Sunday, August 31, 2008

Take A Chance, Take A Chance...

Which candidates can be big enough (and smart enough) to see an unusual opportunity in the next couple of weeks?

Candidates are busy distinguishing themselves from their opponents. That's code for trying to sling the zingers that will make the other party look bad. It's also one of the root causes for all the polarization that we have in Washington, and the polarization leads to the gridlock, and the gridlock keeps America from accomplishing some very simple good things.

The ALS Registry Act became a victim of a far-right verbal war against pork barrel spending. A single Senator used it as a step-stool to his bully pulpit that distinguished him not only from the other party, but also from many in his own party. Our legislative process has a procedural rule that he used (or abused depending on your viewpoint) to control the agenda.

There are three influential Senators running to lead our nation for the next four years. Two of them (McCain and Biden), one R and one D, are co-sponsors of the ALS Registry Act. Seventy-five more of their peers also co-sponsored it.

This is an exquisite opportunity for two influential Senators to show us what all that talk about reaching across the aisle really means.... now. Senator McCain and Senator Biden, now is the time to step forward and get something done between your bus tours. The Advancing America's Priorities Act now holds our hope of finally having an ALS registry for Americans who are killed by this mystery disease. Now is the time. Before the election, show us what you can do in a bipartisan way. The current gridlock wastes something much more precious than pork. It wastes lives. Yes, this is a sanctity-of-life issue.

Senators, talk is cheap. Show us what great Senators can do. Show us what all the bipartisan rhetoric can mean in real life. Energize the electorate.

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