Opinion: Stupid politics are stupid

Jody Michael

Jody Michael

Jody Michael is a junior broadcast journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

Our political system sucks for many reasons.

The Senate has been shattering filibuster records. Congressmen often listen to special interests with the most money instead of the middle class and lower class — those most in need. Cable news stations give us the news we want rather than the news we need. Much too often we discover politicians are guilty of bribery, homophobes in gay sex scandals and other stupid crap.

This is all obvious, yet politics is still rife with people unashamed to be hypocrites.

Start here in Ohio. With the census complete states are reshaping their districts to benefit the party in power, which in our state is the Republican. This happens every decade, but the Democrats are throwing a fit like it’s something unprecedented.

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) told the Record-Courier the latest redistricting was “yet another success of the majority party in railroading bills that disenfranchise Ohio citizens.”

Clyde should reread the definition of “disenfranchise;” this doesn’t deprive anyone of their right to vote.

Listen, I hate redistricting (also known as “gerrymandering”) as much as anyone. It obviously favors one party, and the shapes of many districts are completely ridiculous and senseless. But this has been a longtime wart in the Constitution. Both parties are guilty of gerrymandering, and the Democrats definitely would have done the same thing if they were in power.

Sadly, the Ohio Republicans are also idiotic. Remember how the Kasich administration passed Senate Bill 5 because it felt the state paid public employees too much? Well, Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R-New Richmond) just gave 19 staffers pay raises.

Let’s move to the U.S. Congress. Remember the debt ceiling debate? Republicans decided raising the debt ceiling was totally unacceptable, even though they raised it eight times in the previous decade. But they eventually raised it; 174 Republican representatives voted yes once the Democrats made some concessions.

But on Wednesday night the House held a vote to disapprove of President Obama approving the debt limit increase, and 228 Republicans voted for that disapproval.

In other words a majority of House Republicans are angry at Obama for increasing the debt limit, even though a majority of House Republicans voted to increase it.

That was the sole purpose of the vote: for Republicans to say “shame on Obama for passing that bill, even though I voted for it.” I’m glad Congress is working hard to fix America’s most pressing issues.

In case you couldn’t tell, that last sentence was sarcasm. Instead of working, Congress enjoyed a five-week summer recess last month. They aren’t working hard; they’re hardly working. Obama also took a 10-day vacation; he’s now taken 61 vacation days in his first 31 months, which at least is way fewer than the 180 vacation days President Bush already had under his belt in that time.

What’s unfortunate is that this absurdity could discourage many Americans from being voters, though we might need their voices now more than ever.