Today is a day when the United States and the world should be celebrating the landmark agreement between China and the United States to reduce carbon emissions. We only have one planet, Earth to live on, and the reduction of emissions by the world’s two greatest polluters is a reason to rejoice.
But and it is a big but, the ugly rise of partisanship has raised its head. Before the ink was dry on the agreement we have heard from Speaker Boehner and soon to be Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell on how this agreement will be a job killer and how bad for America this agreement is.
This level of partisanship is but the latest example of how dysfunctional our government is. It should stir all of our concerns that the long-term effect of this will not only affect our Republic but the office of the President of the United States. We need a strong office of the President of the United States as we also need a strong Congress and Supreme Court. In the Republicans anger, hate and constant criticism of this President they do harm to the office.
The vitriol spewed towards President Obama is virtually unprecedented. President Andrew Johnson suffered from the slings and arrows of the Radical Republicans because he refused to seek vengeance upon the former Confederate states. He, Johnson sought to comply with Abraham Lincoln’s wishes to have malice towards none and bring the former Confederate states back into the Union with respect. President Obama suffers as well from an unbelievable level of dislike. It is hard to fathom why that is so. Is it because he won the election and Republicans were upset at losing power or is it that they realized from the very beginning that President Obama was serious about bringing about change? Or is the level of dislike towards the President exhibited by McConnell and others before he even took office due primarily to racism? The truth might be that the answer to those questions is that all three reasons are true. For it does not matter what the president says are does or even what clothes he wears they are against it.
History, I believe, comes in cycles. We recently under President George W. Bush saw the zenith of the Imperial Presidency. But beware to all if in their haste to deny this President of any accomplishments, they wind up weakening the office of the President of the United States. We might be entering a cycle of history where the power that resides in Congress is greater than what the President is able to muster. This would be a detriment to the country and it would undermine the Constitutional duties of the office of President. We saw a much weakened presidency from Lincoln until Teddy Roosevelt.
When I was young which was a long time ago now, the President proposed legislation and Congress disposed of it. Now with this President, in the House of Representatives, President Obama can not even get the Speaker to offer his suggested bills for a vote, up or down. What is particularly noteworthy was what happened to President Obama’s jobs bill. Or should I say what didn’t happen to the jobs bill. Each President should have the opportunity to have his suggested bills be offered for a vote. After all, only the office of President and Vice President is elected by all of the people in each state. He is supposed to try to be less partisan because his obligation is too represent all of us.
Republicans whine about the Senate not hearing or voting on 300 or so bills that the House passed, while they refuse to give his ideas a fair hearing and vote.
Today we hear the old refrain the helping the environment is a job killer. Tell that to all of those jobs created to clean up our air and water. Tell that to the hundreds and thousands of people who are now getting good jobs in the alternative energy field such as solar energy.
Senator McConnell is bought and paid for by the coal industry. Coal is not a clean source of energy and China is finding out the hard way that their air is polluted due to the use of coal. Coal is a clear and present danger to the health of those who mine coal and to those who attempt to breathe the air in China. It is no different in America, coal is a source of jobs but at what cost?
The United Nations just issued their final report on the dangers of climate change. For those who would deny the existence of climate change I have this to say. My God the water is rising. If we wait too long to prepare and to deal with the problems that will result from climate change it will be too late for the deniers. They can say Oops, but it will be too late if we don’t act now. This why we should cheer for what happened with China and thank the President and his Secretary of State, John Kerry for a job well done. Our children thank you and future generations will thank you for the start that this agreement represents.
For those who continue to march in unison to deny the President any accomplishments beware! The office of President could be so damaged by the constant criticism, the harm could be so great that when the Republican Party elects a President he might face the same actions in retribution for what has occurred during the Presidency of Barack Obama.