Comments about ‘Letters: Blame game’

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Published: Friday, Oct. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Far East USA, SC

Exactly right Craig.

We would rather find a way to blame the other side than to actually understand a problem, what really caused it, and how to fix it.

Yes. Our politicians/parties makes some major mistakes. And should be called on them. Just be consistent.

I find that our politicians/parties talk like they are night and day difference, but govern very similarly. It amazes me how politically divided we are.

Generally, our elected officials are good, patriotic people who want the best for America.
- including both Bush's, Clinton and Obama

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

"thinking seriously" is something all Utah voters should do every election. Based on what I see, people vote based on two criteria here, with no need to look further. "Thinking seriously" is a great suggestion!

Burke, VA

There are theories and then there are facts. It is nice the be fair minded and to give blame to everyone for the nightmare we just awoke from but the facts don't bear out that fair assessment.

Early in the year, the House passed a budget and the Senate passed a different budget. The way the process has worked over the past two centuries in our country is that representatives from the House and representatives from the Senate get together to negotiate there respective budgets. Both sides take tough positions and serious, sometimes emotional, negotiations take place. It's hard work. That's what legislators get paid to do.

But over the past year the House has rejected 18 different offers from the Senate to sit down and negotiate. In July of this year Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner met to discuss the coming deadlines and Speaker Boehner agreed that the House would pass a clean CR and not hold up the necessary debt ceiling increase but then he, and his partners in the House, changed their mind, broke their promise. He admitted that to George Stepanopolis, it's recorded on video. Those are facts.

Salt Lake City, UT

Craig, I share your sentiment, but worry that any replacement might be worse than the incumbent, if that's possible. It's hard to imagine, given the incumbents' performance in the latest debacle, but there seems to be no end to how far out on the wing some people can go to out-extreme the incumbent. Mike Lee being the prime example. Is anybody left in the middle? Oops, I shouldn't have used the word "left," at least not in this forum, right?

clearfield, UT

Joe Blow

You say Craig is right. Yet you do a pretty good job of blaming the Republicans yourself. Maybe try blaming both sides, which is the truth, and blame many Presidents and Congresses and then everyone can sit down to talk with a clean slate. Otherwise it will continue to be finger pointing politics. And as I think Craig alluded to, the ulitmate responsiblity is we the voters. I'd vote out every incumbant, but the trouble is that when asked, most people say they like the one Congressman or Senator they have. And that is why they got elected in the first place. Term limits was our salvation when it passed. However, unfortunately the Supreme Court let us down. I wish they would have overlooked the Constitution on that one, as they seem to do on other issues. The country would have been much better off.

Far East USA, SC

"Yet you do a pretty good job of blaming the Republicans yourself. Maybe try blaming both sides, which is the truth"

You must not read many of my posts. Read my first post on this thread. Did you feel I was blaming the GOP?

Oh yes, there is plenty of blame to go around. And, as an independent that votes both ways (heck, I voted for GW once) I have no problem blasting both parties.

Now, I will correct verifiable misinformation when I see it. But, I dont see that as blame.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Not only do we need to seriously consider it -- we need to DO it!

But as Curmudgeon points out, we need to be very careful what we find to replace them.

2 bit
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It seems like our political "leaders" only care about who gets the blame.

Every leadership training I've received emphasized that blame is the LAST thing a leader should be concerned with when trying to solve a problem. Whenever the conversation turns to placing blame... it's his job to get it back on track and away from the blame topic (because once the group starts focusing on blame... fixing the problem goes out the window and CYA becomes everybody's first priority).

You would think people their age, supposed "leaders" with integrity... would know that. We should focus on electing people who are real leaders, instead of the best looking, best talker, best blame placer, best campaigner, etc.

Any leader worth his salt knows placing blame is a useless investment of time and effort. But those in politics think it's "Priority #1".

I get why the media takes that angle. It's kinda their job to blame somebody and make a story out of it. But you would think our political leaders would have at least a modicum of leadership ability and resist the temptation to score political points first... and run the nation as almost their last priority.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Unfortunately Craig, they were not elected to represent all the people (at least in the House) but only the gerrymandered and most motivated primary voters.

Two amendments to the Constitution would make most of our dysfunction disappear:

1.Make congressional districts resemble recognizable geometric shapes.

2.A pure Balanced Budget Amendment – by “pure” I mean one free from any ideological and arbitrary limits on government spending. If the people want full-on socialism, fine… just don’t make my grandkids pay for your new hip.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The problem, as I see it, is a turf war. Instead of abiding by the authority delegated to each part of government, the Senate and the President have each carved out the authority that they want.

The President has no legislative authority. His job is to execute the laws passed by Congress. If he's has a snit, he can veto bills passed by Congress, but that is the limit of his "legislative" authority.

The Senate cannot originate any revenue bill. ObamaCare is a revenue bill, according to the Supreme Court which declared that it is a TAX and a tax is revenue to the government; therefore, the Senate has no authority to originate a tax bill. They can confer and they can add amendments, but they cannot subtract anything from a revenue bill from the House.

The House is given the responsibility to levy taxes because it is directly responsible to those who pay the taxes - the people.

When the President learns his duty and the Senate learns its duty, the House can then represent the will of the people who have clearly stated that they do not want Obama's and Reid's ObamaCare tax.

Orem, UT

ECR: Even if we all accept your version of the "facts" as truthful, they are nonetheless not ALL the facts. They are just a bunch of cherry-picked facts that you chose to support your position.

The GOP can likewise come up with an entirely different set of "facts" that will show (if just taken by themselves), that the President and the Senate Democrats are solely to blame for the recent shutdown.

That is the main problem. Each side wants to just look at a small subset of facts that support their current position and totally ignore any facts that don't. Everyone just ends up talking past each other, don't talk with each other, and the problems remain unsolved.

clearfield, UT

I refer you to your post on the Michael Gerson piece today. You went off on Fox News, and talk radio. If not for those outlets, the conservative message would never get out. We conservatives hear the liberal/Democrat line all the time. Both Fox and radio tell us what the Democrats are saying and doing. However, on the mainstream media outlets, the conservative message is rarely given anything other than contempt and blame. Which is the reason for this letter "the Blame Game." And the reason a lot of people believe that Ted Cruz and others are such bad intentioned people.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

Tyler, I hope you get your first wish. This would give the House to the Democrats and defuse the tea party for good.

On the second one, it would be a disaster, as has been explained so many times I'm surprised anyone still takes this idea seriously.

As for blame in the recent shenanigans in Washington, the blame on this one falls squarely where the majority placed it, with the tea party and the wimpy GOP leadership. Throwing a tantrum when you can't get your way through constitutional means (legislation in both houses, Supreme Court challenge, election results) and holding a gun to the nation's head (and the world economy's to boot) are tactics that deserve to be thoroughly criticized, which even Orrin Hatch is doing now, although during the mess he was sure standing up for the tea party. What courage.

clearfield, UT

Tyler D

Gerrymandering has been used by Democrats and judges to try to make districts represent a certain constituency (such as black people) for decades now. It has worked both ways for Republicans too. As for "motivated" voters, those are the people I think should have the most say so. Not voting is in itself a vote, and part of the process. You can't pick and choose your Congress and complain that it isn't representing the people just because it isn't the party or ideology you like. There would be none of this complaining about gerrymandering if the Democrats were in majority. At least not by Democrats. I do agree that it would be a good idea to make congressional districts more sane looking. However, then you would once again have liberals and judges complaining that minorities are being locked out, which is what started the whole thing in the first place.

Burke, VA

JoeCapitalist2 - You may think I just "cherry picked" facts but what I was trying to illustrate was that in the case of the shutdown the blame is entirely on the Republicans. And not allo of the Republicans. The Speaker and the rest of the House Republicans let their names be run through the mud because a handful of irresponsible, immature Tea Party legislators decided the make trouble. If the Republicans can similarly illustrate that the President and the Senate Democrats are solely to blame for the recent shutdown, then I would gladly listen to or read their points. I would be happy to debate them on those issues.

Certainly both parties are guilty of not communicating well but this recent issue lies squarely on the shoulders of the Republicans - the Tea Party members for taking up the action and the moderate and responsible Republicans for not standing their ground against the trouble makers. Speaker Boehner was more worried about getting a majority of Republicans to vote for something than he was for doing the right thing. In the end, a majority of House Republicans voted against the action that a majority of Senate Republicans voted for.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

ECR and JoeCapitalist2...

RE: "the shutdown the blame is entirely on the Republicans"...
"recent issue lies squarely on the shoulders of the Republicans"...

Still only worried about who gets the blame... you don't get it do you?

We are trying to move on PAST that. But you guys won't move off establishing who gets the blame. As if that fixes something.

You will probably never get it, so I give up.

The rest of the adults in the room are going to discuss actual solutions to our problems. You two can keep bickering about who gets the blame.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Kent C. DeForrest – “On the second one, it would be a disaster, as has been explained so many times I'm surprised anyone still takes this idea seriously.”

I have yet to hear a good reason why (but I’m open if your argument is sound).

As long as the amendment was done intelligently with allowances for things like war, national emergency, perhaps even some degree of “monetary policy” during tough economic times – these are all things that we should be having a national discussion.

What needs to stop is making transfer payments (Medicare, SS, etc…) on the credit card. We should pay for what we want.

No less than Jefferson thought this (and the slavery compromise) was the major defect in our Constitution.

@SCfan – “You can't pick and choose your Congress and complain”

I agree with your point (about how it started) but that doesn’t make it right. But my point is we are not picking our congressmen… they are picking us. That’s my complaint.

Fix redistricting and let the chips of democracy fall where they may… no one group deserves disproportionate representation.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The Blame Game is the most popular and effective weapon in politics and just about every other competition that organizations participate in. Religions blame evil on the Devil. Business blames failure on the employees, Doctors blame death on the will of God.

In every case, the blame game is the way of distracting your critics from the real cause of your failure.

Personal responsibility for activities and actions is only popular when applied to individuals, never to groups. Groups never seem to take responsibility upon themselves.

Hayden, ID

The blame game is the last resort of people trying to escape responsibility and accountability for their choices and we haven't seen anything yet but we will when things continue to decline in America.

Far East USA, SC

"You went off on Fox News, and talk radio. If not for those outlets, the conservative message would never get out."

didn't exactly go off on fox news.. I stated "Those on the right are convinced that - If its not Fox, its liberal and that Fox is fair and balanced."

By your comment, I think you proved my point perfectly. You actually seem to agree with me completely.

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