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‘A pox on both your houses’

For frequent readers of this space, let me begin with an apology to those who would hold me accountable for my previous column saying I was swearing off politics until after the first of the year.

OK, yes, I fell off the wagon, but how could you not? Every news broadcast and every newspaper has the political circus front and center.

And it is disgusting. But, then again, isn’t everything in Washington these days?

And who’s to blame? It would be easier to list who is not to blame, although I can’t think of a single person who would be on that list right now. So, let’s begin with the who’s-to-blame list.

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, Intelligence Committee chairman (although some, including me, would like to give that committee a new name), had the quote of the decade: “Americans need to understand that this president is putting his personal political interests above theirs (Americans). And that it’s endangering the country.”

Wow! If putting one’s personal (or party) interests above the interests of the American people means you will get impeached or removed from office, then, yes, I am all for it, because all of the House and Senate would be forced to resign! Schiff’s statement is complete and utter hypocrisy to the extreme.

All that happens in Washington is personal and party-focused. Collectively, they have the vision of a seriously shortsighted mole that can only see out as far as the next election. Meanwhile, the American people are more concerned about high health care costs, more affordable prescription drugs, the exorbitant cost of college, high taxes, and trying to make their mortgage or car payments.

Throw in things like never-ending wars or gun violence, illegal drugs, and immigration issues. And what about the longevity of Social Security or Medicare? Some — not nearly enough — are worried about the $22 trillion Congress has borrowed from my grandchildren. I want just one elected Washingtonian party animal to tell me how my grandchildren are going to afford a government of their own when they will be paying off our debt?

I understand that the House has passed about 400 bills that need to come up in the Senate, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t want his fellow Republicans to be put on the spot because of the looming election. Is that any way to govern? Apparently, it is, since then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, did the same, holding back over 300 bills when the Republicans controlled the House and Democrat Barack Obama was president. Disgusting. And, with apologies to Romeo and Juliet, “A pox on both your houses.”

I shouldn’t be this upset this close to Christmas, a time of reverence and family, but I am. So, I am going to tell Washington what I see happening in the real America outside the soundproof dome of Washington.

Democrats, you lost the election for the White House. Get over it and work for the people. You won the election in the House, so go to work and prove to us you are worthy of being reelected. We aren’t seeing much being done to advance the country under your watch, as you are too busy trying to advance your party. We are tired of that, and tired of you.

Republicans, you lost the House and, because you can’t hear the voters or see the people’s needs, you forgot why you lost. Did you “fix” heath care, like you promised us? Did you pass an immigration reform bill? Did you pass a national infrastructure bill to modernize our roads, bridges, dams and airports? Did you balance the budget, like you have promised for years? No, no, no, and no.

That’s why you lost.

Stop with the Right versus Left game. Start focusing on what is Right and what is Wrong and at least make us feel that the nearly $200,000 we pay each of you every year is worth it. You are supposed to represent us, not your silly party. When you all come home to campaign, don’t point fingers of blame. Instead, tell us why YOU didn’t get to the big issues. And, when you ask for my vote, be prepared to hear, “I am done voting for you. You didn’t get the job done, and I am not falling for empty promises and lame excuses any longer.”

OK, thank you, readers. Now I am going Christmas shopping for my grandchildren. ‘Tis the season, you know?

Tell me at gregawtry@awtry.com if you think members of Congress have been good little girls and boys this year.

Greg Awtry is the former publisher of the Scottsbluff (Neb.) Star-Herald and Nebraska’s York News-Times. He is now retired and living in Hubbard Lake. Greg can be contacted at gregawtry@awtry.com.

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