Our government “mechanics” aren’t getting the job done

Written by Bob on October 9th, 2009

YUCAIPA, CA – Finding good auto mechanics can be hard. But when we do, it’s like finding skilled doctors or dentists, they become the professionals we trust and turn to when the car, the body, and the teeth need fixing.

Superb mechanics, doctors and dentists, all have similar qualities. They’re intelligent, educated, and committed to their profession. But above all else they care about their customers: the people they serve.

I wish our elected politicians cared as much.

Let’s play out a little scenario involving mechanics.

In our scenario, our car represents our country. And it’s got some problems. It can be fixed, but our old car definitely needs some work. The engine (the economy) is sputtering along; the transmission (health care) needs an overhaul; and the electrical system (Iraq and Afghanistan war policies) flickers on and off precariously.

In our scenario, we’ve got three mechanics pondering over how to fix our car. One is a Republican, the other a Democrat, and our third a moderate.

Picture this. Our car’s in the garage with the Republican mechanic standing on one side leaning over the right fender, peering in at the engine with a puzzled look. The Democrat stands and leans over the left fender. While our moderate is situated between the two.

The Republican and Democrat mechanics are in a heated argument on what to do. (I would call it a debate, but we well know that our politicians no longer have the civility to debate.)

“I think we need to pull the whole engine and completely overhaul it,” says our Democrat mechanic.

“No! Absolutely not!” our Republican counters. “We cannot spend that kind of money. What kind of insane thinking is that?”

“I’ve got an idea,” says the moderate, trying to be heard over the shouting (who can be a Republican or Democrat. Take your pick).

“I think we can compromise and get the car running by making some of the most needed repairs, but not all of them. That way we won’t have to spend as much of our customer’s money.”

At his point, the Democrat (or Republican) leans in willing to hear more of the moderate’s plan. But our Republican (or Democrat) shoulders up to the moderate and says, “Just whose side are you on? Don’t forget who got you hired.”

So our moderate clams up and shelves his idea, fearful that he could get fired.

The argument moves on to the transmission and electrical system with very little being resolved.

Meanwhile, a large crowd (U.S. citizens and voters) has gathered outside the garage and is listening to the mechanics bicker, argue, and threat.

Some in the crowd just want the car up and running with minimal tinkering. Others insist upon a complete overhaul. While some are willing to consider the moderate’s plans. Our crowd has becoming increasingly agitated and like the mechanics, have started arguing amongst themselves.

Some even brought guns to the gathering.

Some are shouting at and threatening the mechanics: “I’ll see you get fired (removed from office) if you don’t do exactly as I want!”

The impasse goes on day after day, month after month. Our two-party mechanics continue to argue, refuse to compromise, and are unwilling to consider the moderate’s plans.

And our car? It continues to sputter and miss, and barely chugs along. It needs repairs. And it needs them now. Our mechanics aren’t getting the job done.

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