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Friday, January 23, 2015

Oscars In DC, who will bring home the trophy.

This week the president provided his version of the State of the Union.  I didn't watch.  It was followed by the Republican response.  I didn't watch that either.  State of the Union addresses don't change all that much, nor do responses.  Unemployment is down, gas prices are low, the economy is improving, it is hard to find fault with these numbers.  Of course it is equally hard to find someone to thank.

For the last six years the houses of congress have been locked in a ideological battle over the best way to govern.  If anybody reached "across the aisle" it was with the intent to bludgeon, garrotte, or stab someone.  Bills were batted down with glee.  Partisanship ruled the halls of government.

"They don't want to cooperate," was the constant lament.  It echoed through the country, sweeping across the plains, cresting the mountains, and flowing to the oceans.

Consensus was considered sinful, and cooperation viewed as weakness.  Voting outside party lines was equal to fraternizing with the enemy.

There were government shutdowns.  National monuments built to celebrate this nation, its accomplishments, testimony to the greatness of our shared heritage and national history, paid for by taxpayers, staffed with common people who believe in the countries greatness were closed because people we trust to run things were acting like children.  It is probably safe to assume congressional benefits were not at risk.  

Despite the bickering, despite the inaction, despite the endless, whining sound emanating from the hallowed halls, the economy somehow righted itself.  Of course, everybody who can grab a microphone, and plop down in front of a camera will trumpet their part in the recovery.  But, deep inside we are all starting to understand, the nations leaders aren't really there to lead.  Sure, they will try to do their best to make sure nothing too bad happens, at least not to the people who put them in such a comfy job, mostly their largest campaign contributors.

In the end the control they have over events is limited, and mostly exhibition.  They can really put on a good show, and it makes for riveting, excellent drama.  Congress people should have their own version of the Academy Awards, voting on who gave the "best performance in support a bill to increase benefits to corporate farms for whom at least 75% of their profits are derived from imported produce."  Imagine the possibilities, it almost brings a tear to your eye.