Lame duck session one for the history books

December 28, 2010

Seldom have I read a more biased and offensive article than Ross Mackenzie's op-ed, "To congressional Democrats: Merry Christmas and thanks for nothing" (Dec. 26). One could have expected such a distorted statement in the Wall Street Journal or the Weekly Standard but not from the usually balanced and mainstream Baltimore Sun. The article cries out for repudiation.

Most observers have concluded that the Congressional session just ended was one of the most active and progressive since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Astounding is that this success was achieved in the face of unprecedented obstruction by the Republicans who took an oath in Annapolis the day after the president's inauguration to never cooperate or compromise with the administration, an absolutely astounding and un-American position.

The stimulus, thank the Lord, prevented the Bush recession from becoming the Bush Depression and saved and created perhaps 4 million jobs.

The health care reform act begins to mend our fatally broken health care system, brings coverage to over 40 million Americans now without health insurance and shows the rest of the civilized world, which has been enjoying universal health care for generations, that the U.S. is a caring society after all. Permanently extending tax cuts to the wealthy would be an unbearable burden on the budget deficit that would have helped only Wall Street millionaires and corporate CEOs who least need or deserve financial assistance.

Opposition to the Dream Act denies young people the opportunity for a creative life in the U.S. and deprives us of their contribution. It is cruel and heartless. This opposition by Republicans will simply further turn Hispanics to supporting Democratic candidates.

Repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" eliminates a last vestige of American bigotry.

My only regret is failure of the Congress to deal comprehensively with energy policy, with global warming, which threatens to bring calamity to our country, especially low lying areas like Maryland, and comprehensive immigration reform. It is unlikely that these will be dealt with in the next two years with the House of Representatives controlled by a dysfunctional Republican Party. I guess we will have to wait until the Democrats recapture the house in 2012.

Jack Kinstlinger, Baltimore

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