“They sat about in bewilderment as they sit now, and will again, saying to one another, “Was there ever such an extraordinary situation? Was there ever such another mess as we find ourselves in now? Was there ever such another set of dolts, knaves, and incompetents in command of our destinies?” The answer is: There was. This is not the first time that the wind has moaned through the rigging.”
-Edward G. Lowry, Washington Close-Ups, 1921
September 26, 2013, Washington, DC: The neighbors are at it again. They’re not in town much, but when they are, they’re fighting. Bickering beneath the Capitol Dome, they are not ashamed of their behavior. They prefer, in fact, for it to be noticed. Despite the thick marble facade that seals them off from the rest of the neighborhood and the rest of the world, you can hear the dysfunction thousands of miles away.
It’s the same every year, to the day, like clockwork. In these final five days of September, they are forced to find common ground or trigger a government shutdown. The neighbors have found a temporary solution every year we’ve lived nearby, then predictably blamed each other for “kicking the can down the road.”
After the spending bill will come the debt ceiling. After the debt ceiling will come more of the same. We shake our heads like we did last year. Have you ever seen anything like it? This type of neighbor gives this place a bad name.
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