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Remember Nero and how Rome burned”

Today’s column marks 950 times I have put pen to paper since I started writing for examiner.com in May of last year. During that time I have covered topics from President Obama and his Democratic majority in both Houses to my first column about Somali pirates.

Some of my columns have been longer than I anticipated due to the topic and some not nearly long enough. Unfortunately, most readers are not interested in the grizzly details.

So today’s topic will be short and sweet. It comes from two small articles I read in the past two days. Both items are far more relevant than their brevity suggests and the wonderment that accompanies their obscure location is in the underlying subject of the reporting.

Examine these two news items and decide whether it makes your blood boil as much as it did this columnist. Not only am I amazed at the smallness placed on the two topics, but the utter lack of other follow-up to their content.

Bear in mind, these two news items came AFTER President Obama’s “State of the Union” speech on Tuesday night. Please read on:

Headline Number One – “Senate allows borrowing of extra $1.9 trillion”

Senate Democrats needed all 60 votes on Tuesday to move through legislation allowing the government to go $1.9 trillion deeper in debt. Those leaders prevailed with the vote because the 40th vote needed to stop the passage.

The massive increase in the debt limit will put the government on track for a national deficit of $17.3 trillion or roughly $45,000 for every American. It was also noted that the vote allows Democrats to avoid another such voting situation until after the midterm elections in November.

To win the votes needed for quick passage without Brown seated, President Obama promised to appoint a special task force to come up with a plan for dealing with spiraling debt.

Headline Number Two – “Senate Democrats swiftly reject president’s call to freeze spending”

Less than 15 hours after the president delivered a promise to a three-year freeze on non-defense discretionary spending, Senate Democrats nixed his promise. He was on Air Force One to Wisconsin.

It clearly appears that either President Obama has lost his designation as the leader of his party or the party has decided to lose him. Neither one of those choices is especially appealing for a Democratic party reeling from one defeat after another.

The “State of the Union” was the perfect opportunity for a weakened president to be the bigger man and extend an olive branch to the Republicans. Instead of allowing the discourse and gridlock to continue, he had a golden opportunity to regain a foothold with Americans. It was the time to acknowledge that major opposition is relevant and intercourse of ideas is imperative to continued discourse.

Instead, Obama is going the extended political campaign route with his “We will fight on” jargon. Fight on for what? There is nowhere near a majority of Americans supporting his current agenda and fading by the day. Why not reach out as president in important ways and be the bigger man?

President Clinton did just that after the stunning losses Democrats incurred in 1994. They had lost both Houses of Congress, yet he extended an olive branch. The entire country knew he had to, but voters were impressed by his leadership versus further chaos. The two parties started to work together for important welfare reform and other legislation they could find agreement with.

This president and his party have apparently decided that if they can’t have it their way, they will continue a “fight” that has become obsolete with the many wrong turns they have made. His own party is breaking away from him as their latest votes show.

The president has to make a decision now. Will he govern by the will of the people or continue this circus another three long years. This is a time to unite the country even if it means reaching your hand across the aisle as a leader of a divided nation.

That is why it is called leadership.

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