GUEST VIEW: Plenty of shame to go around

The following editorial was published in the Jan. 11 edition of the Grand Haven Tribune, Mich.:

Those of us old enough to remember TV’s Gomer Pyle will recall his catchphrase, “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

There is plenty of shame to go around in Washington, D.C., and Lansing, Michigan — these past few weeks especially.

The members of Congress, both sides of the aisle, should be ashamed of themselves for not doing more to end the partial federal government shutdown.

There are hundreds of thousands of government employees, including Coast Guard personnel right here in Grand Haven, who are no longer seeing paychecks because of the shutdown. Not only that, this is putting our country at risk, perhaps more than a $5.7 billion border wall would solve.

Will it end soon? Who knows? But one thing is clear: Congress and President Donald Trump should be ashamed of themselves for holding all of us hostage over the controversial building of a wall across our southern border. Besides, wasn’t Mexico supposed to being paying for it?

Closer to home, the 99th Michigan Legislature should be ashamed of itself for rushing through some half-baked legislation in its lame-duck session last month. It became a national joke.

Shame on Ottawa County’s now-former representative in the state Senate, Arlan Meekhof, for leading the push for such things as trying to stifle the voice of Michigan residents who had just approved the recreational marijuana proposition. Whether you or Arlan think it is a good or bad idea to legalize pot, Michigan voters had already spoken.

Shame on one of Michigan’s new members of Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who dropped a public F-bomb during her first day on Capitol Hill. Tlaib, D-Detroit, tried to justify it by saying the expletive to describe the president “was a teachable moment,” according to a report in the Detroit News. Well, we certainly do hope she learned from her inappropriate behavior.

The only regret that Tlaib says she has about the moment is that it distracted the nation from the government shutdown. She should regret that she offered a poor example to her young children, and perhaps overshadow what good things she can do as a role model to women, Muslims and other minorities in Congress.

The shameful name-calling and political poking at each other is certainly distracting from the task at hand, and that’s running this country in the most-efficient and safe manner as possible. It is truly shameful that grown men and women can’t do what they are elected and highly paid to do.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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