Quit pointing fingers and do your jobs

As the 2011 legislative session winds down in Montgomery both parties are resorting to the usual partisan bickering as they try to wrap up last-minute legislation to keep the state running for another year.

Republicans are using their majority — the party’s first majority in more than 100 years — to settle old political scores. They do not seem to realize the voters were ready for change and swept them into office in hopes things would be done differently in Montgomery.

Democrats are trying to discredit Republicans by saying all of the state’s ills are the result of GOP influences. They seem to have forgotten the Republicans have not been in charge in Montgomery since 1874.

Last year’s election should have signaled politicians at all levels of government that America’s voters are tired of the bickering and want solutions to the problems instead of more finger pointing.

It is not important who is responsible for creating the issues Alabama faces right now. What is important is finding a way to solve those issues without jeopardizing the future of the state or its citizens.

Does the failure of the PACT Program fall solely on Republicans in the legislature as Representative Johnny Mack Morrow contends in his column in today’s paper?  Of course it does not. The GOP might not have been as helpful as possible, but history shows the program’s design was flawed from the beginning — it is the program’s creators and administrators, Republicans and Democrats alike, who should shoulder the blame for the program’s epic implosion.

It is time for Republicans and Democrats to put aside petty differences and fix the problems they both created. Unfortunately, it seems as though that will not happen.

Even though the election was less than a year ago, members of the legislature seem to have their eyes looking at the election of 2014 instead of the years of 2011, 2012 and 2013.

They are speeding ahead trying to build political capital by pandering to small portions of the electorate instead of focusing on the state as a whole. It is an approach that could create problems.

By focusing so far ahead, legislators are failing to see the obstacles in their way. If they do not take care of today’s problems, there might not be a legislative seat available for them in 2014 should voters decide to hold them accountable and not send any incumbents back to Montgomery.

If the people elect their legislators to do a job and those legislators fail to do that job because of political bickering, a fresh start for the Alabama Legislature might not be a bad idea.