Last night, at the State of the Union, the House and Senate made a point to note that they were intermingling Democrats and Republicans -- as though on TV a viewer could tell who was who without being told? -- as a symbolic gesture of unity.
As symbolic gestures go, it was pretty hollow and meaningless -- again, because most people don't know all 535 members of Congress by sight, and it's hard to tell whether someone's a Democrat or Republican simply by looking at them. (As a visual guide, though, you can usually spot Republicans by the way they're sneering cruelly at the poor.)
I thought I'd help out Congress-- and all politicians -- by giving them some better gestures they could make to symbolically help the country, symbolic help being the only help anyone's likely to get for the next two years at least -- and maybe longer.
So here they are:
1. Learn the actual Constitution and U.S. history. Politicians and voters listen to "Justice" Antonin Scalia claiming that women aren't "people" under the Constitution but corporations are, and they listen to Michele Bachman claiming that the Founding Fathers "tirelessly" tried to end slavery -- claims that are demonstrably untrue. Bachman plans to go further by having 9/11 "truther" speakers "educate new congressmen as well.
It would be a nice, symbolic gesture if we could have politicians and judges say what history and the law actually are, instead of what they wished it could be.
2. Admit that you work for the government, and that the government works, too. Many politicians like to rail against the Government -- while getting benefits from that government (see: Kleefisch, Rebecca) and while not admitting that they are proposing further government regulation.
Politicians like "rising star" Paul Ryan. Here's Ryan responding to the State of the Union address from Still President Obama last night:
Last week, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do, and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage.(Source.) Got it? Bureaucracies don't work, and we have to rein in government and private health care spending.
Health care spending is driving the explosive growth of our debt.
Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked — and it won't work now.
So here's Paul Ryan's Roadmap For America, which is what made him a "rising star":
The Roadmap secures Medicare for current beneficiaries, while making common-sense reforms to save this critical program.
* It preserves the existing Medicare program for those currently enrolled or becoming eligible in the next 10 years (those 55 and older today) - So Americans can receive the benefits they planned for throughout their working lives. For those currently under 55 – as they become Medicare-eligible – it creates a Medicare payment, initially averaging $11,000, to be used to purchase a Medicare certified plan. The payment is adjusted to reflect medical inflation, and pegged to income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support. The plan also provides risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.
(Source.) So... bureaucracies do work, if they're the bureaucracies that Paul Ryan wants or creates (see: Walker, Scott), and the government can achieve things if it takes your tax money and gives it back to you to give to a privately selected company. That is what the "Roadmap for America" promises: The government will pick insurers to take part in the Medicaid plan, and then will take your taxes, and give you vouchers to buy insurance from the government-picked insurers.
So let me give you another quote from Massive Hypocrite Paul Ryan's response to the State of the Union:
Washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.I agree, Paul Ryan -- so it would be a nice symbolic gesture if you'd explain how that quote jibes with your plan to have the "Roadmap" pick winners and losers.
3. Stop telling people to shoot Democrats! It must have made Republicans nervous to be sitting right next to the people they've been urging their supporters to kill. Going back to 2008, the GOP has been inciting violence against Democrats, including but not limited to Glenn Beck playing out a mock civil war, Michele Bachmann (her again!) telling people to be "armed and dangerous" about energy taxes, right-wing bloggers saying judges "deserve to be killed," GOP candidates joking about getting a license to hunt Still President Obama, Andrew Breitbart recommending killing a greenhouse effect scientist, threatening the lynching of Democratic Senators...
I could go on (and this site has the entire timeline of threats against liberals), but this clip sums it up:
So if you could symbolically quit telling your followers to kill people they disagree with, that would go a long way towards "bridging the gap" or whatever it is you claim to be in favor of.