Fact: The US Congressional approval rate has fallen to historic lows ranking it below telemarketers (ugh)! Cause: Members engaging in partisan gridlock instead of working for the benefit of the American people.
How can we reduce this partisan gridlock? Well, one thought is to vote AGAINST candidates who hold views totally in line with their party’s ideologue positions. Instead, doesn’t it make more sense to support candidates who practice bipartisanship and are NOT in total alignment with their party’s ideologies? These candidates would be more likely to compromise.
Now, let’s relate that to the Indiana Senate and 5th District Congressional race. Republican Richard Mourdock is the poster child for holding extreme ideologue views and publically decrying any attempts of bipartsanship. What about Democrat Joe Donnelly? Does he have similar ideological views from the left? No. In fact, Donnelly had the 6th highest record (30%) among congressional Democrats in opposing his party leaders. He has joined with Republicans in supporting bills such as a balanced budget amendment, the Keystone Oil Pipeline and putting tariffs on Chinese goods. These are not characteristics of an extreme leftwing Democrat. This is a legislator who tries to work across the aisle in deriving solutions to problems.
Democratic Congressional candidate Scott Reske has won bipartisan awards in the statehouse for working on both sides of the aisle. He also supports a balanced budget amendment and keeping all of the Bush tax cuts while the economy is still struggling. These are traits that would easily allow Reske to work across the aisle to support shared solutions. I have found it difficult to pin down the positions of Republican Susan Brooks. Her webpage discusses few specifics, all which are standard Republican ideologies. There is no evidence that Brooks would deviate from the “approved” Republican positions as dictated by Congressional House leaders. In fact, Brooks is so “silent” on her positions that it’s no surprise she has strived to avoid debating her opponents.
Let’s vote for candidates who have political courage and the will to reach across the aisle and not just follow their party’s ideologies.