Since the end of the Fall semester, I have very literally been living on an island, and had only to formulate an opinion on mai tai v. local brew or foreign girl v. local girl ÂÂâ€“â€“ decent dilemmas to have, and youâ€™d be surprised how often you can have both.
However in politics, you canâ€™t have both. Now that Iâ€™m back in Fort Collins, and since school is starting again, Iâ€™ve decided to finally pull out a newspaper and evaluate the countryâ€™s transgressions, and to make an intuitive opinion from there.
I already knew that the balance of power has shifted to the red team, (because someone didnâ€™t vote, â€œeh hemâ€), but I found the â€œlame duckâ€ congress proved to be anything but.
Apparently, while we were taking finals and celebrating the winter solstice, the federal government was whipping legislation out of D.C. like the editorial page of the Collegian deserted in the plaza.
I read about the Bush tax cuts. I remember when Barack Obama came and spoke to us in the Oval during the campaign, announcing he would let these tax breaks for millionaires expire, to relieve pressure on the inflating debt.
I had no doubts that while I was sleeping on the beach, Republicans and Democrats were knocking each other senseless over the expiration date of the tax cuts.
But Wait! Eh Gad! I was shocked to see the turnout of the bill. The battle over â€œrich people accepting a modest tax increase to save the countryâ€ turned into Obamaâ€™s â€œoh screw it never mind, you can have what you want, Iâ€™m going to go smoke a cigaretteâ€ tax bill.
Even though I was astonished by the â€œcompromise,â€ I was not surprised that a personal hero of mine, 69-year-old patron of the people, Bernie Sanders would stand on the senate floor, repudiating the bill as beneficial for just over nine hours. He thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) explained the socioeconomic impact of the bill and the disparaging allocation and discrepancies of wealth in this country.
Next on the lame duck docket was Donâ€™t Ask Donâ€™t Tell, aka the â€œfinallyâ€ bill, which was repealed. I thought this had no chance, and was pleasantly taken aback to see its passage. Someday my kin, our generation will gaze back on the time when we had this policy and look down at our feet, shake our heads and say, â€œwow, our shyster parents had wild convictions.â€ But kudos to Obama and Pelosi for sticking this one out for days, when all indications told us it was dead.
Also while I was gone, the 9/11 first responderâ€™s bill sputtered through Congress. This was the â€œno-brainerâ€ bill, and was a good chance for a piece of legislation to roll through Washington with bipartisan support. It was something that Blues and Reds can be proud of and shake hands at the end of the day.
Eh Gad! The Reds wouldnâ€™t sign off?
Well then, let us Cue â€œDaily Showâ€™sâ€ Jon Stewart, another patron of the people, to save the bill. He brought to light the human side of politics with interviews of first responders and the members of the brave NYPD and NYFD.
The Reds would eventually fold and the bill would pass granting health care to responders when their employment benefits could not. A proud day.
Now, I had a busy semester, but I remember something about a salubrious bill being passed that will allow 30 million Americans health coverage who couldnâ€™t get it previously, and allow children with pre-existing conditions to access coverage, and lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors across the country. Another proud day.
But wait, eh gad! The new house republicans are going to vote on a bill to repeal those things? And the vote is this week? And theyâ€™re still going to do it, even with a Democratic majority in the Senate, and a Democratic President with veto power who is proud of the prosperous health care bill?
Wow. After gathering all this information and an up-to-date view of the real world, I can now formulate an opinion.
My opinion is that Iâ€™m going to move back to the islands forever.
Editorial Editor Chadwick Bowman is a senior Sociology and Journalism major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.