The current Wednesday Journal features Michael Romain’s reading of the Kerner Commission Report and Daniel S. Luck’ book on Ronald Reagan, exploring the former’s conclusion on blatant racial divides, circa 1968, and the latter’s seeming nefariously-designed, racially-polarizing politics of his presidency. One could easily extrapolate these to our current racial and political divides.

In the same edition of WJ, Tom Lynch excoriates the Republican Party for perceived sins past and present. Of course, the nightmare of Jan. 6 is invoked, along with “retrograde” policies on infrastructure, voting rights, climate change. He bemoans being silent about these matters, even right here in Oak Park (speak for yourself, sir. I have been quite vocal for many years now).

From Nixon to Reagan to Bush I and Bush II, and worst of all Trump, things have been falling apart. That “center” may not hold much longer. But I must add to that narrative. Let us not assume that the Democratic Party hasn’t been part of our past and present problems.

For instance, right now the Democrats have control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. But where’s that Medicare for All, or $15 minimum wage? What happened to the $2,000 stimulus checks (marked down to $1400)? Biden campaigned on those issues. Caveat emptor, eh? As usual.

But of course. Biden has been in Washington for 50 years. He is a political pragmatist. Go along, get along. He presided over the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in 1991. Remember that fiasco? The Democrats held a 57-43 senate majority. But in spite of Thomas being a jurist without portfolio as well as credible accusations of sexual misconduct, he gets confirmed to SCOTUS, where he votes extreme-Right. Meanwhile recent Democratic nominees are not even given a hearing. 

The donkeys do not fight. They accommodate, capitulate and compromise into losing outcomes. Bi-partisanship? Joe, you’re party has all the power. Use it! In the meantime, we can wait for Godot.

Our national government is a fish that stinks from the head own. The stench can be smelled from both sides of that of congressional aisle.

Joseph Harrington, Oak Park

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