer. Let’s put politics on the back burner until September.

We can cheer on American athletes at the upcoming London Olympic Games. We can watch for interesting and bizarre Japanese tsunami debris at the beach. We can go camping, fishing, hiking and road tripping.

Let the politicians inside the Beltway swelter under a stifling heat wave.  Let the television and radio pundits continue to harp and blovicate politicisms. We should just all relax this summer. The nation’s problems will be there in the fall; we all need to take some time to enjoy our vacations. This is a good time to step back, take a breath and think about what we want from our government leaders.

These days American politics is all id. We react to political news with a jerk of the knee; we only want to hear what enforces our own beliefs. American politics can certainly use a little ego to temper our worst impulses. Politics is the art of compromise, an art that is sorely missing regarding the big issues of the day.

One of Oregon’s most cherished politicians was Republican Mark Hatfield, who served as governor for eight years and spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate. In his later Senate years he began an endangered species: a moderate Republican.  Today’s moderate Senators are choosing to leave that body rather than endure the unending paralysis brought about by intractable, no-compromise behavior. The Senate (and the House) has lost and will continue to lose members who could be working to break the logjam on Capitol Hill.

The notion of “let’s agree to disagree” seems quaint these days.Those making laws for the rest of us could well remember that extremism is no virtue; and moderation is no vice.

The current toxic political atmosphere brought about by Administration policies and a take-no-prisoners attitude in Congress is long past the point of getting out of hand.

Let’s take the summer off from politics, enjoy what we have and come back to it in the fall, hopefully with a renewed sense of working together for what is best for the people of the country.

—LAZ

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