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A Vacation for Washington

So, beginning tomorrow, Congress and the President will take a month vacation. This traditional yearly break comes just at the right time because, well, there is nothing really to do in Washington.

The nation is sinking deeper into a coronavirus meltdown, the economy is winding down quickly, millions more are added to the unemployment rolls, and Congress needs a break, the President needs some time off to cheat at golf. It’s not like the leader of the free world has much to do.

It would be wrong to say that Congress had not done a lot since the beginning of the year but let me go ahead and say it, “Congress has not done anything to deserve the salaries they have freely taken from the coffers of the American taxpayer this year.” They have largely fell in behind the lack of leadership of this president as it pertains to the COVID-19 virus, and for the first time in my lifetime has managed to politicize a virus pandemic. Incredible, absolutely incredible. How could a nation of reasonably intelligent people politicize a viral pandemic. Well, friends and neighbors, we have. And, let’s not miss the fine point, it has cost us the lives of 7,218 Texans to date, and 156,000 Americans. Against those staggering figures I can understand why Congress and this president need a vacation — it is so exhausting to do nothing every day. After a while, you need some time away to do more — nothing.

The President’s schedule has been so packed, he has not had time to talk with best bud Putin about the bounties Russia is paying the Taliban for American soldiers they have killed. I can understand the crowded schedule. If it is not giving a disinformation briefing on COVID, dissing one of his key infectious control scientists, its a tough round of golf requiring all his skills at cheating to win. I understand his inability to actually win an honest game of golf after all these years of playing. That would require learning, adjusting one’s stance, one’s arc, one’s choice of clubs, and one’s swing. Trump never changes anything, never learns anything, never processes new information, and repeats the same mistakes over and over again. No other reason he has to cheat, the only way he can be a winner is to cheat to win. A careful assessment of his whole life comes down to that simple truth, “he cheats to win.” Now, he is cheating America to what end, I cannot tell. I just know we are the poorer for it.

However, he and Congress need four weeks off. Sadly, for the most part, we will not know they are not there — because when they are there they accomplish nothing but argue and posture. Only a cynical, incompetent body of congressmen and women would leave their responsibilities to go campaign for another 2–6 years because well, we have such a good report to share with our constituents.

There are men and women without jobs but with families and mortgages or rent, and certainly food needs. This Congress has left without any kind of support. These folks did not cause the pandemic, they are victims of it. If our figures are correct and they are, the ones who are most impacted by this pandemic are again those who are at the bottom. They are the working poor, the single parent families, those without savings or any family to turn to in this time. These are folks of color without easily available medical resources, and often because of income restrictions not in the greatest health. Frankly, they are the workers of this economy who move food from one place to another after having picked it from the fields. They are the rank and file of the “service industry” which means they are at the lowest rung of our economy. They are the servers, waiters/waitresses which bring you your food when you are out. They are the cooks and dishwashers who make it possible for you to have a night out or every night out. They are the folks who clean your room at your hotel or the plane you will be boarding. They are more susceptible to the spread of the virus because they are the custodians, janitors, building cleaners, truck drivers that move stuff from one place to another. Because of the pandemic, millions have lost their jobs and today in many states, they will draw their last unemployment check of $600.00. Why, because Congress needs a vacation. The President needs a vacation.

I believe we need to inundate our representatives and senators with shaming. Simply put. Shaming. To walk off when the job is not done, to lay down your work because the whistle blows, to turn away from the millions who will suffer without any resources or hope in this next month. They should be ashamed.

These are not ordinary times. These are crisis times for many in America and it is not just those who have lost their income. It is crisis time in the health care community. Our nurses, doctors, health care employees are frightened and exhausted because each day the nation sinks deeper into the grip of a pandemic which no one will speak truth about. Leadership has not led, because there has not been a helpful, united voice that clearly tells the truth without political rhetoric, simply explaining to the American people what is going on and what they need to do.

A pandemic which could have been nearly stopped at the shore(like the Ebola virus), which could have organized resources across the nation, mobilized people and citizens to do their part knowing some sacrifice would fall to all, has slipped away and now has become a partisan war of rhetoric and blaming. And each day people die unnecessarily.

I don’t often say this, but “Shame, shame on all our leadership. If you cannot lead, if the task is more than you can summon strength to do, then step aside and let someone else do what you could not do.

Go home, please!”