Nathan Sass

The “Comprehensive” Problem

In 2012 Elections, Immigration Reform, Politics, Ron Johnson, Scott Walker, Tea Party on February 28, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Imagine 2 people in a boat, a democrat and a republican.

Suddenly the boat develops a hole in the hull and water begins to rush in, threatening to sink the boat.  Immediately, the democrat and the republican begin argue over a “comprehensive” plan to address the issue of a leaky boat.

The republican wants to plug the hole and bail out the boat using the democrat’s hat.

The democrat wants to plug the hole and leave the water in the boat alone to save his hat from getting wet.

They argue back and forth for a long time.

While they argue, the hole is never plugged, the boat is never bailed out and eventually sinks and the democrat’s hat still gets wet.

The people on the shore watching this shake their heads and say to themselves, “The idiots should have agreed to plug the damn hole, and THEN argued about bailing out the boat.”

Nothing is more frustrating for the voting public that watching two sides argue over grand comprehensive plans while nothing gets done.

American politics has been simultaneously paralyzed and polarized of late.  Regardless of the issue, it seems that political leaders are unable to make any progress on solutions.

This is because every solution a politician proposes must be “comprehensive”.  Perhaps that is due to their desire to impress the voters with their incredible intelligence.  Unfortunately politicians are generally not any more intelligent than the voters, and in many cases are significantly less intelligent.

Take the example of immigration, for instance.  Both sides only advance “comprehensive” plans to address the issue of illegal immigration.

The two sides are arguing about how to deal with the illegal immigrants already here, while totally ignoring the “hole in the boat”.

If elected politicians were not so consumed by proving to themselves how much smarter than you and I they were, they would be more willing to look at the issue and say that maybe we should start by securing the border.  They can fight over the other stuff when that is done.

But to date, no one I know of has seriously proposed a bill to deal with the border security issues in isolation.  Every bill has to have a “comprehensive” nature and therefore is never going to pass.

If the politicians were more like the people they are supposed to represent, they would take an issue like immigration and deal with it one piece at a time.

First you “plug the hole” on the southern border and reduce the number of new illegals, drug traffickers and others crossing into the US to the lowest number reasonably possible.

Then we discuss what we can do about the illegal immigrants who are already here, one step at a time.

What is important to remember though is that discussions about what we should do about the illegal immigrants already here is pretty stupid and fruitless if we haven’t dealt with the issues at the border.

Plug the damn hole.

Not surprisingly, “stupid and fruitless” is about the best description of the “comprehensive solutions” coming out of Washington D.C. lately, on issues of all kinds.  From immigration to health care reform to social security to federal spending, democrats and republicans argue back and forth, get nowhere, and the boat is still sinking.  Even  when they pass a “comprehensive” plan to deal with something, the public hates it. (Obamacare, anyone?)

There is not a single issue that we cannot use this simple real world approach to deal with, and arrive at results that most of the public is comfortable with.  But that cannot happen with the people we keep sending to D.C.

The only way to change that is to send some people from the shore out to the boat, tell the people in the boat to shut up, and fix the holes.  People like Jim DeMint, Ron Johnson, Sean Duffy and Col. Allen West to name a few.  A handful just won’t do, though.

We need a lot of people from shore to be able to outnumber the people in the boat and start fixing holes.

I think we’re going to need a bigger boat.

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