Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Golden Opportunity

Ask any average American, or any average Georgian what hacks them off the most about the current political discourse, and we’d bet you would hear one response above all others – partisan bickering.

Here at AthPo, we’re big fans of the partisan sniping, most of the time.  Heck, it’s the bread and butter that keep political writers at the keyboards day after day.  And going after the other guys is an important part of the two-party system.  (The Libertarians and the Greens tend to go after everybody, but no one really listens.)  When done in a professional yet spirited way, a little partisanship is a good thing; lots of times, it’s the best and only way to make sure the voters know what you’re about.

But sometimes, there are issues that cry out for both sides to work together for the greater good.  This year, the growing cost of energy is just such an issue.  

Up in Atlanta, the GOP is putting its thinking cap on, and mulling over ways to make sure that everyone in Georgia can afford to keep the heat on in the house.  So are the Democrats.  Problem is, they aren’t doing it together.  So, as reported today, the GOP is talking about a variety of solutions – some good, some not so good.  The Democrats are expected to do the same in a few days.  

We have a different idea.  There are fire-breathing partisan warriors on both sides.  They don’t really figure into this fight, though.  There are also legislators on both sides who can and will work together for the common good.  Those should be the key players in this matter.  

This is a golden opportunity for both parties to come out looking just a little bit better, and it’s a golden opportunity for the Governor to show some much-needed leadership on the issue.

One point to remember: for all of the partisan differences between the Republicans and Democrats under the Gold Dome, there is one very strong force that unites them.  They’re politicians, and they want to get re-elected.  Showing the statesmanship that comes from a bipartisan solution to an urgent problem looks really good to the voters in Dooly County, come November 2006.

Let’s get the Republicans and the Democrats together and get a bipartisan solution to the problem, and let’s do it right now.  The weather isn’t getting any warmer.

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