Keeping politics constructive

Americans want real legislative results more than election results.

Editorial board

The campaigns are over, political advertisements are off the air and the election results have (mostly) been decided. In the wake of the sound bites, ideological debates and political stunts comes the more serious and less theatrical business of governing.

Before and after every election, we hear promises of bipartisanship. But time after time, politicians break those promises, turning instead to stubbornness, demonization of those who disagree, egoism and obsession with taking credit or avoiding blame, insistence on ideological purity and playing political games to position oneself for re-election.

This time, those in public office must work together for the countryâÄôs best interest, not apart and for their own best interest. Democrats and Republicans may be opponents in elections, but in governance they are co-workers.

Both parties must change their tones. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellâÄôs comment that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President [Barack] Obama to be a one-term president,” is exactly the wrong attitude to bring to the table. Obama has been right to criticize this comment and several from top House Republicans that there will be no compromise. But Obama himself has been using similar rhetoric all along the campaign trail. He repeatedly refers to Republicans as “them” and “the other side,” and may have committed a Freudian slip when he referred to LatinosâÄô political opponents as “enemies.”

Americans want real-world results, not election results. Public officials should heed the call of ObamaâÄôs inauguration speech and realize that “the time has come to set aside childish things.”