By David Broyles
October 3, 2013
The BBC’s radio news broadcast on our government’s shutdown opened with a telephone recording saying there would be no one to answer questions and the mailbox would not be checked until the matter was resolved.
That’s it in a nutshell and American citizens deserve better.
It was on the fifth time I heard President Obama’s new mantra about ONE faction of ONE party in ONE part of government disagreed abut ONE policy and pulled the emergency brake on our government when it happened. I kinda felt like Ernie Brown on “Call of the Wildman” when he gets smacked by an angry beaver.
What analysts are calling a “lemming” type of strategy, (they love the cliff metaphors don’t they) is even grousing about whether the Tea Party had an endgame planned at all. Don’t let the spin magicians take your eye off the ball. Senate, House and President are all to blame. I’m waiting for the realization to dawn on them that this brinkmanship is the new way it’s done in D.C. Couple that with the fact a little patience and the software crashes of the insurance exchanges would have made an eloquent argument the plan was not well conceived. Obamacare rolled out anyway.
Put cooperation on the endangered list and move to step two fellas. Whatcha going to do? As a member of those classified as political collateral damage, which doesn’t seem to be a concern on Capital Hill, I urge you to look in the old play book.
Also frightening for me is what seems to be perfectly comfortable strategy for legislators to sit back and let the parties involved get themselves out of the corner they have painted themselves into. The procedure for the game of “Hot Potato” is not what I would call the best long-term way to manage our nation’s issues and yet it seems to be the backup plan.
Like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, I am turning the problem over and over in my mind. I’ve puzzed and puzzed and puzzed some more and motivational legislation like the “If you don’t get this passed you are the first to not get paid” bill doesn’t seem likely for approval. Likewise, a heartfelt talk with our legislators and president along the lines of “sorry, business hasn’t been good enough to continue to pay for your benefits, salaries and perks” is even more unlikely.
Realistically, someone running on a platform of once I get in I’m going to work harder and smarter for less would scare a lot of voters. We have all taken to heart the adage if it’s too good to be true it probably isn’t.
The point of being elected is service, not getting elected again. I once again want to point out what Pilot Mountain Town Manager Homer Dearmin once told me: government is about providing needed services to citizens responsibly. Philosophical debate can follow but provide the services first. The economy has us in a triage frame of mind.
Any hometown fan can quickly wrap their mind around the fact if we can’t move the ball on the ground against the visitors, let’s try airing that ball out. I don’t see why legislators should be exempt from similar scrutiny and I want to see all parties involved rolling up the sleeves and getting together to work it out.
Don’t let the last image of our country be people locked out and standing outside, squinting to see the Liberty Bell through a window.