In Congress, it’s party over public

To the editor:

November’s presidential election is getting closer, and what a choice we have been given: an inexperienced, charismatic man who is quite likely to continue to grow government and increase taxes, and an uncharismatic man who is 71 years old who is quite likely to grow government and grow the deficit. There is really nobody for me to vote for out of those choices, but I have to vote anyway.

I am quite frustrated that our legislative branch of government has been so altered by both political parties that it is now possible for two people (Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in this case, but Republicans have also done this when they controlled Congress) to prevent a debate, discussion and vote on an important issue.

Polls say that Americans want a debate and vote on more oil drilling in the United States, and yet two of our elected representatives can and will keep that vote from happening. Whether you favor oil drilling or you don’t, the fact that two people can keep the issue from being debated and voted upon in Congress should bother you.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is trying to save the planet by preventing oil drilling in the United States. My question is, what planet does she live on? Does she really believe that we won’t buy oil if she prevents drilling? We will continue to use oil in any case — the difference is that either the oil will be produced here in America or imported from somewhere else.

I am sure that Rep. Pelosi knows this, as does Sen. Reid, but as is all too often the case, party comes before anything else. If this issue would come up for a vote, it would put many Democratic senators and representatives in a tough situation, and it would also place Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in a tough spot, so it isn’t allowed to come up.

If the positions were reversed, the Republicans would do exactly the same thing, as they have in the past. The news media never report this, and you really don’t even see it acknowledged in commentary in a straightforward way. The media should be reporting — as loudly as possible — how these two major political parties continue to subvert the will of the people and corrupt the way this government was intended to operate.

The energy problem isn’t that tough an issue. We need to move toward alternative energy sources, build the infrastructure to deliver that alternative energy and use oil as a bridge to that future. If carbon emissions are contributing to global warming, as seems likely, we need to start reducing emissions now, but recognize that we did not arrive at this place in a few years and we cannot back away from the place we are in immediately without destroying the economies of the world.

Please deliver me from our political parties.

Michael K. Casler


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