First off, I love the new format of the Opinion page. It's just too bad there really isn't an opinion from readers that we haven't already heard. The perfect example of this is the June 9 commentaries with the headlines "Our leaders cannot be trusted" (GOP rant) and "GOP's self-interest harming country" (Democratic rant).
The problem is that both views are 100 percent correct. The public's problems are not GOP- or Democratic-induced. It is both of them. The elected leaders have no interest in doing anything but get re-elected.
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Washington is the place where this is so true, with the president thinking he is running a Ph.D. class on political theory and wants to just talk about stuff but won't get into the muck to try to gain compromise. The House is held hostage by the Tea Party. The Senate is run by a bunch of old white guys that think it is more important to run their business by antiquated rules than get laws passed.
Then we have Springfield, which makes the mess in Washington look good. Our governor is a nice man, but he makes us long for the dealing days of George Ryan. The man who really runs everything is the House Speaker Michael Madigan, whose private law practice that specializes in protesting real estate tax bills makes his real interests questionable at best. His counterpart in the Senate tried to voice an independent view on the pension crisis, and we saw where that went.
We are being held hostage in both places by people who have only their self-interest in mind. Until something happens to change things (i.e. from the Supreme Court), we will continue to read rehashes in the letters to the editor column as there is nothing new to have an opinion on.