Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year's Night Football in DC

The Capital Bowl ends in overtime with John Boehner being sacked in his own end zone as Tea Party teammates led by Eric Cantor scramble away from him still praying for a Hail Mary pass.

The metaphor comes with apologies for comparing the high skill level of college amateur football with what went on in Washington this weekend. The play in the Capitol was more like a series of sandlot scrimmages. Some would say sandbox.

As stock markets rise in relief like anxious parents to see the battered kids still on the cliff, rage and recrimination dominate Wednesday morning quarterbacking.

Northeast House Republicans join Democratic colleagues in hammering Boehner for not voting on Hurricane Sandy relief while passing a bill laden with pork for auto-racing tracks, imported rum and coal-mining on Indian lands.

The GOP grouses about the cost of the President’s trip to Hawaii for the rest of his family vacation without acknowledging that it was their fault he had no one to kiss at midnight New Year’s Eve except Joe Biden.

The Veep himself emerges as the only hero of the fiasco by cozying his former Senate friend Mitch McConnell into allowing the vote that broke the stalemate there.

Otherwise, there is no joy in DC’s Mudville as both home teams disgraced themselves in the holiday sport.

One of the few Democrats who didn’t vote for the Senate bill, Colorado’s Michael Bennet, put it best:

“Washington politics no longer follows the example of our parents and our grandparents who saw as their first job creating more opportunity, not less, for the people who came after. My mother’s parents were refugees from Warsaw who came here after World War II because they could rebuild their shattered lives. But the political debate now is a zero-sum game that creates more problems than solutions.”

The ugly game is over in DC, at least for a few weeks, but unless something changes, it will be played over and over again in the new year.


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