The president faces a partisan divide more like a scorched earth than a place where thoughtful people seek compromise, reform and progress. The halls of Congress and the walls of the Oval Office are bloodied by the partisan warfare of the past four years, in which defeating the enemy became more important than protecting the interests of all Americans.
We are wearied and worried. Our leaders in Washington are more alike than they are different, but they battle over their differences at the expense of everything else.
And, in many cases, the arguments are deep and difficult, sometimes almost unanswerable where disagreement is natural and not resolvable.
It's OK to disagree. Leadership requires compromise and respect for worthy adversaries.
In recent years, the Washington War threatened to destroy the U.S. economy when Congress and the administration could not fulfill their obligation to respect and compromise. They damaged the nation and the world's struggling economy.
The contest of it became the focus; the working and middle-class the casualties.
Before the end of the year and into 2013, Obama and the lame-duck Congress must again grapple and resolve the "fiscal cliff" the nation faces. About $100 billion in automatic cuts to the military and federal agencies will result from legislation Congress adopted in 2011 aimed at reducing record budget deficits.
In addition, about $400 billion in tax hikes will happen in everyone's paycheck without an agreement on Capitol Hill, as the temporary payroll tax cut and other tax breaks adopted during the Bush administration expire.
The direness of circumstance, perhaps like never before, demands leaders to step away from past failures and destructive partisanship toward compromise and a path forward — with immediacy, and through the next four years.
Begin now. Later will be too late.
— From The Sandusky Register