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Editorial: Voters must keep the circus from returning

The New Hampshire Legislature may have wrapped up its session last week, but the battle to shape next year’s session is already under way.

Political insiders suggest that Republicans are on course to take over the House of Representatives, after having held onto the Senate in 2012’s Democratic wave. The midterm elections draw a smaller, older, more conservative group of voters, and criticism of the Obama administration will be loud and widespread. But it would be a shame if the electorate allowed itself to be distracted from what’s at stake locally.

We’ve seen a recent and vivid example of what happens when one party controls both the New Hampshire House of Representatives and Senate. Republicans swept into power in 2010 and promptly pursued a hardline conservative agenda. Planned Parenthood and insurance coverage for contraception were targeted. The rights of gay people to be married were put up for a vote. Guns were allowed inside the State House. And those were just the side issues.

The Republican super majority’s signature achievement was a state budget that slashed spending on the most vulnerable people in the state – those in the mental health system – while halving aid to higher education. Meanwhile, House Speaker Bill O’Brien somehow found the time to cut the state cigarette tax and wage a petty war against the Monitor itself.

New Hampshire can ill afford two further years with like-minded majorities in the House and Senate.

We trust that state Republicans have learned their lesson and will avoid the zanier antics that brought their predecessors national mockery (two words: Magna Carta). But the stakes are still high. The restoration – and enhancement – of funding to the mental health system and state universities must continue. The saga of the Medicaid Enhancement Tax must be truly resolved. Further attempts to legalize casino gambling must be thwarted. And our state’s structural deficit, the cause of so much of this misery, must be addressed.

Not all Republicans stand in the way of such progress. Indeed, there are many responsible, smart conservatives who have much to contribute to our state. Likewise, there are many Democrats who are willing to make the difficult choices necessary for long-term stability and growth. It’s the job of voters to pick their candidates carefully this fall, and to think about the kind of majorities they want representing their interests for the next two years.

Above all, New Hampshire should avoid the whiplash of repeated, radical changes of government direction. State agencies find it difficult to plan when their budgets are constantly on the bubble. State businesses find it difficult to grow and recruit talent when the political landscape shifts violently. State residents end up wondering whether their representatives are truly thinking of them or some ideological agenda.

The work of state government is messy and thankless. But we ignore or discount its importance at our peril.

Legacy Comments24

the circus is what arrives after republicans get elected. Re....a bunch of loudmouth jerks at the statehouse gallery. Re...Wisconsin democrats on the lamb ....thats the circus.

What exactly does the phrase "liberal petri dish lab experiment" mean? I am curious, really I am. Just what has the governor done or not done to rile up the delicate ones on the right? All I ask is an example, or is it just you plain don't like her?

UNH managed to have their highest fund raising year ever, 35 million after the cuts. So I guess when push comes to shove they can manage. If in fact you want this state to run better, and get folks to work together, a good idea would be to stop using hate rhetoric on the folks you claim you want to work with to solve problems. We hear all kinds of chatter about hate rhetoric. yet the left seem to feel that hate rhetoric only applies to the right using it. President Obama promised that being a community organizer gave him a leg up on reaching across the aisle. He gets in office and tells the folks he wants to work with that they can sit in the back of the bus, and has no issues with his race being used for political gain. So what are we to believe? We get mixed messages and instead of working on fixing anything, we are at each other's throats. So lets be fair here when analyzing both parties. We are all fed up with pols who claim they will work together and instead, make things worse. And we are also fed up with the name calling, race baiting and the fact that the left refuse to hold this President accountable for his mistakes.

I guess I am in the dark, I keep hearing about "all this hate" rhetoric but I must have missed it? As for working together, you are correct, American's seem to be more concerned with placing blame than actually fixing anything. I could live with that if they fixed things first and then played the blame game. The truth be told, the key to getting this country back on track is working across the aisle. If the truth be told, wasn't it Mitch McConnell that promised to make Obama a one term president, of decided to use "use his extensive knowledge of Senate procedure to slow things down, take advantage of the difficulties Democrats would have in governing and deny Democrats any Republican support on big legislation." Now I am not defending Obama here, but this seems to put working across the aisle off the table before the President even assumed the office. As for not holding him responsible for mistakes, have you seen his approval rating? It seems clear that some people are. How many votes have the GOP House had in trying to derail the ACA. You are entitled to blame whomever you want, but seriously the GOP hasn't been able to deal within it's own ranks and this is Obama's fault how? So you are correct, we need to work together to fix problems and acknowledge that this is the only course. The idea of one party insisting that their's is the only way to govern is not what America is about. That type of governing would not be democracy.

The way I see it GCarson is that President Obama ran as a centralist and turned out to be a Progressive. He did not need the Reps to pass what he wanted for about the first 8 months he was in office. Bob Woodward's Book has some great insight about what the WH was like. Hate rhetoric is on here every day. When the President got involved in the Harvard Professor arrest, he made some comments before he even knew what went down. He gave the message that race was a card that could be played. After that, the Dems used the term racist to describe any person that disagreed with this President's Policies. Holder looked the other way when the Black Panthers were outside the polling booth, and he also looked the other way when those same Black Panthers put a bounty on the head of Geroge Zimmerman in the Martin case. Lots of Senators say a lot of things, that does not mean all senators believe that way. The stimulus was passed under a lot of disagreement. GM should have went bankrupt in my opinion and not bailed out. Green Projects wee very bad investment as many went bankrupt. This President seems to be detached. The IRS, Spying, VA, Benghazi and a whole slew of scandals that point to incompetence are there. You can only excuse screw ups for so long. Our foreign policy is dangerous. We could have passed a reformed health plan, but the left did not want that. They had a plan, one which they did not read obviously and as a result the plan that had to be passed to see what is in it, is now the plan that has to be delayed because of the damage it will do. Compromise works, everybody gets something. But when you have gridlock we all suffer. I worry about what we are handing over to our kids in regards to debt. It will take a long time to right the ship, social issues are important, but they seem to be all that is important with this administration. Never saw our country so divided, and with such poor leadership. Scary.

OK, there I got part of an answer, I would have never even remembered the Harvard professor incident, why would anyone, but that's irrelevant. The Black Panthers, that was the 60's, at best their the geriatric panthers - in any case no correlation between the two. There are 2 schools of thought on GM, yours while valid, doesn't take into account the actual costs the US would have incurred by the massive layoffs and their social costs. When it comes to the IRS, spying, VA, diplomatic deaths et all. what could I say you wouldn't attack me over? If I said why are we attacking Obama over something that is not unique to him, I get hit with the deafening whine that 2 wrongs don't make a right. Frankly there is not a President since and including JFK that hasn't used the IRS. As any Vet old enough to have been in Vietnam or Korea, how bad the VA has been for the last 50 years. You say Obama is incompetent because of his mistakes, using your listed guidelines we have not had a competent president in my lifetime. I am not granting a get out of jail free card, but the viciousness of the attacks on Obama as if he was the first president to fall victim to every mistake you mention. The ACA is a tough one, the one problem facing healthcare reform is that the GOP has fought it at every turn since Clinton was president and they had no intention of it being any different under Obama. So instead of spending 6 problem filled years with endless attempts to kill it, we spent that time fixing it. Yes fixing it, because I think it's here to stay. There is good buried in the bad, admit it or not. I have a granddaughter I worry about, but even with the economy what scares me most is how easy it is for nuts to get guns and shoot up schools. Frankly on my radar Benghazi doesn't even rate a blip, school shootings are making too much radar noise. But here we are 2 years later bickering over who knew what when. But I digress, sorry. A touchy subject for me and I am a gun owner.------- I will give you credit for the comment about poor leadership. No question at all, but I ask you, McCain/Palin? Seriously you think that would have been better? For that matter Romney/???. We were doomed from the start and mark my words, a bunch of idealistic religious right candidates scare me more than if Obama could have a third term. That is scarey

The problem is deeper - Benghazi is a responsibility of the Federal Govt as outlined in the Constitution. All other scandals are areas where the Federal Govt does not belong. The problem is so deep that the progressive liberal socialist democrats not only brush it under the rug you approve it. 10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

I beg your pardon, but didn't Eric Cantor just lose his job because he talked to Democrats. And haven't I heard all the Republican talking mouths saying this is a lesson to other Republicans not to compromise with Dems on ANYTHING!

You are correct and nailed it on the head. I see comments here that are just the same talking points. The left doesn't hold Obama responsible for mistakes.------ Northern Pass is business, one goes so far as blame democrats for not doing more to pass it. Talk about not getting it.-------- The Democrats won't compromise, that is the biggest lie, right up with sure I'll be here in the morning.----- So far I have only heard about hate rhetoric chatter, not what this chatter is supposed to be.------- So I am at a loss as well, with the he lost his job because he sided with democrats. People say I am hard to argue with, well what's your response to this?????

That is not why he lost. Quite a few reasons why he lost. First, he ignored his district. Second, he decided that he was fine with spending, amnesty for immigrants and a host of other Progressive policies. When called out by his district, he change his tune. They had no clue what to believe in him, and he was never there, always in WA.

Now I am beginning to think you don't even read your own posts. "he decided that he was fine with..............and a host of other Progressive policies". Progressive policies are Democratic policies, same thing. I saw lots of tps interviewed who said they want no dealing with Dems and would be happy to see another government shutdown. There are only three people in the whole US who think it is the Dems fault there is gridlock and they all post here.

quote "There are only three people in the whole US who think it is the Dems fault there is gridlock : - that applies to only YOUR world of the LIDV - they rest of thinking America knows the entire gridlock is caused by Harry Gridlock Reid

Not sure why you question my post Tillie. Pretty clear what I was stating. You do that a lot by the way with most posts you disagree with. I do not know one Rep personally that wanted the govt to shut down, or wasting time voting to have the ACA repealed. Most folks I know feel the ACA will in fact fail on it's own merits. The delays are a testament to that fact. I grew up with Dems in MA. Everybody was a Dem. In those days they were very different than they are now. They wanted minimal govt involvement in all areas. The polls speak for themselves in regards to how folks feel these days about the job President Obama is doing. There are also liberal polls by the way. If in fact your party is on the right path, then there would be no need for excuses, demonizing those that disagree with you, and blaming past presidents for our current president's performance. The fact that you have to do that, speaks volumes and proves your in denial about our current state of affairs.

There is actually one reason he lost and you didn't even mention it. He lost because voter turnout was so incredibly low. All those that thought he was a shoe-in didn't bother voting - surprise------they held an election and no one came. His district didn't come out for him because they figured they didn't have to, SURPRISE. That is the only reason, his opposition took advantage of this. I don't think we'll see any more of this. The last time this happened in NH was with Sen Tom McIntyre, he got too complacent and he was surprised by a loss. I was young at the time but he was a good man by all accounts, just got lazy.

Rabbit is right. That's not why he lost. He lost because he's a Jew and the Tea Party is full of anti-Zionist anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, "Jews run the world" conspiracy-theory crackpots.

On the statewide issue of Northern Pass, the Republican legislature respected property rights and the will of the people. The legislature mocked by the Concord Monitor passed HB648, a critical bill taking away the right of private, for-profit projects like Northern Pass to seek eminent domain to seize people's land. And what has the Democratic-led house done for the Northern Pass opposition? Nothing. There are some Dems out there who get the issue (don't destroy our state for private gain), but the Dems are immobilized by their fear of crossing organized labor. So they temporize and pretend. It will be good to kick them out this election...

Misogyny is real and nothing to mock.

Exhibit A: Kyle Tasker. Exhibit B: Josh Youseff. Both tea party Republicans.

I agree with the title but the Editorial was way off. The NH GOP house and senate did what the Joke Washington could not and that was get the budget and spending under control. The Circus is what we have right now in the NH house as well as the US Senate, and Congress. We must get accountability back and defeat Shaheen, Kuster, Shea-Porter and Hassan. We need fresh young faces like Hemingway and Garcia to lead the way for the GOP and focus on efficiently and effectively running the government and not focus on social issues. It is clear that the democrats are the circus. Look what has happened since Shaheen and Obama has been elected. Vets dying because they are not getting the benefits they earned while Big Government is throwing money a people who haven't earned their benefits. America has transformed alright and for the worse.

How did NH survive for centuries and only have a budget of almost 6 Billion? Then Shaheen was elected and democrats have since doubled the budget. How did this state survive such low budgeting without the cradle to grave nanny state of the democrats?

The last 2 years have been a Liberal petri dish lab experiment, fueled by a Governor who knows how to rile up her base by screaming "ovary" in a crowded theater on election day.

A liberal petrie dish, pray tell, what does that mean?

literal liberals -.......sheeeesh

C'mon BPR . . . are you saying that you want to go back to the days of convicted Fish and Game law violators crafting legislation that would make the violations they perpetrated legal? Or that you want to harken back to the days of the Magna Carta - and make that the litmus test of any new legislation? Perhaps you'd like to go back EVEN FURTHER and pass a law that says NH shall lower its flags on Good Friday?

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