Do they know what they are saying ‘no’ to?

If a Republican in Washington said the sky was gray a Democrat would say it was blue. If a Democrat said the clouds were white a Republican would say they were red.

Never agree with the opposition — the hell with bipartisanship for the betterment of America. “Preserve the party” at all costs is the modern battle cry in Washington, DC, as well as most state capitals around the nation.

David Platt, of Hollywood, FL, summarized it very well in his recent letter to The Miami Herald Reader’s Forum. Mr. Platt, while writing about the potential opening in the U.S. Supreme Court, quoted Sen. Jon Kyl, R-AZ, as saying that he, the senator, “isn’t ruling out a GOP filibuster,” and stated “that the Republicans are already saying ‘no’ without even knowing what they are saying ‘no’ to.”

Every conservative president has nominated a conservative to fill a Supreme Court vacancy. Every liberal president has nominated a liberal to fill a vacancy. The secret is to see how close you must come to the middle of the road in political ideology to obtain the votes needed to approve the nomination and still remain close to the political principles of the president.

Justice John Paul Stevens, the leading liberal on the U.S. Supreme Court, has announced that he intends to retire in late June when the court has completed its term. He hopes that the president will appoint his replacement, and the Senate will confirm the nomination in order that the court can continue its agenda in the fall with a full bench.

President Obama has stated that he knows he cannot replace Justice Stevens’ experience or wisdom. However, he will seek someone who has similar qualities: an independent mind, a record of excellence and integrity, a fierce dedication to the law and a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people.

Democrats want the process to begin before the fall elections where it is inevitable that Republicans will increase their numbers and be able to put up a bigger fight, apparently, according to Sen. Kyl, against whomever the president nominates. According to the senator, the use of a filibuster is very possible.

Unfortunately, this is the way of politics. Push to reduce the power of those in office so the “out-of-power” party can regain control. This works for the politician who is attempting to retain his or her job in Washington. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for the benefit of the American citizen.

I don’t know the answer. However I can make one observation. Basically, we embarrassingly suck up to politicians. We treat them like kings and queens. We heap praise, upon praise on our elected officials until they begin to think that they are in fact superior to us.

Once they have reached this exalted level of thinking, they feel they are invincible and can do no wrong. Self-gratification over service to the community becomes their way of life. Some served so long in the Congress that they have forgotten what it is like on the outside.

Perhaps we could start the process of taking back control of our government by treating elected officials as mortals, just like you and me.

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The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this newspaper, its editors or publisher.

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About the Author

Kenneth Bluh
Kenneth has been writing a column for Community Newspapers since 1989 when he first wrote about the incorporation movement in UMSA (Unincorporated Municipal Services Area). His columns cover the political scene in Miami-Dade and Tallahassee. Educated at the Wharton School in Philadelphia, Kenneth has been a member of the banking/mortgage lending profession in Florida since 1962. Contact him at or 786-247-0547 where he manages American Bancshares Mortgage LLC’s Reverse Mortgage Department.

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