More Blame than Solve
Terry H. Schwadron
May 12, 2022
It’s bad enough that the medical authorities are warning that covid is massing for another round of heavy disease, hospitalizations and deaths this fall and winter.
But then Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo had to suggest that White House covid warnings infections are part of a Democratic plot to boost the party’s chances in the November midterms.
Why isn’t disease bad enough without sprinkling it with partisan political seasoning?
The nation is fully upset and divided over the apparent Supreme Court conservative majority decision to throw precedent out the window to overturn 50 years of the right to legal abortion.
Then Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) comes along and insisted that the Democrats have gone ‘to the extreme left’ on abortion by objecting, by sponsoring protests outside justices’ homes, by insisting that the Senate vote to codify what has been federal law.
Again, how is any of this made better — for any point of view — by insisting that the leak was partisan, that protest is only the result of partisanship, by making adherence to court precedents a factor of partisan politics? Why can’t we encourage public protest — and call for people to avoid justices’ private homes or firebombing an opponent’s regional headquarters? On the other hand, why is a chalk drawing outside a home of a senator a reason to call the police?
You could recognize the same thing under way in talking about a possibly pending deal to stop Iran’s nuclear development, how to hasten and strengthen help to Ukraine’s defense against invading Russians, or what to do about rising prices for gas and food that clearly have a variety of global economic echoes.
Owning Their Own Side’s Problems
Hey, progressives and Democrats lay blame at the feet of their foes as well, but just not with the continuous blast from conservatives and Republicans on such a full breadth of topics.
Democrats also manage to drop partisanship enough to notice that inflation is on a gallop, covid continues to elude the public health net, and that immigration problems at the border remains an unsolvable set of issues.
Despite some exceptions, the Republicans manage to persuade themselves that despite the building evidence, Donald Trump had little responsibility for bringing about the Jan. 6 riots. As tell-all books continue to emerge about the four years of a Trump White House, Trump’s legacy reflected terrible, inconsistent, egotistical promotion campaign that proved regularly dangerous rather than a paradigm for governance.
You just would never know it from listening to Republican leaders, who seem ready to join in his run to return to the White House.
Whether it is Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) announcing psychologist-like that Joe Biden is “incoherent, incapacitated and confused” because they disagree about economic policy, or Rep. Kevin McCarthy insisting that Biden’s leadership in stoking allied military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine is “inadequate,” the disagreements over policy have continued to turn personal and ugly.
None of it helps either the situations under review or our feelings as voters about whether the people we elected to solve problems can do anything besides find blame.
It feels as if our daily news report ought to come with references in how things could be better rather than by what comes across as an arbitrary game of political tag over who is best to blame.
The Senate Vote
Yesterday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer brought a losing proposition to the Senate to write the holdings of Roe v. Wade into federal law before the Supreme Court’s final decision can emerge. Knowing that he lacked the votes either to pass the bill or to waive filibuster rules to allow a bill to pass with 51 votes, Schumer’ saw few good outcomes ahead.
Schumer’s only hope seemed to be to pin public embarrassment on Republican senators who think stripping a constitutional right is no big deal. It’s about the midterm elections as much as it is about abortion rights.
Republicans seemed insistent on ignoring 50 years of public opinion on abortion. They will attempt to paint the “radical” idea of endorsing legal abortion as if it is a new idea that flies in the face of religion and that promotes vast numbers of late-term operations to end the lives of viable fetuses. They too are not interested in morality, but about winning.
That is not supported by data that finds economic and personal health factors massively more central to the question surrounding abortions.
The fact is that abortion is legal today — and will continue to be legal in half the country even after a court decision that overturns its legal, nationwide status. The further fact is that abortion will continue whether legal or not, as it has for centuries, and that what is at issue in abortion is whether it will be recognized and treated as a health issue for women.
Sticking partisan pins in those who are anti-abortion or pro-choice will do absolutely nothing towards making this country more moral, more respectable or more safe. The decision on abortion always comes down to the individual, not the state government, not the federal government, and certainly not to politicians who seem to thrive only on blame.
Being pro-life should mean addressing more inclusive health care, particularly for women and infants, not moving to having women who abort, or their doctors and nurses prosecuted.
Forcing a useless vote seemed a futile protest. Forcing Schumer to schedule a vote by ignoring the public protest for a need to protect individual rights is worse.