In this strained political climate, it's hard to imagine how anything gets done in Washington. What the two sides seem to agree on is that the other side has it wrong, and will do just about anything to stop them. So what solutions do our lawmakers and our parties have in mind?
It seems to be a familiar message from both Democrats and Republicans, no deal. Voter Sean Gassaway says, "It's just constant, constant bickering like you said and nothing getting done, is what I notice." What so many notice is that despite the promises of progress, the result often leaves much to be desired.
Third Congressional District Candidate Sal Pace says, "What we get out of Washington is way too much partisanship way too much fighting. Too many folks concerned with attacking the other side and legislating for their next election rather than working together, and I think that the partisanship and the gridlock in Washington is badly hurting our communities." But perhaps an outsiders perspective is unfair, and what actually happens in the halls of Congress is a complicated negotiation that will inevitably fail from time to time.
Republican Congressman Scott Tipton says, "From our personal experience we've been able to move legislation forward. We've been able to work across that aisle, because it's good common sense legislation about our lifestyles here in colorado, in the 3rd congressional district.
So why then, does it look as though the strategic blocking and partisan bickering is at a boiling point? Last years debt ceiling debate was a prime example. And this year, days from the election, it seems only worse.
Voter Linda Lynch says, "I don't think that they listen to the people. I think that raising the debt ceiling was ridiculous and I think that the people didn't want it and they did it anyway, and it's irritating that they don't listen to us."
Listening, compromising, sharing, words that seem a familiar throw back to your kindergarten class, strangely absent so often in the political world. Republicans say new leadership is the answer. President Obama had his chance, now it's someone else's turn.
Ruth Ehlers, Chair of the Mesa County Republicans says, "Look at what he (Mitt Romney) did when he went to the Olympics. He was able to work with people who had been squabbling and fighting and wasting money. He was able to work with those people, turn them around and make that a very profitable, successful Olympics." Democrats, as you might imagine, see it differently.
Karl Castleton, co-Chair of the Mesa County Democrats says, "I think the reason they don't do anything is because they take all these, they take all the credit for passing a bill or sponsoring a bill in their own chamber, but not one that goes into law."
Pace says, "Unless you think you and your party are always going to be in the majority you have to learn how to work with other people." "Thirty pieces of legislation, many of which have bipartisan support, but they're sitting on the doorstep of the senate and there's nothing that the house can do to move that forward," according to Rep. Scott Tipton.
Voter Diana Hamblin says, "I think they are absolutely not working together, and i think it's broken and we need to fix the system." And whether you see term limits, campaign finance reform, accountability or new leadership as the answer, most are pessimistic that things can actually change, which is why we get a vote.