For legislators in Washington, D.C., the term lends itself more to a game.
But it’s not a game. It’s all very real.
As you read this, many areas of our federal government have been shutdown due to the failure of Congress to find some common ground on a spending bill. That agreement needed to be reached by Midnight last Monday, September 30th, and as you read this, that agreement probably still has not that happened.
As I write this, I don’t, but here’s what I’m guessing is happening:
There will continue to be all sorts of political posturing by both side of the political party aisle. As elected officials spend more time in front of microphones than they do working on solutions, our nation will get closer and closer to the October 17th deadline that is really important.
On that day, without some sort of agreement in place, our nation will be forced to default on its debt. It won’t be able to make its payments, and lenders around the world will be impacted in ways we really don’t want to imagine.
Because, folks, we owe a lot of nations a lot of money.
But, now a week or less from that date, we see stern images of President Obama photoshopped to face a stern image of House Speaker John Boehner.
Who will ‘blink’ first? That’s all we hear.
Quite frankly, I don’t want blinking.
I want action.
But here’s the ‘action’ that we’re most likely to see as a nation:
Some agreement will be reached that provides temporary funding so that we can pay those bills, pushing the next deadline back for some weeks or months.
It doesn’t solve the problem, it simply delays the resolution of the problem until a later date.
It’s like wrecking your truck so you can collect the insurance money so you can make your insurance payment. It works short term, but it really didn’t solve anything.
And I’m guessing that, whenever that new date is, our elected officials will again pose and hold press conferences and posture and decry the governmental gridlock.
And then they’ll pass another band aid.
And the ping-pong will continue.
“It’s your fault.”
“No, it’s your fault.”
And on and on it goes.
But do you want to know the real fix?
Our system of government needs to be fixed, because it’s really, really broken.
We live in a time when social media and immediate news flood us with information. That information comes at us so quickly, very few times does anyone stop and take the time to actually give us real, balanced news.
CNN is too liberal.
Fox News is too conservative.
Which ‘slant’ do you want your news to lean?
There are hundreds of channels offering news, but what they are really offering is a point of view which is developed in order to reach an audience.
It’s interesting that people know the names of political commentators better than the names of elected officials.
Between the pressure that special interest groups put on elected officials; and the need by many of them not to make too many waves in order to be re-elected; nothing ever gets done.
Don’t take this wrong, but this is not all President Obama’s fault.
Don’t take this wrong, but President Obama is partially responsible.
Obamacare is horrible.
Obamacare is the embodiment of the principle of trying to care for those who can’t care for themselves.
Rand Paul is a genius.
Rand Paul is an idiot.
Get the point?
The point is, there is no point.
No one can say anything that can be considered reasonable. There is no fence, everyone has to be on one side of it or the other.
You can’t make a point that changes anyone else’s point.
The poster boy of ineffective government?
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas filibusters on the floor of the Senate railing against a spending bill; and then after doing important governmental business like reading Dr. Seuss at the podium; he ended up voting for the bill he talked about 21 hours against.
Now you can give ‘political reasoning’ behind his filibuster, but the fact of the matter is, the people are not being served by political ping-pong.
By the end, many conservatives bashed Senator Cruz; and liberals simply felt like he was a dolt.
But there is a very slim chance, that as you read this, some long term spending bill was agreed on and our government is back in session.
It will be back to the status quo, both on the Hill and away from it.
Some will turn on CNN and hear about how staunch conservatives are wrecking society.
Others will turn on Fox News and hear about how Obama is ineffective and unqualified.
And so it goes.
But what won’t happen is that no real change will take place; and no real progress will move forward.
All we’ll do is wait for the next deadline, and hear the same verbiage, and see the same politicians.