I Meant To Do That

We’re going to bid farewell to politics for a while. It’s like that awful television series with bad actors, annoying characters and puerile plots, but we keep watching it because nothing else is on, and to find out what happens next. However, when I read recently that, in addition to all our other troubles there is now going to be a shortage of Sriracha sauce, that was the last straw.

Before we leave the subject I want share with you with an image that I hope will stay with you all the way to the next election and the one after that. It applies to most, if not all politicians, and not just the current show runners for our national soap opera. We’ll put the satire warning here for any new readers, and for the folks whose sense of humor departed when I told you about the Sriracha shortage.

Once upon a time I had a cat who would wait for me every night when I came home from work. He would sit under a bush at the edge of the driveway, and as my window was always down on those balmy summer nights, he would wait until I shut off the engine and jump up onto the top of the door to greet me. This happened night after night until it became routine.

One night it had been raining and I had the window rolled up. When I shut the engine off I heard a bang on the window as my unfortunate cat jumped up and discovered his path blocked. I quickly opened the door to check on him, and there he was, sitting at the edge of the driveway licking himself nonchalantly, as if to say, “Did you see that? Were you impressed by my feline gymnastics? I meant to do that.”

I think every cat (and every politician) who has ever had an accident or made a bad decision has responded in the same fashion. “No, I did not misjudge the distance between the floor and the table top. I meant to do that. Yes, pulling down the curtains and knocking over the lamp was done for your benefit. You’re using too much electricity. I meant to do that. Pardon me while I reward myself with some self-grooming.”

You may find it disrespectful, but I can’t help but think of this image when I hear the current Administration congratulating itself on inflation, record fuel prices and supply chain disruptions. “I meant to do that,” says the President. It’s part of the Great Transition, and we’ll be stronger on the other side of this…these…crises.

I guess I should have bought that electric car, even though there are perhaps two charging stations within 50 miles of where I live. Unfortunately, the electricity to charge those batteries in this area is made in large part by the burning of natural gas, which is also at a record high price, and being shipped overseas as fast as possible.

But I get it. It’s necessary that we all, at least the regular folks, suffer and sacrifice to attain the Great Vision. Besides, we live longer now and the decimation of our retirement accounts is a good thing. It will inspire us to keep working at 75 instead of being home and sedentary, and riding our bikes to work will make us healthier and lower our medical costs. The roads will be safer for bikes too, because there won’t be many cars on the street. No, you folks in Washington didn’t blunder. It’s not your monetary policy, or your randomly precise dismantling of domestic energy, provoking a war in Ukraine or conjuring billions of taxpayer dollars to blow up people there. It’s not even the pandemic or the Russians. You meant to do that.

Those of us who are dissatisfied with the current leadership will have another chance to replace it this November, and again in two years. It would be great, wouldn’t it, if we could find leaders capable of saying, “We’re going to try this to fix the problem, and if that doesn’t work, we’re going to try something else,” or, “that was dumb; I’m sorry we did that; I don’t know what we must have been thinking”? Unfortunately, at a time when we need the kind of leadership that only comes along ever hundred years or so (or the kind we’ve never had in Washington), we’ll be given, again, the same old choice between Siamese or Tabby. Was that disrespectful? Perhaps, but that can happen when you feel disrespected. Did I offend someone? That’s OK too. I meant to do that.

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