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Brief and Direct: Beware the Shiny Objects

Another in an unscheduled series of short commentaries on current events

In a recent diary, I made a case that we are too often distracted by “shiny objects” put into play by the Democrats and kept in the public eye by their minions in the press.  Examples I used included gun control, but the shiny new issue of Immigration Reform has been rolled out since then, with the help of our two Arizona Senators, Marco Rubio, and I suppose Lindsey Graham.  Shiny objects take our eyes off the ball, distracting us from the issues that we should be paying attention to. Shiny objects are probably not unimportant, but they definitely are distractions.

Both gun control and immigration reform are classic examples of shiny objects.  They are attractive.  They are important. And they don’t really require immediate attention at all. Both can and should be handled through normal channels and nothing will be lost, because nothing can really be achieved by addressing them in the mode of the Crisis of the Month.  It’s simply not possible to do anything effective about either issue in crisis mode; all we’ll get will be style, no substance, and real solutions if there are any are more likely to be worked out away from public view.

So, Republicans, what are they distracting us from?  A bloated government, no budget from the Senate (resulting in Continuing Resolutions that expand the deficit and balloon the National Debt), out-of-control spending,  serious unemployment, and the question of how to deal with the Debt Ceiling.  These are real problems that the government is Constitutionally charged with addressing (unemployment’s included because it is government policy that’s made that problem worse).

What to do?  Let the Democrats pontificate about the shiny objects.  Let THEM propose unpalatable “solutions” to non-critical “problems.”  Meanwhile, John Boehner has the right take now, if I understand him. Engage the Democrats on these shiny objects in “regular order.”  Committee hearings.  Deliberations.  In other words, think before you act.

Do the same for the big issue of federal spending, but use your airtime to talk about it and explain why WE have the right answers (smaller government and less spending) instead of tilting at the gun and immigration windmills.  If you simply HAVE to say something about immigration, just point out that border security has been promised (and paid for), and it hasn’t happened no matter what this week’s Big Lie is, and until security is achieved we have to keep working on it in regular order.  In fact, the Democrats have already agreed to it.

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