ShareThis Page
Editorials

Editorial: Leaders acting like kids on break

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, 4:33 p.m.
Jekabs Vidzis, 8, left, and his brother Margers, 6, visit the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Donations to the National Park Service have allowed the National Christmas Tree to be open during the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Jekabs Vidzis, 8, left, and his brother Margers, 6, visit the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. Donations to the National Park Service have allowed the National Christmas Tree to be open during the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Here we sit in the unusual period that strings out between one thing and the next.

No, not between one Congress and the next. Not between a shutdown government and one where things get done.

Between Christmas and the New Year.

Most parents can probably tell you that there are a lot of similarities, though.

Right now, kids are at home, doing their level best to forget that school has not shut down for the rest of their lives.

They are not thinking about that math test that happened right before they cut out last week. They don’t want to think about the book they are supposed to read for English class over the break. They know there’s a term paper bearing down on them for April, but that is light years away from their reality and will probably never even have to happen, right?

Now is the time to just hang out with your friends who believe exactly the same thing you do about some science class that will never be important in your life because who will ever need to know anything about science?

Now is the time to roll your eyes when your parents tell you this garbage needs to be handled now because ignoring it isn’t going to make it go away and putting it off will just mean you have more to do down the road.

Now is the time for fits and tantrums with your siblings about who did what and who is responsible and who needs to clean it up.

But the kids are wrong, and all the adults in the room know it.

So do the adults in the rooms in Washington, even if there are precious few adults left on either side.

In the wake of the November election, the Senate is anticipating its larger majority with several Republicans even more closely aligned with the White House. The House Democrats are looking ahead to their ownership of the gavels and the ability to call shots on hearings and subpoenas and introduction of legislation that would not have gotten anywhere last year.

The president, meanwhile, is digging in his heels on the border wall and watching as several job titles change hands over his newly announced Syrian withdrawal.

And everything is bearing down on the first showdown — that shutdown.

What everyone needs to remember is that our nation was built not on obstinate breath-holding until someone wins or passes out. It was built on compromise. The very balance of power between the executive and legislative branches was about a give and take of what some could stomach and what others would accept. The reason we have two chambers in Congress and what they each represent was a negotiation.

So with a few days left over Christmas vacation, let’s hope everyone remembers there is still work to do in the New Year, and that it’s really a group project. If everyone doesn’t participate, nobody is going to succeed.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me