We the People: The new politics as usual

Success in American politics has boiled down to managing scandals. Sun-tzu penned The Art of War in the fourth century BC and House Speaker John Boehner should claim credit for The Art of Scandal in the 21st century. He leads his Republican majority into battle over every partisan issue but fails to achieve a consensus over the issues crucial to the destiny of America.

In response to Republican demands, the White House released 99 pages of emails between the State Department and intelligence officials concerning the tragedy at Benghazi.

The GOP is determined that this issue becomes one of crucial importance because they hope it will be a dark cloud over the Obama administration for the next three years until an unnamed Republican candidate needs a “relevant” issue to use in his or her campaign for the White House.

The attack in Libya cost four Americans their lives and it is an outrage that a U.S. ambassador was killed but is more outrageous that the GOP is attempting to wring a partisan political advantage out of the deaths of these brave Americans.

Sun-tzu stated that all warfare is based on deception and the right wing media is the propaganda arm of the GOP political army. The goal of this war is to get the vote of the people and to get the power to plunder the purse of the republic. Left wing extremists are little better, which leaves the majority of Americans as potential collateral damage on the battlefield of political ideology.

We need to reign in the ideologues and scandal-mongers who are ready to battle to the death over any issue as long as it does not resolve health care reform, immigration reform, gun regulation or fiscal integrity. Conservative strategists hope the Benghazi tragedy will become a scandal even if it distracts the nation from problems that threaten its very existence.

In New York City, the mayoral race is getting stranger. Republican Joe Lhota decided to alienate all uniformed groups by calling Port Authority police officers “mall cops.”

On the Democratic side, John Liu is repeating his sweatshop background story to distract the public from his campaign treasurer’s conviction for attempting to defraud the city campaign finance program with straw donors and phony applications for matching funds.

Christine Quinn just announced that she was once a bulemic alcoholic but that won’t help her to restore her iron grip on the City Council. Anthony Weiner is ready to jump back into the race despite the fact that more information from his sexting scandal will undoubtedly be revealed.

William Thompson, the former comptroller, raising $600,000 in the past two months, raised his profile in the campaign while he avoided scandal.

We need a strong mayor who will address the economy, find a way to control exploding municipal employee pension costs, improve the Department of Education and bring accountability to our transportation system.

In Albany, the sordid details of former Kings County Democratic Party Chairperson Lopez’s treatment of female staff members has not led to criminal charges but it reflects poorly on the ethical environment in Albany.

In Bay Ridge, the community is poised to review the DOT plan for Fourth Avenue which includes a “speed diet” for the thoroughfare. The DOT proposes to reduce four lanes of moving traffic to two lanes over a significant portion of the road as its “vision” for Fourth Avenue.

This is an opportunity to make sure needed safety measures are implemented to address pedestrian, bicyclist and driver safety, and to reduce deadly accidents on and near Fourth Avenue.

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