Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Turning Away

Now that the Senate has passed a debt ceiling measure that will also reopen the government till at least January, and the House has agreed to take a vote tonight for the first time this month, I can say it: the people who looked at the government shutdown controversy for maybe five minutes and then went off to practice piano, go running, or wash the dishes were right. Washington did not earn our attention this past month. Those who were paying attention learned that the House collectively has all the energy of a dying music box, perhaps an important thing to know, but of course, that quality does not make them a useful example to study and emulate. It is better if we spend our time doing the things we know we have to do.

After all that, and with the government already two steps over the edge, one sixth of the Senate still voted to continue the government shutdown and to repudiate the government’s debts. I am told we can expect a much larger number of votes in that direction from the House. It is a reminder that there are still plenty of politicians who don’t want us to be feeling good about where we are, or who don’t want us to be in a place we can feel good about. It is the kind of thing that can be infuriating to watch, but only, of course, if we stop to watch. All the more reason not to watch for very long.