The US Congress is made up of 535 members, and a lot of them are lawyers. So, it seems to me that these lawyers are forgetting how to do their jobs. They have forgotten the basic principles of the art of compromise.
The government shutdown is in its fourth week (26 days so far), the longest government shutdown in the history of this country, and people are suffering without paychecks and government services. Surely, all of those lawyers should be able to strike a deal, especially under circumstances this dire, even without cooperation from the White House. Looks to me like an end run like that is the only way to get things done.
This is not intended to be a political statement, so, don’t get your political dander up. Frankly, I am upset with both sides of the aisle. And a lot of other people are, too.
I have seen many negotiations go south because both sides wanted a whole loaf. No half a loaf for those folks. All or nothing was the only acceptable outcome. Ironically, most of those failed deals were when I was in public service, and politics played a role. Getting everything you ask for, of course, is absurd — both in politics and in life. Unless, I guess, you are a member of Congress, who prizes getting reelected and hubris over what is in the best interests of THE PEOPLE.
It particularly rankles me when the obstructionists are lawyers. They should know better. It makes me wonder whether we should keep sending them to do the people’s business. Maybe it would be better to send elected officials, who know nothing about lawmaking, negotiations and compromise, so that we would not have high expectations and would not be so disappointed in the outcomes. At least disappointment would be predictable that way.
The families of Coast Guard members in Massachusetts are now going to food banks because they cannot afford groceries on NO PAY. Other furloughed government employees are having to choose between necessary counseling and therapy for family members and paying the mortgage because of NO PAY. Still others are playing Russian roulette with a variety of other financial obligations while they wait to see when Uncle Sam sends the next paycheck because of NO PAY. And the money the government owes many people in the form of tax refunds, a basic government service, is on back log because of limited government.
This is a disgrace. That is not the way we treat people in America. This is what we criticize foreign governments for.
So, I ask again. Where are the lawyers? And do we want them taking up space in Congress?