The art of the possible

Another broken record appeal


I complain about Washington, DC. The DC Metro sucks. The infrastructure is falling to pieces. The state of what we call political discourse makes me want to poke my own eyes out. Oh, and had to go to the CVS and some creepy, smelly guy stood way too close to me and was growling. Dude, can’t a girl get some space? Last point, we had a scary earthquake and now a crazy hurricane is coming our way. What next? Frogs? Locusts? Glenn Beck will hold another crazy fest on the mall and his minions will take over my favorite coffee place and I’ll have to get my caffeine at the totally ghetto Starbucks that frequently runs out of coffee?

Rant mode over.

And then, just when I think the best plan is to move to a farm in Wyoming, something spectacular happens; I look at the Capitol Building and all that negativity just vanishes. I remain in awe of the amazing thing we have created here. When we tear each other down by attacking each other’s patriotism or motives, we don’t just hurt our political opponents but we diminish our creation and ourselves.
My entree into this glorious world of campaigns and politics happened when I was eight. Funny story: I was at the Hawk n’ Dove waiting for a friend and the manager, Paul, asked me about this. I replied that I had started by volunteering to unseat the evil Conservative Party (not GOP, mind you, but Conservative) from the first district of New York — Bill Carney. The man next to me said, “That’s me.” — He proved it by showing me his Congressional ID. Open mouth, insert foot. We are now friends.

When I was eight, I canvassed, I handed out flyers, I stuffed envelopes. On election night as we watched the returns, the areas I canvassed had a higher turnout for our candidate, George Hochbrukner (a hard name to spell but a great one to remember!) than other areas and I was sure that was because of my hard work. He lost. He lost the next election and was elected to Congress only when Bill retired. He quit when he could no longer go for a beer and have a conversation with his opponent. It wasn’t fun anymore. He thinks civility in this business is a pipe dream.

I don’t believe that. When I worked in the Senate, I felt a bond with all over staffers. We all were there, working crazy hours for next to no pay because we believed we could make a difference. The real difference between the two parties is not that one is more patriotic than they other or believes more in God. We all want to get to the same place, we just have different paths to get there.

I read on Conservapedia that Jefferson Smith from “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” was a Democrat. They also see it as demonizing Republicans. I don’t believe that. I refuse to believe that this movie was a partisan statement. It was a call to remember that politics really is the art of the possible.

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