Another Facebook conversation on a different friend's post. This time, the topic was disaster relief bills being held up by Senator Cruz invoking parliamentary procedures. I had pointed out that it was not the disaster relief itself that Cruz is opposing, but rather the pork riders, amendments, and other additions that always seem to get added.
The friend-of-my-friend arguing the other side went on to assert that the bill currently on the table for Flint, Michigan has "only a little bit" of pork attached to it, and expressed his anger at the Tea Party for "trying to break" everything in Washington.
News flash: Washington is already broken. Washington has been broken. And the Tea Party movement didn't cause the problem.
Since I am in the Quality Assurance business, I liken it to the little guy at the company who discovers serious underlying problems, reports them, and pushes to get them fixed. Only in this case, the higher ups already knew that it was broken and have been trying to sweep it all under the rug as long as they can. And when the problem gets to be too big to keep hiding and ignoring, who gets made into the scapegoat? Only the poor sap who tried to do the right thing by reporting and trying to fix it in the first place.
As for how much pork is in the bill: How much is "just a little bit" when it comes to grift, cheating, and lying? How much is just a little bit of spoiling in your milk? How bad is "just one little drink" to an alcoholic, or "just one trip to the mall with a credit card" for a true spending addict?
Washington DC has a spending problem, and more than that, a corruption problem. The addicts need a king size intervention. The addict always sees the interventionist as hateful, evil, mean, the bad guy. Just as my kids think I am being mean when I tell them that no, you can't have sweets right now, dinner is in fifteen minutes and you have to eat your vegetables if you want a cupcake. But someone needs to be the adult in the room.
By the way, from what I understand, Cruz's office has announced that they won't be actually opposing the Flint bill, they just wanted to slow it down long enough to let the people voting on it actually read it. And is that too much to ask? It would be all too easy to throw together a bill with only a token bit of Flint business, a ton of unrelated spending, and push it through on the strength of the public's outrage over this justifiably outrageous situation. But the people in Flint aren't suffering from natural disaster, they are victims of political malpractice that has been going on for decades, and they deserve better than to be used as political pawns by the people who would claim to be their rescuers.