Saturday, March 25, 2006
And so it begins ...
Or perhaps I can attach a photo of Hilary when she was 5 laughing during her first communion.
Today I'd rather talk about a column I read a long long time ago by Russell Baker, which I can't find now that I look for it, demonstrating my ineptness. Baker was mostly funny, but this one was serious. He was writing about people he called "idea killers." They came in all sorts even back then, though they weren't quite so Dead Red or True Blue as today. But they made their way by attacking anyone silly enough to stick their head up in the political realm and float an idea. A way to address a problem, a possible middle ground, a way out. Or they lept to the fore to pile onto the sap who blundered, no matter whether his intensions were good or ill. He thought this was a practice deadly to progress, and democracy. Because without such sparks of brilliance or folly, the discussion would sink to a morass of recycled sameness, and the whole would become mired in place. And the only winners, the stars of the show, would be the best, the most clever, the most scathing of the idea killers.
And that's what we've got. We've got the Remember the Alamo Party against the Remember the Maine Party and we take this ridiculous politics of empty sloganeering down to the most absurd levels of our communal lives. A pipe burst in town. Oh, the Reds skimped on the contract using unskilled non-union labor so their big contributors could make an obscene profit. Oh the Blues loaded up the workforce to fill out a quota and the clowns connected it wrong. And on and on it goes and -- oops -- nobody fixed the pipe and I've still got no water.
Maybe it just got old and we need to find the cheapest way to put in a new pipe that will last longer. Nobody's fault, really. But a problem that needs to be fixed. Like oil dependancy, health-care costs, money scooting out the back door of the Treasury like seniors the first week in June, a $13 million gap between the money New Castle County brings in and what it spends.
I apologize in advance because I probably can't come up with many solutions. But I'm going to try to weigh in by outing some of the idea killers out there. Not Dead Red, not True Blue. Whyte, because that's the only color left on the flag for patriots who would just like to fix what needs fixing and let God sort the rest of it out.
So I'm going to try to be Whyte, and try to get a discussion going about what's the right thing to do. I hope you'll join in.