Bipartisanship is essential in wake of election
Now that the voting is done, it is time to shift our focus from divisive campaigning to bipartisanship.
It will not be easy, given the level of vitriol and negativity that has poured down on us for many months in the race for the White House, as well as other political races across the nation.
But it is essential nevertheless for the well-being of the nation.
Many tough decisions about our national policies have been put off while candidates and voters waited to see what the outcome would be, and we now need to address them.
The most urgent priority is the pending fiscal crisis that is fast approaching involving $600 billion in combined tax increases and forced cuts in federal spending that were part of a deal reached to allow extension of the debt ceiling last year to prevent the government's default on its debts.
Part of that deal was something called “sequestration.” Basically, it requires automatic cuts in federal spending if a debt reduction agreement cannot be reached by Congress and the White House by the end of this year.
No agreement has yet been reached, even though more than a year has passed, and that could mean drastic cuts in military and domestic programs.
Ironically, it was a rare demonstration of bipartisanship in Washington. Sequestration was initially suggested by the Obama administration but was eagerly accepted by members of Congress from both parties who saw its draconian cuts as a way to force compromise. The idea was that no one would dare let them actually take place.
Now the possibility is closer, and it has been described as a fiscal cliff that might not only force the nation back into a recession but also undermine national security.
There is not much time left. Congress and the White House must put the election behind them and move to resolve the pressing threat before the end of the year.