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Frankfort State Journal
When we look at the political gridlock in our nation’s capital — and to an extent in our own capital — as citizens and taxpayers we’re reminded of the story told by the late Southern comedian Jerry Clower (1926-98). It went something like this:
While walking in the woods, two men encountered a wildcat on the trail. One of the men began to run and found a tree to climb. The wildcat gave chase and went right on up after him.
High in the branches, man and beast wrestled for some element of control, neither being able to gain the upper hand (or paw) when the man’s friend caught up and positioned himself beneath the tree with his gun aimed at the brawl.
“I’d shoot,” he shouted to his beleaguered friend, “but I’m afraid I might hit you!”
“Doesn’t matter,” the man said, gasping for wind and fending off the big cat. “Go on and shoot, one of us has to get some relief!”
And that’s where we are today: our high solons in D.C. can’t make a decision about anything for fear of offending their base and not getting re-elected. What passes the Democrat-controlled Senate fails in the Republican-run House of Representatives with votes in both chambers along, as they say, “party lines.”
Here in the commonwealth, the control is reversed but the results are the same: no compromise, no discussion — consequently no decisions.
Monday an interim committee affirmed along party lines an executive order creating the health care exchange. That body is controlled by the Democrats and the Republicans cried foul, linking Gov. Steve Beshear, almost romantically, with President Obama.
Right or wrong, agree or not, at least it was a decision.
Meanwhile in Washington, all it seems our senators and representatives can agree on is to take off the month of August for vacation. All the while, bills languish on the floors of both chambers and there’s no solution to the immigration crisis — among other matters.
This gridlock has resulted in many just washing their hands of government entirely — and there’s certainly merit to that if nothing ever goes anywhere.
Others remain hopeful, perhaps thinking if one party or the other was in control of the whole thing then maybe it could get off square one. But which party? And then where would the checks and balances be?
Still others opt for the less government in our lives approach. That’s not a bad idea but we wonder how much “less” we could have since this bunch of bozos can’t agree on anything thus negating their usefulness and leaving the president chomping at the bit for senators and representatives to leave town as he uncaps his pin for recess appointments and executive orders.
For those of us who hold out any hope that government can be or become viable, frustration builds upon frustration. Like Clower’s man in the tree with the wildcat, we plead for some kind of relief.
Will someone please take a shot!
Reprinted through Kentucky Press News Service from The Frankfort Journal, Frankfort, Ky.