Commentary: Americans want Washington to restore jobs, economy

Many political experts are saying that Tuesday's congressional election will result in two years of gridlock in Washington, D.C., as both parties begin positioning for the 2012 presidential race.

It would be unfortunate if the anger that helped fuel the Republican resurgence led to even more of the bitter partisanship that has so many Americans fed up. The country simply can't afford it, and it doesn't have to be that way.

There is much that congressional Republicans and Democrats and President Barack Obama should be able to agree on.

While comprehensive energy legislation is likely off the table, they can pass smaller measures to encourage conservation and cleaner alternatives that help wean us off foreign oil and create jobs along the way.

There's middle ground on fixing public schools and reducing the federal deficit. There should be progress on a major bill for flood protection and other water resources projects. They are crucial for California.

Most of all, there should be consensus on ways to get Americans back to work. Moderates in both parties want to give tax breaks to small businesses, so important to economic recovery.

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