Playing the blame game

Published 10:44 am Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Democrats did it.

Nope, it was the Republicans.

This past weekend’s drama on Capitol Hill in regards to funding our federal government’s day-to-day operations played out like two young’uns wanting to sit in the same playground swing at the same time.

That means both sides of the political aisle are equally guilty…..and immature to boot.

The Democrats are using the funding debate to protect illegal immigrants, especially the Dreamers. Their agenda calls for protecting the “wants” of a few against the needs of the many.

Meanwhile, the Republicans want to increase security, to include building a wall, along our nation’s southern border with Mexico in an effort to stop the flow of illegals entering our country.

Neither side refuses to yield, just like the young’uns in the playground.

To see just how divided we are as a nation, what follows is a sampling of the politically-charged email I received this past weekend:

From U.S. Congressman G.K. Butterfield (Democrat – North Carolina 1st District) – “Once again, Republicans have shown they are unable to govern. Republicans control the United States House of Representatives. They control the United States Senate. They control the White House. Notwithstanding, we are now some 140 days into the fiscal year, still have no appropriations bill, and now hundreds of thousands of federal employees will wake up to discover that they cannot work or get paid. Republicans continue to push a far-right agenda that favors the few at the expense of the many. No one wins when our politics devolve to the point of a government shutdown. I urge my colleagues across the aisle to stop with the hardline politics and work together to solve our nation’s problems through a responsible and reasonable democratic process.”

From U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (Republican, North Carolina) – ‘I voted with nearly every single Senate Republican to keep our government open and fund our servicemembers, veterans, seniors, and children who depend on CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). Unfortunately, nearly every single Senate Democrat, led by Senators Schumer and Durbin, have been determined to shut down the government, and they got what they wanted. Their cynical, partisan political ploy will have real-world consequences for hardworking families in North Carolina and across our nation. The only way this shutdown will end is if my Democratic colleagues will come to their senses and stop trying to score political points at the expense of the American people. I hope they will soon.”

My opinion….it’s time for all this bickering to stop. Politics, especially at the federal level, is growing worse by the day. It’s like trying to hold your nose while passing by a garbage dump. The sad fact is the dump is growing larger and at some point we’ve all got to breathe.

Another sad fact is that despite an ever-decreasing approval rating, we keep electing these same bozos. Did you know that the U.S. Congress (House and Senate) has a sub-20 percent approval rating since 2011, but yet 95 percent of those Congressional members are re-elected?

At one point in 2015, 79 members of Congress had been in office since Bill Clinton’s first term as U.S. President. That includes Republican senators Orrin Hatch and Thad Cochran, each with 40 years of “service” and Democrat Patrick J. Leahy with 43 years.

In the U.S. House, Republican Don Young was first elected the same year I graduated from Chowan College (1973).

And if a group of former aides had not have come forward to accuse Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan of sexual harassment, he would still hold the title of the “oldest rat in the Democratic barn.” Conyers first took office in 1965. He resigned last month.

Career politicians have no clue how average Americans live….we manage to squeak by paycheck-to-paycheck while our leaders rob our Social Security to pay for their pet projects.

We, as American citizens (not just the Democrats; not just the Republicans; not just the Independents) need and deserve real leadership. And the only way to reach that goal is to vote, and hopefully approve, a Constitutional amendment that sets Congressional term limits. I would like to see Senators limited to two, six-year terms, and House Representatives limited to five, two-year terms.

And, whatever measures they pass that we are required to live by, the same applies to them.

Maybe that will untangle this web of corrupt politics and we can all sit in the same playground swing.


Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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