Living in a home means you're responsible for keeping it maintained. If a toilet stops up or stops working, you have a couple of sensible options: call a plumber, or if you're handy, figure out why it's not working, or what part's not working, then you get it fixed. Of course, there's another option... tear the whole house down first, then investigate and fix it. That's pretty stupid, isn't it? Not to mention slow and expensive. In other words, the cure would obviously be worse than the disease.
Living in the White House means you're responsible for keeping it maintained and fixing whatever's stopped up or not working... like health care. Now we may not be Harvard grads, nor smarty-pants lawyers, but congress should be ashamed of the fact that we're smarter than they are. I'm not talking about I.Q.; I'm talking about what's required to live life on a daily basis... common sense. The common sense that tells us it's stupid to demolish the house when all you need is a new float, or even just a plunger.
That demolition mentality and lack of common sense, among other things, are the reasons for my love/hate relationship with politics and politicians. I love that they give me so much to think and write about. On the other hand, I hate that they're so smarmy... so lacking in character and selfless servant-hood... so sure they're the most, and only, important things in the galaxy... so willing to sell out their constituents for power and financial gain. Yet, in spite of my cynicism, I still want to believe that some people step into the political arena with the right hearts and motives... with a clear understanding that it's not about them, it's about us and the U.S.
Unfortunately, our culture's obsession with the glitz and glamour of celebrity... the superficiality of beauty that's only skin-deep... clever speeches and sound bites... has turned elections into beauty pageants and popularity contests. We don't care whether the candidates lie, cheat, or whatever, to ensure their success and financial gain; we only care what they look like... how cool they are... what they're wearing... how smoothly they tell us what we want to hear.
Maybe that's why the health care protests and protesters have caught congress by surprise. It's the 2009 version of Shock and Awe. It's the proverbial slap upside the head. Maybe that's why they don't get it, no matter how many people show up at Tea Parties or Town Hall meetings. Maybe it's because we've been telling them in so many words and so many ways for so many years... no, make that decades... that whatever they do, as long as they look good saying it, have the moves and get the laughs when they're on some late night show, that no matter how many times they put themselves smack dab in the middle of an ugly scandal, that no matter how much they lie, cheat and steal from us, we'll keep putting an X next to their names. It's not a question of forgiveness... it's a question of expectations. Expecting integrity, honesty and accountability. So far they've lived down to our low expectations. So, what are we going to do about it?