When I was a child – the youngest of three rambunctious boys – I became very adept a playing the blame game.
Whenever there was misbehaving of any type occurring, which was often, I always had two options for blame — either one of my older brothers. My mother, being wise and all-knowing, usually settled the matter by exclaiming, “I’ve had enough!” and punishing all three of us. After all, if we weren’t guilty this time around, we likely would be in the very near future. It was a system based on efficiency, and it worked marvelously.
All of this came to mind recently when the U.S. House of Representatives voted 195-234, with 62 Republicans joining 172 Democrats, to defeat the farm bill. The vote was regarded by some as a surprise and it has proven to be more than a little embarrassing to the House GOP leadership.
The really interesting thing to me was how the blame game played out. Within minutes of the House vote, my e-mail system became jammed with press releases from various members of Congress, commodity groups, and anyone else with a dog in the fight.
The Democrats blamed the Republicans for insisting on heavy cuts to food stamp programs, and the Republicans blamed the Democrats for wanting to spend too much.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, an Alabama Republican, blamed the “spenders” – I’m assuming from both parties – and somehow worked her way back to placing the blame on the “spending policies left over from the Pelosi congress,” even though the House is now controlled by the GOP.
It’s all very confusing.
Farm bills are typically bipartisan affairs, but such a spirit has eluded this Congress. The Senate appears to be playing the role of the responsible adult while the House insists on being the petulant child.
Lacking a better solution, I suggest we follow my mother’s time-proven strategy and punish everyone involved by voting them out of office in the next election. While I’ve never been an advocate of a too-simple “throw the bums out” mentality, perhaps it’s time.
I know I’ve had enough.