Colorado now has a Democrat and a Republican as Senators, and I want them to forget that they are a Democrat and Republican and set an example. I want them to team up to bring legislation that is good for the country regardless of the opposing party lines. Cory Gardner’s defeated Mark Udall despite or perhaps because of the ads from Udall and at least one of his supporting organizations that Gardner was so opposed to birth control that he wanted to outlaw condoms. (That beyond-silly accusation was made in an ad by something called NARAL.) The majority of voters in the race ignored the insulting ads and elected a person they hope will be a better Senator.
I suppose it would be tempting to some of the new soon-to-be-Senators such as Gardner to follow the model established by President Obama. I recall seeing news reports of his narcissistic and arrogant response to Republican appeals when Obamacare was being debated, “I won.” I certainly hope that Gardner doesn’t waste any time celebrating that he won. I hope he instead teams with Democratic Senator Michael Bennet to start the process of addressing important issues. Tax reform, freeing up energy production and transportation (i.e. the Keystone pipeline) and addressing immigration should be on the list. Mr. Bennet and Mr. Gardner, put aside “what my party expects me to do” and think about what’s good for the country.
I feel compelled to mention the Kansas Senate race as an example of what can be accomplished when one politician decides to put aside past insults and do what he thinks is best for the country. Senator Pat Roberts had refused to support Bob Dole’s request two years ago for support to the “U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” I have no position on the issue, but it is well known that Dole was wounded when Roberts refused to back him. Dole at the feeble age of 91 actively campaigned for Roberts and probably had a large role in Roberts being reelected. Dole thought reelecting Roberts would be good for Kansas and the country and didn’t let past insults get in the way of doing what he thought was right. I realize that’s a much different story than what I’m advocating for Gardner and Bennet, but perhaps it could be a model for how politicians should behave. Put aside your desire for a personal gratification (and any thought of being arrogant) and do what’s best for the country.