Where are the hostage negotiators when you need them?

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As the impasse in Congress over funding the government goes into the second week and our country stares down another deadline for raising its debt ceiling, you and I are the ones who are being thrown under the truck. Time and again, we are run over by our elected “leaders.” I don’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, you have tire tracks across your back.

I don’t know how you feel, but I find it totally unacceptable and think that all of our so-called leaders should be thrown out of office. Were they in school, their report cards would show F’s across the board.

“Brand” is often the most valuable asset of a company. The brand stands for that company’s values and the qualities that its products represent. Nike, Apple, Patagonia and Rolex are examples of commercial brands that stand for something bigger than their actual products. Our brand – that is, the brand of our country – has for more than 200 years been the envy of much of the world. The United States has represented values that have inspired and promoted opportunity, economic and personal freedom, and critically a form of government that works. Right now, Congress and our president are doing irreparable harm to our brand worldwide. I don’t see how they have the nerve to even be seen in public.

If you are a Republican, the current mess in which we find ourselves is all Obama’s fault. The country is held hostage over his petulant refusal to consider negotiating a compromise with Republicans. If you are a Democrat, the U.S. government is on the verge of defaulting because of a Republican Party that doesn’t have the spine to stand up to its own nutcases. Both sides are behaving like kindergartners. “It’s his (or her) fault. No, it’s his fault.”

At the end of the day, both sides are at fault because they are failing to do what they were elected to do and that is to govern wisely and expediently. Compromise is required to govern, especially when that government is divided. With a Democrat in the White House, a Democrat-controlled Senate and a Republican House, that compromise is missing. In sports or in the real world, the coach or employee that doesn’t get the job done gets the boot. It ain’t rocket science. When do these “leaders” get their boot?

I suspect that by the time this column is published in the paper, there will have been some sort of diluted, short-term arrangement reached that allows the politicians on both sides to continue abusing you and me until it’s time again to play this banana republic two bit self-defeating exercise yet another time. Maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is how our government got to this point and what needs to be done to fix it.

While I don’t claim to know the answer, I suspect that unless something changes we can expect this type of outcome to continue to occur. I am concerned that the majority of Congress is concerned with being re-elected first and doing what is right only if it is politically expedient. Surely it is time to consider term limits for Congress? What do you think?

Our online poll on NorthFulton.com is simple: “Do you support term limits for members of Congress – for example two Senate terms of six years each and six House terms of two years each? Yes or No.” Please go to the site and vote. We are also providing a list of email addresses for Georgia’s congressional delegation and the White House should you choose to drop them a note communicating your opinion about their effectiveness. Finally, if you have any sincere thoughts on what needs to happen for our government to return to functioning effectively, please send us an email at news@northfulton.com or you can post your ideas in the comment section below this column.