Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly stated that his top priority is to make Barack Obama a one-term president. This is a stunning statement from a supposed public servant, and we can only hope that, despite his public pronouncements, he will begin reordering his priorities to deal with the very real problems facing our nation today.

It must be dismaying indeed to the millions of unemployed Americans that the top Republican in the Senate places a higher priority on defeating President Obama in 2012 than on working to improve the economy and create jobs right now. It can’t be very reassuring to injured servicemen and women returning from the wars to know that their care and well-being ranks lower on McConnell’s priority list than a political victory. Sure, energy independence is important, but apparently it ranks well below defeating the president on McConnell’s list of things to do.

There are so many urgent, important concerns facing our nation today – battling terrorism, shrinking the debt, protecting the environment, making health care affordable and available to all Americans, caring for the elderly and the disabled, educating our children – the list goes on and on. We can only hope that Maine’s own Republican senators take their responsibility to govern more seriously than their leader does, and that they will work with both the Democratic majority and other Senate Republicans who are committed to serving the public that elected them in order to address the nation’s real priorities.

Emily Swan

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