Our view: 'Just Say No' a bankrupt strategy for governing

November 27, 2012 9:47:37 AM

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During his successful campaign to retain his seat in Congress, Alan Nunnelee (R, Tupelo) put much emphasis on the 32 "no'' votes he cast against Obamacare during his first term in office. 

 

That he would stress those 32 "no" votes is a glimpse into Nunnelee's attitude about his role in Congress. There was a time when ideology carried supreme weight. There was a time when drawing a line in the sand was something that many people applauded.  

 

But as "the fiscal cliff" approaches, it should be clear to Nunnelee and the rest of our representatives in Washington that a "Just Say No" attitude will no longer be embraced by the people. 

 

This is not a matter of conservative, liberal or even moderate ideology. It is a matter of negotiation and compromise to serve the people's interest.  

 

For too long now, we have watched our elected officials focus primarily on maintaining their good status among their party and stubbornly resisting any idea that does not conform to their party's rigid dogma. 

 

But the stakes before us are simply too high to cling to an inflexible, winner-take-all philosophy of government that has served no one's interests. 

 

It should be noted that our government works best when its works together. Since the founding of our country, there have been great philosophical disputes. Our Founding Fathers fought bitterly and forcefully as they fashioned our founding documents. As spirited as those fights were, what was not abandoned was the understanding that there remained a real need to compromise. All of our founding documents are a testament to mature, reasoned and good-faith negotiation. 

 

Most people seem to understand that the financial crisis our country faces cannot be solved without cutting spending and increasing revenue. Only the extremists demand just one or the other. But it's time to consider the overheated rhetoric of both extreme views as nothing more than unprofitable noise. They may continue in their childish partisan games, if they choose. But they do this at their own peril. 

 

We call on our representatives in Washington to work honestly and in good faith to reach a compromise that best helps us recover. A wise man once said that it is amazing what can be accomplished when no one is concerned about who gets the credit. 

 

We strongly encourage our representatives to put aside ego and status and work quietly to get the job done. 

 

We expect our leaders to have something more than a hat full of "no" votes to show off when they come home. 

 

In fact, we demand more than that because we deserve more than that.