The Water’s Edge? (Sept. 12, 2013)

The nation’s – and the world’s – attention is focused on the President, Congress and Syria. What the United States decides to do – or not do – could have a significant impact on the proliferation of chemical weapons, the security of Israel, the American role in the Middle East, and our relationship with Iran, Russia and many other countries.

The stakes are high and the consequences potentially great for years to come. This is the time when we want the statement that “partisanship stops at the water’s edge” to be truly evident when it comes to our nation’s actions on foreign policy and national security.

Bipartisan coalitions are lining up in support of the President, including Republican leaders Boehner and Cantor with the Democrat leadership of Pelosi and Reid. Similarly, there are many Democrats and Republicans aligning together in opposition to the President. On the surface, this would seem to indicate that politics has been put aside and that policy is trumping politics. But a closer look reveals that’s not the case.

In fact, experienced analysts are pointing to partisan primaries and electoral politics as being a major calculation for the positions taken by our representatives in Congress.

Former Congresswoman Jane Harman stated on this past Sunday’s television program Meet the Press that “…I think what’s going on here, in my view, is all these folks in both parties, especially in the House, are worried about being primaried. The base in each party is against this. I’m sympathetic to that, the economy hasn’t rebounded in most parts of the country. They’re against it. So these folks think that their re-election, in my view, matters more than perhaps taking a principled stand.

I believe strongly regarding such important issues that our nation’s best interests, not career politics, should be the determinant in what Congress does. That’s why my party registration is “No Party Preference,” independent from the politics of either major political party. It’s time our elected officials unquestionably act in our nation’s best interests, putting country ahead of partisan politics and their re-elections. I hope you agree.