John Y. Brown, III on the Government Shutdown

My surefire plan to end the government shut down.

Each member of Congress has at least one person who knows how to get them out of their stinky mood and coax them out after having locked themselves in their bedroom.

That’s right.  It is “Mom.”

Someone needs to call the mother of each member of Congress and explain, “Remember when Rep. (blank) was growing up and would get mad and lock himself (or herself) in his room and threaten not to come out for days? Well…the reason I am calling is….that is happening again and as a matter of national security we really need your help. What sort of “tricks” worked for you to get Rep (blank) to unlock the door any come down to dinner?”

Maybe it is chocolate chip cookies, or playing dress up, or getting to stay up extra late, make fun of gay people, promising to time and listen to their “pretend” filibuster, or raising their allowance 10 cents a week if they would outline how wasteful their siblings were being with their allowance, or agreeing to play Dodgeball or Tag (you’re “It”)

It doesn’t really matter what works ….but finding that secret something that works for each member and then asking their chief of staff to try it on them again this week.

I think this is a pretty ingenious plan….that may just work. Once out of their rooms, we then need to remove the door locks so this can’t happen again.


JYB3I have been beating up on Congress the past few weeks, and that helps me vent a bit but isn’t very helpful.

On a more serious and somber note,  I think we all are to blame for the shutdown. In a democracy, our elected officials are pretty much a reflection of the voters electing them. Again, I tried admitting my poor behavior in all this.

I mean….a democratic republic is a government based on the consent of the governed, right? In other words, if you want to know how we can expect our elected officials in Congress to behave, a good place to look is political debates on Facebook.

We are the people who hired them and they are mirroring us and we them. I am frustrated with Congress for the shutdown because I do think that is especially irresponsible. But it is important, in my humble opinion, that we as citizens/voters not wait and hope some elected leader is going to save us from ourselves.

We don’t live under a government system that operates that way. We have to save ourselves and improve how we cope with our own demands, wants and disappointments and differences from others—political and otherwise. As that happens, I believe, we will see an alternation in how Congress debates. Or more precisely, we will see a voting public that demands discussions that are more informed and mature and aiming to resolve questions within the realm of the possible. Maybe not.

I can’t say with a great degree of confidence this is how it works.

But that’s my take on it….and wanted try to explain best I could. I think the blame game from Dems to Repubs and Repubs to Dems and voters to Congress and Congress to voters and on and on and on…. is getting tiring to all and has about run it’s course. As Dr Phil might say, “How’s that working for us?”  And as unpleasant as blaming myself can be, at least I feel like I have a little control.

That’s worth something… Just a parting thought for whatever it is worth. (Note: I was paid nothing for it so the market value for my opinion is, well,  zero.)


America is a great country with a great history of overcoming setbacks, defying our critics and beating the odds against us. We are at our best when things are at their worst.


Because at the nadir of that dark encompassing moment some inspired person steps up and leads–and leads almost instinctively and with renewed vision and passion.

We are at that point again. Somewhere last night, when members of Congress were caucasing with their party leadership –much like the scene in this video clip–I choose to believe one (or both) party’s experienced one of those soul-riveting moments.

It is “a call to leadership” when some courageous and articulate soul leads us out of our political wilderness and back into everything that makes America great. And that speech, whenever and wherever it happens, will surely look like this (see video clip).

Now, when you watch this clip through the lens of your own partisan biases– whether you see Bluto’s inspirational speech and imagine it is John Boehner or it is Harry Reid– it doesn’t matter. The important thing about this “moment” is that we know we are on the brink of it today….and someone in Congress will inspire others to join them for a higher calling… “The best damn night of our lives.” And succeed.

It’s what makes America great. (Warning: inappropriate language…but this is how Congressional leadership works and it can be gritty and ugly sometimes. But inspired too.)


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