Archive for November, 2009

What’s wrong with these people?

November 4, 2009











Less than a month after President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize by noting that it was “an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations,” Republicans have once again reminded the rest of the world why the United States is anything but a leader.

If it wasn’t so sad, it would almost be funny.

All but one Republicans boycotted the Senate hearings on a landmark climate change bill yesterday. The legislation would, finally, place the United States in sync with the European Union and other countries that long ago began addressing global warming.

Only one.

And Ohio Senator George Voinovich only showed up briefly to urge the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to hold off on its hearings until the Environmental Protection Agency has finished its assessment of the legislation, CNN reported. This was, of course, just a stalling tactic since the committee was already planning to consult with the EPA before sending the bill to the full Senate.

I ran into a former neighbor at the bus stop the other day. He happens to working on climate change issues for the EPA, and believes that the Senate legislation will go nowhere, unfortunately. Why?

“Because this bill would require Americans to make some real changes to their way of life. And they’re just not ready to do so yet,” he said.

“But not doing anything about global warming will change our lifestyles, too,” I tried.

“Yes,” my former neighbor said, “but it will not affect us, it will affect our children — or their children.”

At Obama’s inauguration that frigid morning in January, anything seemed possible. The United States had finally gotten its act together and the Republicans — well, they seemed to have gone away. Or so we hoped.

Now they are back in full force, it seems, to stop progress wherever it surfaces. Because uniting for a worthy cause is just not something we do in the United States. That’s how pathetic we are.