Kindergarten Lessons

I’ve got three kids. And, like a lot of kids, they don’t know how to share, like to fight (a lot), and can hold grudges like nobody’s business.


But the upside is that someday, they’ll grow up and with even my mediocre parenting skills, plus things they learned in Kindergarten about sharing, they’ll be able to be kind, respectful, good people.


Unlike nearly every politician in this country right now.


I watched the train wreck today when Obama and Boehner had their dueling news conferences to talk about how someone needed to get to work and get this payroll tax cut extension done. And instead of actually saying anything useful, they basically just pointed at the other side and accused them of being “poopy heads,” or something like that.


Well, okay. “Poopy head” was never actually used, but you know that if they could, they’d probably use the term.


The stupid thing is that everyone has said they want the same thing in this case: a one-year extension to the tax cut, but like everything else in government, the devil is in the details, and so the whining begins when you start putting the magnifying glass to the fine print in the bill. The Democrats want a tax increase on the rich to offset the money lost with the cut extension. The Republicans want spending cuts.


Tell me if you’ve heard this one before.


I am increasingly of the opinion that the entire collection of elected officials in Washington needs to be thrown out simply because they’re no longer taking action but are participating in being an obstacle. And regardless of whether you’re a flaming liberal, moderate, or Tea Party conservative, you didn’t vote for anyone to go to congress to be an obstructionist. At least I didn’t hear that in anyone’s platform.


The sad thing is that everyone has joined in lock step with their party or caucus and is completely incapable of independent, constructive thought. In fact, it’s to the point that the Republicans have broken into two factions: Tea Party and conservative, and even they don’t want to get along and work together unless they can get what they want through cooperation with the other side. Meanwhile, the Democrats and Obama are either reacting to the alternately stalling or inflammatory actions of the Republicans, or they’re pushing back hard to try to get another plank of their platform going somewhere besides backwards in congress.


It’s no wonder that congress currently is carrying a 12.5% approval rating, and it’s also amazing, because that means that all factions of the voting public are really pissed off…And they’re not just pissed off at the other side. If they were, this number would be much higher. But the more important thing to take away from this number is that at least some of those 87.5% or people are irritated and disenchanted with the process of government. And while you should never fully trust government, the people living under it should always have faith in their government to do the right thing for the country. It is this same displeasure with government action or inaction that has led to so much discord and unrest around the world.


My kids can agree to widely divergent things in relatively short order–no matter how much the time they take irritates me. But regardless, they get things done and move on. But grown men and women, who are elected by ordinary people who sent them to do a job, not BLOCK the job, can’t agree on widely divergent things over the course of months. Are we really to the point where serving the country and its people is no longer a matter of honor, but a matter of personal principles?


You know that the election next year is going to be a bloodbath, regardless of who’s in it. The Republican primary has been one of the most brutal I’ve seen, so I can only imagine what nastiness will be turned against the side with which they completely disagree. And I’ll refuse to hold Obama and sitting Democrats harmless, either. Governance is not achieved by sitting on your hands and refusing to listen to the other side. The problem is that I’m also scared of what alternatives will be in the running this next fall…


Just a cheery thought for you heading into this Christmas weekend.


See you tomorrow.