EDITORIAL: A tale of two political approaches

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 4, 2024

When it comes to the types of lawmakers who are elected and populate the nation’s Capitol building, it seems most fall into one of two categories.

First, there’s the peacock – you know the kind. The kind who seems to exist in perpetuity on cable talk shows, always has an opinion on anything and who constantly generates headlines for saying something over the top, or rushing to comment on whatever headline is in the news and turn it into yet another partisan football.

This nonproductive model of lawmaker is the kind of person for whom the old joke “The most dangerous place in Washington, D.C. is between (insert politician’s name here) and the cameras” was invented, as they constantly court attention and political celebrity.

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Usually, along with such a partisan creature’s quest for coverage, there is little to no record of legislative achievements, whether it is from an unwillingness to do the work of the position, or an inability or unwillingness to even consider working with the other party.

Such political figures are why most Americans have such an unfavorable view of Washington and Congress sees consistently low approval ratings.

The other type of lawmaker is far more preferable.

They may not be as flashy, don’t do the talk show rounds and may not be a household name throughout the nation, but they diligently learn the process of passing legislation, know how to forge a coalition across the aisle with members of the other party and have steered bills to passage, often getting them signed by presidents of the opposing party.

Since 2007, Ohio has been fortunate to have that kind of U.S. senator in the form of Democrat Sherrod Brown.

Just this month, Brown scored another legislative victory, with the president signing into law the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, which Brown introduced into the Senate last year, along with Republican Tim Scott, of South Carolina, and championed to passage.

The legislation is a sanctions and anti-money laundering law that is aimed at targeting the supply chain for fentanyl, a drug known all too well by Lawrence County and Ohio, due to countless overdose deaths.

This legislation was but the latest of Brown working with members of both parties to pass laws that serve the greater good — whether it is the PACT Act, aimed at helping veterans who suffer the effects of toxic burn pits, or the CHIPS and Science Act, which will help foster the economy of Ohio and the Intel plant and associated production coming to the state.

Throughout his career, there are endless examples of Brown being such and effective and productive legislator.

That’s more than what we can say for the indications his opponent in the Senate race this year, Republican businessman Bernie Moreno, has given for the type of politician he would be representing Ohio.

Moreno, who won his party’s nomination over far more reasonable figures, State Sen. Matt Dolan and Ohio Sec. of State Frank LaRose, has said he has no willingness in bipartisanship.

When questioned on working with the other side at a campaign stop, Moreno said he “rejected the premise” and flat out stated he has no interest in working with the other side, if elected.

How he intends to accomplish anything in office remains unclear, as he seems intent on just being a voice of nonstop negativity and hasn’t offered any workable solutions.

Moreno called the recent immigration package contained “357 pages of garbage,” even though it included FEND Off Fentanyl Act, so beneficial to Ohioans and championed by many in law enforcement.

So it appears there is a stark choice for Ohians this fall. They can continue to have a senator in Brown, who has many accomplishments under his belt and has shown, time and again, that he can get things done and create good governance….or there’s Moreno’s peacocking and lack of solutions, which will only add to partisan gridlock and the type of antics that we’ve seen all year in the speaker fights on the House side of things.

It seems the best decision for Ohio could not be more clear.