The party of "No!" has fielded candidates for next year's presidential election. As usual, they're making their opposition look better and better. It's almost as if they're making up policy positions on the fly. If they're not, they're putting on a pretty good face.
I love it when an interviewer asks one of them a hard question. A real brain-cruncher, like, "What will your foreign policy focus upon?" A painful silence precedes a statement destined to be chiseled on the base of some statue somewhere, "We're gonna undo everything the current president did."
Anyone who survived fourth grade sees the game being played. It's one employed by bullies throughout time. If you cannot compete fair and square, bend the rules in your favor, then chide your opposition for failing under those twisted criteria. It's a strategy about as subtle as a dog pile.
I still wonder what marvelous health-care reform legislation might have been crafted had the "No! Nothing! Party" contributed even a hesitant maybe to the conversation. How many jobs might have been preserved out of a single respectful conversation. No party knows everything, and saying "No!" to everything can't help but hurt everyone.
We have had this year the largest group of freshman in Congress in our lifetime. Many of them vastly under qualified to fulfill their responsibilities. It's as if the electorate, in its much-touted wisdom, decided that any qualification besides the ability to voice a distainful "No!" utterly disqualified a candidate.
I understand people are frustrated, angry at the inability of mere mortals to resolve fundamentally unresolvable difficulties. Some have grown cynical, so convinced that our government is the problem, that they act as if it was. Or could be.
For every unimaginably difficult situation, a flock of feather-duster geniuses emerge offering alluringly simple solutions to resolve essentially eternal difficulties. And that's what the "No! Nothing! Party" seems to have mustered again this time.
I cringe when a candidate tells me I don't understand when they introduce another made-up-in-the-moment, crack-pot, regressive taxation proposal. I understand, already.
When they can get to "Yes! Something!" I'll believe they might know what they're talking about. Until then, I'll be translating their "No! Nothing!" into just what it seems to be: Nuthin', nuthin' much at all.
David A. Schmaltz
Takoma Park, Md.