by Mary Alys Cherry
When the last votes were counted in November, most everyone was hopeful Washington might be entering a new era — that the two political parties would make an effort to get along and get on with the nation’s business.
We sent several new congressmen and a new senator to the nation’s capital to represent Texas and hopefully accomplish more than had been the case in the past few years.
Sadly, it does not appear true.
Instead of representing us, they appear to be representing their political backers. Instead of showing good manners and presenting a pleasant demeanor to their new colleagues, while making friends with others of both political persuasions, they have taken a negative stance, putting Texas in a bad light.
Local Congressman Steve Stockman, R-TX, is an example, challenging the sure re-election of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, by voting “present” and then adding, “We cannot tolerate betrayal of conservative principles and economic reality,” explaining that he disagreed with the way Boehner handled President Obama and House conservatives.
He had hardly moved into his office when he made headlines by calling for the impeachment of President Obama. Now we wonder how Stockman, who no doubt has alienated the House speaker, along with most of the Democrats, will be able to accomplish much for his district.
Congressman Randy Weber also has not been making friends with those covered by flood insurance. He started out his career in Washington in January by joining 66 other Republicans that voted against a Hurricane Sandy aid bill that provided $9 billion to keep the National Flood Insurance Program from going bankrupt so hurricane victims who paid for the insurance coverage could get their money. And, he wasn’t the only area congressman to vote against the bills. Pete Olson did, also.
Representatives from states in the path of hurricanes, which includes both the Gulf Coast and the East Coast, likely didn’t appreciate that. One has to wonder how the East Coast senators and congressmen might react if a Category 5 hurricane devastated the Gulf Coast and we needed help. That’s called thinking ahead. Duh.
And, then there’s Sen. Ted Cruz who has been tossing verbal bombs all over Washington and as of this writing has voted “no” on every single issue before the U.S. Senate – the only one to do so. In fact, he and Sen. John Cornyn and one other senator were the only ones to vote against Sen. John Kerry for secretary of state. It was a foregone conclusion that he would be confirmed, so why even bother to come out against him? Does that help Texas?
Perhaps we are naïve, but didn’t our grandmothers teach us “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar?”
Another case in point is the distribution of the retired shuttles. Certainly both the Johnson and the Kennedy space center communities should have been given one of the retired shuttles. But after a constant barrage of negative attacks on the president by Texas congressmen, surprise, no shuttle for Texas. Did you expect otherwise?
We also wonder if NASA’s Constellation Program would have been canceled in a more pleasant political atmosphere. While a few make political points for their party with their caustic tone, thousands of the America’s best and brightest lost their jobs as the shuttle program ended and there was no Constellation Program for them to transition to.
Rest assured that probably would not have happened if folks like Lyndon Johnson and Sam Rayburn had been in power. They knew how to get things done without insults.
We think it’s time our political representatives – both Democrats and Republicans — buttoned their lips and “played nice.” Our future may depend on it.