Sunday, August 14, 2011

Congress Needs A Marriage Counselor.

There are riots in the streets of Great Britain. As our progenitor and a close ally, is this a portent of things to come? In response to the violence, Prime Minister Cameron is contemplating social media suppression. Note to Prime Minister Cameron: suppression does little to quell frustration boiling over (see Tiananmen Square) unless accompanied by mass murder (see Tiananmen Square). We share a common language with Great Britain. It's time to proactively keep 2011 riots and warm beer uniquely British.

Children Must Be Taught To Play Together.
Imagine this fictional conversation my daughter:
     "Daddy, Johnny won't play with me unless I give him all my crayons."
     "Have your tried talking with Johnny?"
     "He says he won't talk to me unless I give him all my crayons."
This is truly a conundrum. At least until my daughter comes back to me a third (30th?) time and says,
     "Daddy, Johnny won't play with me unless I give him all my crayons."
     "Sweetie, that's very sad. Johnny sure is mean. I do have a question for you. Have you thought of a plan to deal with Johnny other than telling me that Johnny won't play with you unless you give him all your crayons."
     "What kind of plan?"
     "Why not tell Johnny you won't play with him unless he gives you all his paper?"
     "I never thought of that. Daddy, you sure are smart."
I realize few things in life are not as simple as the above example. Things also aren't significantly more complicated than the example above.

Divorce is Not An Option.
My wife and I often disagree passionately and occasionally coarsely about day to day household agenda items.  If my wife and I chose to consistently repeat our original thought as to the best course of action, nothing would get done. The dishes would remain in the sink, the garbage would stay in the house, bills wouldn't be paid and the kids would have no clothes. If my wife and I upped the ante by complaining loudly and longly to our friends, "My wife/husband doesn't understand reality. If he/she refuses to get his/her head out of her ass we will accomplish nothing." The part about accomplishing nothing is patently false. We would accomplish losing all our friends, but the house would still be a disaster. Luckily, my wife and I (and most committed couples) find a way to work it out. One or both parties may be less than thrilled with the compromise, but it's time to move forward.

Paging Dr. Phil.
I can't imagine how tough it is to a member of Congress.  You have multiple offices, multiple residences and a multitude of staff members. Bills are long and not written in plain English. The cost of running for office and the 24 hour news cycle make it nearly impossible to compromise on tough choices. Too bad. Nobody is forced to run for office.  All US leglislators are in Congress of their own volition. It's time to engage with the opposition and accomplish. The option is to kick off your shoes, open a warm beer and watch the riots in the streets.

Any suggestions for Congress? Any thoughts on ways to end this mess?

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