This, of course, is not the time to be in Washington, which is as pleasant as the inside of a damp fishing boot. I always hated the way no matter what you wore to work, it ended up sopping wet with sweat and, depending on how you sweat, stinky. I sweated stinky. What a swamp the place is.
But I was always heartened by the fact that it was the seat of government, and I believed in government then, as I do a little less now and I suspect will believe once again come November. Just now, though, I can’t sleep and its about 2 a.m. and what I really need to know is what is Congress going to do for the people of this sick, troubled country?
I keep reading stories with big numbers in them that all end the same way: No one can agree on what to do. We should all be beyond the point at which this kind of disagreement, which apparently is not so ideological as it may seem, sticks everything in place like bubblegum on a summer sidewalk.
Everyone down there needs to understand that people are losing hope. They have lost jobs. They now have lost that sweet $600 a week to tide them over while things were getting straightened out. What hasn’t stopped is billing. Folks still need to eat. Need to pay rent. Need to get the kids ready for school. Need to feed the dog.
Need to do so many things they can’t because they are out of money.
A long time ago I blamed people for their condition in life. I figured if you had nothing, it was because you didn’t get a job at age 14 like me and word hard whenever you could. You kind of baked your own cake, you know? It was your fault.
I am a lot smarter than that now, having spent four and a half decades as a reporter covering everything from crime to disease to legislatures and even a bit of Washington as a news editor there. I realized something over that long course of experience. Life is not fair. It’s particularly not fair if you are from the poorer side of the culture, or are black, or are Latino, or have mental health problems, or…you could go on and on, but I won’t.
President Trump says he’s going to issue an executive order to solve the problem if Congress can’t agree on what to do. You know what that’s about. He made the announcement at his golf course. Jaysus! President Poop makes a promise! This is becoming Dickensian! He just wants to put his ridiculous signature on a letter he can send with the check on the off chance people might be stupid enough to overlook his gross negligence and corruption. That’s not going to work.
What will work is this: The Senate should embrace much of the bill already passed by the House weeks ago, continue the extension of that $600 and get things rolling again. Short of that, we should just mandate that they all go and sit in the swamp until they decide to do their jobs.
Snakes and spiders, that’s what these people deserve at this point. Help the people of this nation with as much passion and as much money as you can. They all need it. The virus is not going away. The economy is not going to be booming any time soon. We are on the edge of a deep, deep pit, looking down and fearing the plummet.