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Thursday, April 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 43.0° F  Overcast
The Daily

CITIZEN DAVE

Citizen Dave: Fortitude and discretion in the wrong mix


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Sometimes politics is about the right mix of fortitude and discretion. Right now, each party is giving us a lesson in how to get it wrong.

On the issue of Obamacare, the House Republicans don't know when to quit. They have passed bills repealing the health care law something like 40 times, and now they threaten to run the government and maybe the economy into a ditch unless the Senate agrees to defund it. Even Senate Republicans like John McCain are telling them to knock it off. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, than the House GOP is certifiably crazy.

But at least you have to give them credit for trying.

The same can't be said for Democrats on gun control. With yet another horrible mass gun murder, this time right under their noses in Washington last week, there's no plan to revive gun control legislation. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he won't bring up the issue again unless he knows the votes are there to pass something in both chambers. But it seems to me that there's something to be said for trying more than once -- though not as many as forty times -- before giving up.

In both cases -- allowing Obamacare to go into full effect and enacting some forms of gun control -- the public wants to move forward. Almost 60% of Americans either support Obamacare or want something stronger. And when the universal gun background checks bill went down last spring, 91% of Americans supported it and the evidence is that they still do today.

Still, we're not getting the action the polls say that we want. On Obamacare, the House Republicans are dogged about repealing it before it helps too many people, and on the issue of guns, the Democrats are scared to try again to pass even the mildest restrictions as these weapons wreak havoc on a daily basis.

So one party shows us unrelenting determination to do the destructive and the impossible thing, while the other is afraid to even try to do the right thing more than once. I wish we could have a government with some of the Republicans' determination, but with a focus on doing the things that the country actually wants to get done.

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