Archive | December, 2013

2013 Year in Review

31 Dec

2013 has been a year of ups and downs.  We had the occasional gridlock but we also had some progress.  There were tragedies and triumphs.  When I look back on the year, I saw more of the same in politics, but progress was made on gay rights in the United States.  I got the year off to a great start by witnessing a president and vice-president getting sworn in.  I also saw many senators in the U.S. Senate office buildings.  As a president started his 2nd term, I anticipated some hope but also the gridlock that was sure to follow.

This year brought us more polarization than ever before in our political system.  We had a shut-down and nearly a default.  A freshman senator accused a former senator of getting money from North Korea during a confirmation hearing.  Much of the political gridlock has focused on Senator Ted Cruz, but I think it goes beyond that.  We saw the increasing split in the Republican Party between Conservative but rational, and crazy vindictive Tea Partiers.  This is nothing new, but the heat has been turned up this year.

And yet out of darkness, there has been a sign of hope.  A bipartisan 2-year budget deal passed both houses of congress and was signed into law.  While I don’t think Congress should be praised for doing what they should have done all along, it is a sign of some loosening of the  gridlock in some areas of our government.  I thought that a long-term budget agreement would remain out of reach for the next several years.  Congress still has a lot to do to restore their faith with the American people but it’s a small step.

I still think there is hope for the future.  This year we managed to get a short-term deal with Iran to de-construct their nuclear program.  It is a small step, but it is eons from where have been with Iran in the last 34 years.  That gives me some hope that we can forge a more long-term deal.  We also have had more progress on the home front.  More states legalized gay marriage and the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.  The country got together after a tragedy in Boston.  We can still unite this country.  It shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring us together.  What will next year bring in our government?  I honestly don’t know.  The only constant in politics is change.  Politics moves much quicker than everything else in our life and I will continue to write about it.

Happy New Year!

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