Friday, July 18, 2008

We Need a United Government

I detest committees, and I hate meetings. Throughout my business career and subsequent volunteer leadership activities I've avoided them like the plague. Why? Because there is usually no imperative to act. "Information sharing", rather than hard-nosed planning, becomes the purpose of most committee meetings. The time is generally wasted, and time is precious.

One of my bosses had a name for people who filled their calendars with meetings. He derisively called them "professional meeting attenders". Their output in real terms was often zero, since their goal was "to discuss" rather than to take responsibility.

Our government, i.e., the administration and congress, seems to be filled with professional meeting attenders. They talk a lot, but accomplish little. "Posturing" to pander to those who elected them takes up a lot of their time. Even with democratic party majorities in congress, the senate filibuster rule prevents the democrats from enacting the laws they propose. This allows for unlimited posturing because all sides know nothing is going to happen. I'm sick of it.

This fall we need to install a united government, a government unencumbered by artificial restraints on action. It seems that Obama and the democrats have the best prospect for achieving a veto-proof or filibuster-proof majority, so bring them on!

The USA has so many problems that prioritizing them is going to be a herculean task, and allocating scarce budget dollars will be painful. Those in power will have to make hard decisions and the enemies that go along with them. This is just what we need, however. We will find out whether our "professional meeting attenders" have the ability to plan and execute. The leaders of the democratic party will be forced to show their true colors, for better or worse.

In my view, our country is under siege from problems of our own making. Foreign wars, over-reliance on fossil fuels, bloated entitlements and government payrolls, poor oversight of financial institutions, and archaic education methods have hampered our development and created a horrific fiscal mess. We are faced with a "wartime" situation, a situation that must be confronted with fast and effective action on many fronts. Only a united government has the potential to put the country on the fast track to recovery.

Will united government be the solution? Maybe, maybe not. We really don't know if those we elect can lead until they are given a chance. But one thing is certain: a divided government has no chance of success unless one defines success as the current status quo. Whatever your views, hold your nose in November and vote for democrats! We need to find out whether government can work or not.


ThomasLB said...

Back when I had a career and worked at Du Pont, meetings were a constant frustration for me. I remember one meeting where all that was decided was that we needed another meeting- and next time, someone should bring donuts.

One time I got really frustrated in a meeting, stood up and said, "Just tell me what you want and when you want it, and I'll get it to you! That's all I need to know! What is it that you want?" And nobody could tell me.

I think people that believe government should be run as a business are unfamiliar with what big businesses are really like.

I'm not sure a united government would function any better than what we've got now, but at least it would leave absolutely no doubt about who is to blame. I guess that's something.

Woozie said...

Whatever your views, hold your nose in November and vote for democrats!

I had a good laugh :) How's your son?

Life Hiker said...

Woozie, my son is one tough 34 year old man. He's moving on, and he can function in his work and his life with a rather nasty hearing disability. My guess is that "he will overcome", but he tells me the hardest thing is to get in his car and not select one of his hundreds of rock CD's. Thanks for asking!

Eusebius said...

You might be interested in this bit entitled "What Might Have Been" speaking about the Clinton years...