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One of my classmates at UGA was an artist about a dozen years older than me named John Amoss. (Two "s"s. Not the actor). John was a fantastic printmaker and all-around good guy. (I'm sure that he's still a great printmaker. I hope he's still an all-around good guy.)

John once said that I reminded him of himself "before he got cynical about being cynical." That was over 15 years ago. I'm now older than John was when he told me that. Am I any less cynical?

Let's take the current ongoing federal government partial shutdown as a test case. We got here because the head of the executive branch said he wouldn't pass any legislation to fund the government unless it included $5 billion for his pet project, the border wall. His cronies in the legislative branch took the hint and have avoided giving him anything since. Meanwhile, many government agencies tasked with keeping the country safe are either shut down or forcing employees to work for free. That's the opposite of what our government is supposed to be doing. That's their job. Why aren't they doing it?

So long as it the government remains closed, the Democrats controlling the House can blame the President for refusing to give in negotiate with them. So long as it the government remains closed, the Republicans controlling the Senate can blame the Democrats for treating like the President like the baby he is leaving America's borders insecure. And so long as the government remains closed, the President can postpone lawsuits accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution and eat mountains of fast food with football players.

Am I still cynical? Obviously. Am I too cynical? Sorry, John. There's no such thing.

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To be continued...

 

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