– Actually, there is nothing new here.

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Even though the session is still young, I am already tired of the shenanigans going on between the President and the new 116th Congress. The news media takes pleasure in reminding us of the number of days the government has been partially shut down, but a more important statistic is that we are now 15 days into our political gridlock (as of today). While the Congress is stalled, the President moves on with new appointees, such as William Barr for Attorney General, sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo around the world to secure peace, and negotiating trade deals behind the scenes with other countries.

Because of the stalemate over financing the Wall and reopening government, the news has become rather boring and uninteresting, leaving the press to report on nothing more than the President having the “audacity” of serving the Clemson football champions fast food during their White House visit (which was a hit with the players).

While the Congress is in neutral, the President is still concerned with securing our borders. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the parallel between President Trump and Theodore Roosevelt is uncanny. Teddy had a similar problem with Congress; his “Wall” was the Panama Canal which the Congress was hesitant to pay for. TR made the observation, “I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on, the canal does also.”

It appears President Trump is doing likewise with the southern Wall.

People today believe the polarization we are experiencing in the nation’s capitol is unique to our times. Hardly. The impassioned speeches of the early 1800’s pertaining to the Missouri Compromise and Kansas-Nebraska Act were even more divisive than today, all of which was a prelude to our Civil War. Let us also not forget the heated House debate of 1798, whereby Congressmen Matthew Lyon and Roger Griswold were physically fighting on the House floor.

So, none of this is new and has caused humorists over the years to observe the following…

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
– Mark Twain

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”
– Mark Twain

“…I never can think of Judas Iscariot without losing my temper. To my mind Judas Iscariot was nothing but a low, mean, premature, Congressman.”
– Mark Twain

“Congress is so strange; a man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens, and then everybody disagrees.”
– Will Rogers

“Congress meets tomorrow morning. Let us all pray: Oh Lord, give us strength to bear that which is about to be inflicted upon us. Be merciful with them, oh Lord, for they know not what they’re doing. Amen.”
– Will Rogers

“We all joke about Congress but we can’t improve on them. Have you noticed that no matter who we elect, he is just as bad as the one he replaces?”
– Will Rogers

“A president just can’t make much showing against congress. They lay awake nights, thinking up things to be against the president on.”
– Will Rogers

So you see, nothing has really changed over the years. Americans are the only people who would rather have their Congress tied up, than moving forward, primarily because there is no national consensus as to what path we should take. I always thought it was to be the shining “city on a hill,” a beacon of liberty, and world leader for freedom, but I don’t believe everyone feels the same way.

BTW: The only noteworthy news event in the offing is the President’s upcoming State of the Union address to Congress scheduled for Tuesday, January 29th. Of course, this is regularly performed by the President as per the Constitution. Fearing the President will take advantage of the venue, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked Mr. Trump to delay his address or submit it to Congress in writing. Fat chance. Unless the two parties can come to terms before then, which is highly unlikely, the President will use the address to discuss illegal immigration, much to the chagrin of the Democrats. Frankly, they should sell tickets to this one and put it on Pay Per View as it will probably attract the largest television audience of all time.

Who knows, maybe the President and the Speaker will reenact the Lyon-Griswold bout of 1798.

Enjoy your gridlock. If you think we’re on edge now, let’s see how we are 715 days from now as the 116th Congress expires.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2019 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube. Click for TIM’S LIBRARY OF AUDIO CLIPS.

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