Editorial: They’ve got something, and it’s bad

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 11:09 PM

Backs to the wall, the clock ticking away, into their huddles they went and came out with something that would work.

No, that’s not the latest Tom Brady rescue pulled on the New Orleans Saints this past Sunday, fine work as it may have been. And it wasn’t something from the Major League playoffs either, fantastic as they may be as well.

On Wednesday, the day before the best nation on the planet went into default, leaders of the Republicans and Democrats came to agreement. They even put in a tidy clause, a vote to disapprove the increase, that ensures President Obama can veto the opposition and be assured of prevailing.

The good news is obvious. The USA won’t default on money we owe. And the government is going to reopen.

The bad news is trying to figure out what it will take to get a functional group inside the Beltway.

Ergophobia is the fear of work or functioning. Atychiphobia is the fear of failure. Decidophobia is a fear of making decisions.

Our leaders in Washington have something, whether one of the three or something else. We’d settle for them gaining a little more fear of failure in return for better performance.

But we don’t think they have decidophobia. They knew exactly what they were doing all along, posturing for their next election at the expense of our country’s standard operating procedure. And what the SOP really is could be up for debate.

As the calendar year began, we joined many others lamenting a kick the can approach to government (“Good help in America elusive,” Jan. 4). Nine months later, here we are again.

“Without a change of course, our $16 trillion debt will seem like a dream figure to chase by then,” we said of the 2016 election season.

Wednesday’s last-minute decision raised the $16.7 trillion debt limit. It came with an agreement to have spending in one area of the budget decline for two years in a row, and Sen. Mitch McConnell said, “We’re not going back.”

We hope he’s right.

But the direction of a kicked can is about as sure as the bounce of a football. At least football season has an end. With Congress, there’s no end in sight.