Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The questions that don't get asked ...

Sometimes questions that don't get asked are the ones that should.

I'm not sure how or why, but I was talking about politics with my oldest daughter on Sunday and she asked me, “what's the point of political parties?”

I attempted to explain it the best way I could, telling her it was sort of an indication to others of who your friends were. “It's kind of like football jerseys,” I said. “It's so you know who to throw the ball to.”

Except, that's a horrible explanation.

And the more I attempted to think of a metaphor for the reasoning for political parties, the more frustrated I got. Because, honestly, I just can't.

As the lame ducks in Congress convened in Washington yesterday, the Democrats pushed to get certain things done before the end of their session, knowing that come January when the Republicans take over, their ideals will be put on hold for at least two years.

Many political pundits are split over whether the Democrats will get anything meaningful accomplished in the next month and a half. Some think they'll ram some legislation through and others think they'll simply bicker, much like they have been doing for the last 22 months.

So here's a question that seldom gets asked aloud: Why do we have an election and then wait nearly two months to put the people we elected into office?

Sure there are some races that remain undecided. Votes need counted. And recounted. But for the most part, we know the winners and losers of the mid-term election. Ironically, the losers get a month and a half back at the controls.

In a manner of speaking, each election, we have a pre-planned revolution – a mutiny of sorts. And then we tell the captains we had just revolted against that they have six more weeks at the helm. Why don't we throw them out on their behinds immediately?

For some masochistic reason, I looked forward to watching the Bills game on Sunday. Every week the Bills frustrate me, and yet, I as hoping to watch the game. Unfortunately I couldn't because it was blacked out locally.

Football fans understand the blackout. If the game doesn't sell out, we don't get to watch it. Have you ever thought about the logic in that? If not enough people think the game is worth paying to watch, you don't get to watch it for free.

NFL: “Sorry, but your team is horrible. The only way you can watch them is to pay.”

Does that make sense to anyone?

Some questions, I guess, don't have good answers. And sometimes it takes a 13-year-old girl, a dysfunctional group of middle-aged white men, or a shoddy football team to make you realize that.

Be sure to read next week as we learn why we drive on a parkway, but park on a driveway. Plus, why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?