From Powell's perspective, the problem with this administration lies not in the fact that the message or policy is wrong, but that the American people are to dense to understand it:
Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell said Sunday he had no regrets about endorsing Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, but that the president "put too much on the plate for the American people to absorb at this time."We can only focus on one thing at a time, you see.
When asked if Washington is "broken," Powell said it's not broken but it isn't functioning very well:
"In some ways the government is functioning. It's doing what it's supposed to do, but not well enough. The American people, I think, see the extreme positions being taken, too left on the Democratic side, too far right on the Republican side, the Tea Party movement is also now become a force in American politics. Of course, you've got the overhang of cable television and the Internet, all of which heightens tension and makes it harder and harder for our political leaders in the Senate or in the Congress to quietly make the compromises that are necessary."It seems as if Powell thinks television and the Internet are hindrances to good government, but thank goodness for them both because where would we be now without them? I don't think the American people really want Congress to "quietly make the compromises that are necessary." To many Americans that simply means "backroom deals" like Mary Landrieu's Louisiana Purchase.
Granted, some compromises have to be made, but by both sides. And sometimes there is no compromise to be found. One should not be expected to compromise their principles or values. We are taught to stand up for what's "right."
Powell did say one thing that I agree with:
"[Americans are] looking for leaders in both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party in the House and Senate to start finding ways to compromise and get the country moving and not just scream at each other."I do think people are tired of the bickering, but that's just politics. That's how it's always been and always will be when you have differing opinions. People feel strongly about the health care issue, for example, and it's safe to say that there may not be a lot of compromise to be made on that issue. Certainly there is some, but many people don't feel the need to compromise their feelings on, say, abortion for example. It's not helpful to "scream at each other" either.
But when Democrats, Harry Reid, wave the heavy stick and say either pass health care the way we want it or we'll just push it through with reconciliation, how can one expect there not be a howl of indignation from the other side? Is THAT compromise?
Powell invoked the Founding Fathers in his appearance today and pointed out that even they had to compromise when writing the Constitution. But they didn't have Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to deal with.
And I guess as Powell sees it, they didn't have the Internet and cable TV either. But somehow I just can't believe we'd be better off right now without it!