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Politicians No Longer Part of the Solution

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Well folks, by the time you read this I’ll have returned to the Land of the Perpetual Strip Mall from our wintering home in southeastern Mexico. As I have mentioned before, sometimes you get a better perspective on things from far away. At other times distance makes no difference whatsoever. Recently, I’ve found distance has no bearing on the lack of good things to report. Near or far there is not much new good news to be found that applies to our nation’s veterans.

In recent articles I have made much about the 112th US Congress not really accomplishing much to help veterans of any era. The 112th has set new standards of non-accomplishment on every conceivable area of concern to the American people. They, our least effective Congress since President Truman’s ‘Do nothing Congress’ with a nationwide approval rating in the single digit range, have focused all of its energy on ideological purity and an escalating involvement in overseeing all American women’s reproductive choices.

I’m sorry folks, but we as a nation have much more pressing things to focus on other than trying to shame and embarrass the women of this country. By getting an all-male panel to formulate policy on female contraception practices and women’s reproductive rights the House of Representatives has reached a new low. The empaneling of that all male group was roughly analogous to forming an all Rooster panel to make policy on nesting box maintenance—it simply doesn’t make sense. For a party that insists that it wants a smaller, limited, non-intrusive federal government they sure as hell appear to want to control every aspect of a woman’s life and the personal choices of others. The sheer hypocrisy of these people boggles the mind! Where the heck are the Libertarians when we really need them?

By abdicating their positions as true leaders in finding a positive way out of the morass the previous administration led us into the House of Representatives majority party has shown their true colors. They are willing to sacrifice everything in order to ensure that the current administration has only one term in the White House. This is the most short-sighted, counter-productive and arrogant view I’ve ever heard. A wise man said many years ago, “If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem.” The current composition of the U. S. House of Representatives is obviously part of the problem. 

The same applies to the Idaho Legislature. Recently, the Idaho Senate passed a bill—by a 23-12 margin—requiring any woman seeking an abortion for any reason (rape or incest being two reasons a woman might not want to carry a baby to term) be forced to have an ultrasound administered so that she must see the fetus and hear the fetal heartbeat. If it is early on in the pregnancy and the fetal heartbeat cannot be heard when the sensor is placed on the abdomen the woman could be forced to have a ‘trans-vaginal’ probe inserted to ensure the woman is aware of what is going on in her body. Personally, I’m convinced that she is already is all too aware of what is going on.

I cannot imagine anything more designed to bring shame and embarrassment to a woman. A woman who is in the process of making one of the hardest, most intimate personal decisions of her life now has to get approval from the state to do this? Really? You’ve got to be kidding me. I repeat, “Where are the Libertarians when we need them?” Fortunately it appears that there are some members of the Idaho House who are having some misgivings about this bill and hearings have been delayed. Some actually think that it doesn’t go far enough to reduce the number of abortions!

As of this writing no new hearings on that bill have been scheduled in the House. That doesn’t mean that the bill is dead. It could very well still be quietly resurrected and snuck through in the last few days of the session and slipped onto the Governor’s desk for his signature—it wouldn’t be the first time that this has been done. By the time we get back to Idaho we should know which voices were loudest: constituents or Right Wing ideologues. I’d almost put money on the ideologues. We’ll see soon.

As a cynical old man I’ve almost lost much of my faith in the political process. There is entirely too much money involved and new election campaigns start up right after the votes are done being counted. Our elected representatives have become entangled in constant campaigning instead of governing. Election year promises made are very seldom kept. Except, of course, those promises made to deep-pocketed donors. These donors and lobbyists have vastly more influence than calls from hundreds of constituents. When the Supreme Court decided in favor of ‘Citizens United’ in 2010 the voices of millions of voters was buried under an avalanche of corporate money—to use an old expression, “Money talks! 

When unlimited money is available to buy unlimited media advertising you have the perfect storm of access and the ability to make outrageous statements repeatedly. Hell, it worked for Hitler; tell an outright lie often enough and the people will believe it. I shudder to think what the upcoming Presidential campaign will look like with unfettered corporate money flowing into the coffers of every media outlet in the nation. I suspect it will make one wish for the normal stuff like ads for toothpaste, sinus sprays and ‘Depends.’

Come to think of it, ‘Depends’ might come in handy over the next several months—but only if we can place that product over the heads of those repeating the same untruths, half-truths and misquotes ad nauseum. 

So long until next month—maybe I’ll be able to find something worth writing about over the next four weeks. One can but hope.

Gil Beyer, ETC USN Ret. can be reached at [email protected]

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Author info

Gil  Beyer Gil Beyer A 21 year Navy veteran, lived in Bonner County for over 30 years, Past Commander of the Priest River DAV Chapter and admitted news junkie.

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Politics, Veterans News

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