On the Right Lane: Lame blame game

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“The blame game is a waste of time. Any time you’re busy fixing blame, you’re wasting energy and not fixing the problem.”

Rick Warren, Christian pastor and author

As I started writing this column, our federal government was shut down, which is probably the best thing that members of the U.S. Congress will do for us this year.

Most of us have probably forgotten that government has “shut down” many times, but often only a couple of days were involved. 

I remember when I was in the military many moons ago and when the end of the month came I didn’t get paid. If there is one thing I am capable of, it’s raising a stink. All I will state is that the stink didn’t last long before I got my paycheck. I don’t think my German landlord would have cared if I received my pay or not and at that time, being a fairly new member of the military, my pay wasn’t great. Maybe I should have had the attitude that I pretended to work and the government pretended to pay me.

Now it appears our federal government is back to business as usual. The first thing that struck me about the whole thing was when I heard the term “nonessential workers.” That makes me wonder why our government needs nonessential workers in the first place. But I must admit after working at the Pentagon for five years I received many answers to that question.

OK, I’m just being facetious because my attitude toward our members of Congress is that every one of them needs to be removed so we get some resemblance of sanity inside the Capitol. I would have to presume that the terms limits that presidents now abide by should be the same for all the members of Congress as well.

What’s really sad is how many members of Congress acted like little children as the scenario of this government shutdown took place. Both political parties acted like morons and what did they use as their pawns? Children, both American and foreign-born. Did they pretend to care that their actions might just harm many others, especially those government workers who wouldn’t be receiving any pay? Truthfully, if I remember right, many government workers who weren’t deemed essential and were basically furloughed in the end received their pay even though they didn’t work when the government was shut down. What might be worse is the fact that the United States has a widespread outbreak of the flu, and at this point I don’t think our government could have done anything about it in the first place but if millions of people need help, where will our government be?

What might be even worse for Mainers is that our state government appears to be operating on somewhat the same scenario. It’s a shame, but when many issues become complicated because of politics it almost becomes hilarious,  like the famous Keystone Kops. Maybe my problem is that I was a sergeant in the U.S. Army and when faced with a problem I solved it in one manner or another. No, I wasn’t 100 percent successful, but at least I did something and it didn’t take years to decide.

Whether at the state or federal level, the blame game that is happening between politicians is beginning to destroy this country. I sense that the national news media and Hollywood as well only will make the situation worse.

I certainly hope that local politics will never resemble that of our nation’s capital but nowadays I imagine anything is possible. I know in the past there have been a few political flare-ups in Windham and even surrounding municipalities as well,  but nothing even close to what members of Congress can do.

Sadly, something tells me that anything is possible. Scary, isn’t it?

Lane Hiltunen of Windham knows that President George Bush wasn’t responsible for the fine mess we are in today.