How to have Happy Endings for ‘SOTU Dates’ in Congress

No, I’m not talking about disgraced Congressman Lee (R-NY) who resigned this week after a solicitous photo from Craigslist ‘exposed’ the 46 yr old married politician with his pants down.

Remember in the run-up to the president’s state of the union message the political buzz was that Democrats and Republicans were pairing up to sit together to show the American public their willingness to work together.  Of course, we were suspicious of this as a stunt by politicians who cannot resist the warmth of TV camera lights.

But will any of these dates produce a happy ending?

Gallup conducted a poll of voters asking what actions they most wanted Congress to take in 2011 testing the potential for compatibility of these dates. Given the politics of Capitol Hill the voters surveyed were clear about just how far they want their Congressional representatives to go on their next date.

The surprise in the voters answers suggest a ‘hook-up’ Democrats and Republicans in Congress on several key issues American public WANTS them to do.

Wipe that grin off your face and listen.  The constant bickering and sparing for political points turns off most Americans, but the eHarmony or ‘dates’ from the SOTU stunt might actually blossom into a romance Americans would support if the partners focus on their measures of compatibility.

Here are the questions and answers from that poll:

QUESTION: I’m going to read a list of actions Congress could take this year. Please say whether you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose Congress doing each of the following this year. How about –

Total % Favor Total % Oppose
Pass an energy bill that provides incentives for using solar and other alternative energy sources 83 15
Pass a bill to overhaul the federal tax code 76 14
Speed up the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan 72 25
Pass an energy bill that expands drilling and exploration for oil and gas 65 33
Approve a free-trade agreement with South Korea 53 35
Pass stronger gun control laws 49 50
Take steps to deny automatic citizenship to children born in the US whose parents are illegal immigrants 44 54
Pass a bill to give some illegal immigrants living in the US a path to legal status 43 55

Source: Gallup, based on polling on Jan 14-16, 2011.

See what I mean?

  • Happy Ending # 1:  Renewable Energy + Drill, Baby, Drill. More than 85% favor creating incentives for solar and other clean energy sources on the one hand, but 65% also want the barriers removed for more domestic oil and gas exploration because we worry about energy security and believe keeping more of our money at home rather than spending it on imported oil is better for the country.  But don’t let China buy up all that new oil and gas we’re finding before we can use it for ourselves.
  • Happy Ending # 2: Pimp My Tax Code Till it Feels Good. If the parties got together to streamline the Federal Tax Code not only would they save us tons of frustration but a ton of money now spent gaming the tax system could be redeployed to useful, value-creating work.  Americans think we are falling behind because lobbyists have larded up and abused the tax system to intrude in our lives and choices.  Get your hand out of my pants pocket—unless you are serious about happy endings for all is the message.
  • Happy Ending #3: We are the Superpower Economic Champs—Keep it that way! There is only so much treasure we are willing to spend on a corrupt Afghan government—buy more drones and bomb the bad guys, but bring the troops home.  Meanwhile, quit pissing off our friends and allies like South Korea and approve the dang free trade agreement.  Besides we’re going to need South Korea to build all those new nuclear power plants before China reverse engineers all our technology.
  • Happy Ending #4:  Stay Away from Immigration, Gun Control and other Hot Button Issues. No happy ending is yet possible on these issues so don’t waste your time on them until after you fix the important big stuff above.

Isn’t dating fun?


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