"This is not a time to point fingers of blame,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said after the Senate finally reached an agreement on a deal. “This is a time of reconciliation.”
To be sure, we have moved past the time where pointing fingers will do any good. We know who is to blame for the government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis and it’s not just Senator Ted Cruz, President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner, or any other individual or party.
It is everyone involved: Democrats and Republicans alike; the president and his administration. They are all guilty of making a mockery of the good governance and of our nation more generally.
This stopgap deal doesn’t resolve anything. Washington has kicked the proverbial can down the road again and this time we only have a few months until we find ourselves back in exactly the same position.
It is my firm belief that little will change between now and January. Tea party Republicans will not become less committed to their crusade to defund Obamacare. Democrats show little indication that they will become more conciliatory in their approach. And why should they? The president’s strategy of refusing to negotiate with anyone seems to have paid off — the Democrats had to make almost no concessions.
The same issues that have plagued the U.S. for years loom large. We have no long-term strategy for deficit reduction, entitlement reform, or tax reform. Indeed, no serious problems were addressed in this “deal.”
This was certainly a short-term win for the president and the Democrats. But this is not about politics: This is about our collective future, the health of our nation.
The Republicans had the opportunity to make a real impact and they let it slip through their fingers and instead they are now facing their lowest approval ratings in recent memory.
We look weak around the world. China’s hope for a “de-Americanized world” as they put it in an editorial this week, is looking more and more likely. American is in decline, plain and simple.
Will this affect the political climate in Washington? Perhaps it will help Democrats in the short term, but that won’t last long once this crisis rears its ugly head again in a few months.
The real takeaway is that the losers here aren’t the Republicans, but Americans themselves. These past three weeks will certainly be remembered as a sad chapter in American political history.
Douglas E. Schoen is a political strategist, Fox News contributor, and author of several books including the recently released "Hopelessly Divided: The New Crisis in American Politics and What It Means for 2012 and Beyond" (Rowman and Littlefield). Read more reports from Doug Schoen — Click Here Now.
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