Make America Governable Again | Column
It’s time for both parties to take a deep breath and show the American people that there are things on which both parties can agree.
President-elect Joe Biden leaves St. Ann Parish on Saturday in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President-elect Joe Biden leaves St. Ann Parish on Saturday in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) [ ALEX BRANDON | AP ]
Published Nov. 24, 2020

The voters have spoken. Joe Biden is our country’s president-elect, but it looks like those who don’t believe in science when it comes to COVID-19 also don’t believe in math when it comes to elections.

It is reflected in every challenge for a recount. It’s all wasted energy and pointless. Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania have all rejected legal challenges led by President Donald Trump. Rudy Giuliani, his legal sidekick, can incessantly yell and scream and throw what remains of his reputation on the embers of the ash heap of history.

Sen. Lindsey Graham should religiously ask WWJD — “What Would John (McCain) Do” — and apologize for his tarnished, if not illegal, attempts to have legally cast votes thrown out in Georgia and other states.

Dick Batchelor
Dick Batchelor [ Dick Batchelor ]

Yes, President-elect Biden clearly recognizes that our nation is badly divided, but he is demonstrating that he knows how to start at least a partial healing process.

He has very specific policy goals to bring our country back to sane public policies. But this extraordinary burden must be shared by the Republican leadership.

Current Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs to refrain from doing what he did to President Barack Obama, once President Joe Biden takes office.

Recall McConnell’s moment of crass political clarity when he bragged that his priority as the Senate Republican leader was to deny Obama a second term. Well, notwithstanding his intransigence, that didn’t work out so well for him. Obama went on to serve two terms, and now history records him to be one of the most popular former presidents in history.

It’s time for both parties to take a deep breath and show the American people that there are things on which both parties can agree. Demonstrate to America that their government can again function. It’s not an option. It’s a public mandate.

It’s said somewhat tongue-in-cheek in politics that “there are times to rise above principle.”

The clear challenge for the Republican leadership is to lead, not on behalf of the old, crass, belligerent, politics of gratuitous partisan opposition, but in principled service to the American people.

There are many challenges that mandate cooperation across the aisle:

● Aggressively fighting the unnecessary loss of life to COVID-19, by showing leadership in the effort to get more people to wear masks, while getting vaccines deployed expeditiously. And the Affordable Care Act must be protected and expanded to guarantee badly needed health care coverage of millions of our fellow citizens (many with pre-existing conditions).

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● Reversing the economic downturn and building an economy to serve hard-working people at pre-pandemic levels. Families need to be able to put food on their table, take care of their children and even save a few dollars for their education. Concurrently, small businesses need a re-start package to stimulate employment retention and an opportunity to rebuild.

● Rescinding environmental policies of the previous administration because of their severe impact on our health, particularly regarding children’s environmental health (lead and mercury poisoning, endocrine disruptors, etc.). The GOP should work with the new administration on environmental justice issues and President-elect Biden’s aggressive move towards clean energy policies and tackling climate change.

● Acknowledging systemic racism and rooting it out. This includes closer scrutiny of policies dealing with our criminal justice reform. This requires working closer with law enforcement as they redirect more dollars for community policing and crime prevention programs focused on juvenile diversion efforts. Read my lips, before the opposition starts shouting untruths. This is not defunding the police! It’s a matter of law enforcement, as we have in Orlando and Orange County, working to prevent and reduce crime in all neighborhoods.

Together, we can Make America Governable Again. It’s MAGA for all of us, not just for the party in power.

Dick Batchelor is a former Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, a business owner and media political analyst.