Let me propose a little analogy comparing the current Congressional impasse with a stalled bus.
The bus is stuck on the railroad tracks and the train is approaching.
The majority want to push the bus forward to get it off the tracks. The minority say,
No, push it backward. We won’t even help if you decide to push it forward. If we tried that, you might learn we were right, and then try to push it the other way. We don’t care. We don’t even want to try your way to see if you are right. We have just tried our way with your help and it didn’t work, but if we try it again we are sure it will work this time.
So the bus stayed where it was, the train hit it and derailed, the toxic cargo spread over the town and all were killed. In heaven, the minority said,
See you should have tried it our way one more time. I leave it for you to fill in God’s reply.
I was once in a work group where there were two opposing plans to proceed. One got the go ahead and the other did not.
The losing plan was to proceed along a more traditional course. The proponent of the losing plan did not give up. He went up the chain of command pleading his case. He was rejected at every turn.
Would the group have been better off had he contributed his considerable talents to the effort that the group embarked upon? One can only presume so. He never gave up and never contributed much after that.
Even if he had been right, if he had helped the group proceed along the wrong path, they might have found out it was wrong sooner and the plan could have switched to the other tack.
Well, it is 27 years later and the results are in. An entire industry has been built around the path that the group did take. In fact the very computer you are using to read this message was designed with software that followed this successful path. There were advances made with the chosen approach as the foundation that were not even dreamed of 27 years ago.
The Republicans may be right or they may be wrong, but they refuse to let the majority even try their plan. Moreover, the evidence of recent history suggests that the Republicans are wrong. The current balance of power in the executive and legislative branches seems to indicate that the electorate disagree with the Republicans.
The very religious-like zealotry of the Republicans and their supporters is starting to be a major roadblock to progress in this country. (Did I say starting?)
Even worse, we have had years of trying the Republican way and it has proven to be an utter failure. Yet, the Republicans insist that they know best and they will continue to throw monkey wrenches into the gears to stop anyone from trying anything else. (
Tradition!. I just watched
Fiddler On The Roof again yersterday.)
Despite what Republicans may think, the Democrats are merely saying that the plan we have laid out is the best one that we can think of at the moment. As we implement it and gain experience with it, we will learn how to tweak it or discard it. The Republicans just say, no, we will not allow any progress in any direction at all, but our direction. We will not allow any learning. We will not allow any motion, but in our chosen direction.
In fact they seem to think that God is telling them what to do.
I once had a boss put me on a project that I was sure could not be made to work. I said to myself,
I’ll show you. I’ll write all the software as you suggest so that I can show you it won’t work. Was I surprised in the end when it did work.
Years later I was on the other end of the decision making. I wanted a person in my group to work on a certain project that he thought was impossible. I said to him,
Let’s go through all the reasons why you think this won’t work. Just to humor me try to come up with the best idea that you can to overcome each roadblock. After that exercise he concluded that it just might work. His efforts succeeded. That approach is now also very popular in the industry. In fact I got 6 years more work out of applying that idea in another company.
I then got another 6 more years of work at another company working on a project that was only conceived after the demonstration that the first idea could be successful. At the same time all the competition were working on the same idea.
It was 1967 or 1968 when I was traveling back from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Lowell. There was a severe blizzard going on. As I pulled into the entrance ramp to I-93, there was a line completely stalled because of the snow. I pulled up to the end of the line. I got out of my car to see what I could do to extricate myself from the situation.
As I did that another car pulled up and that driver got out to survey the scene, too. I started a rapid fire set of suggestions as to things we could try. Finally, he said,
Shut-up and let me think.. So, I did.
Six more cars drove up to the end of the line and that is all she wrote. Eventually we were evacuated by a firetruck that was driving down I-93 picking up stranded motorists.
Two days later, I was able to go back to the scene and get my car out.