Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

What's next, locusts?

Here in the capital region, the biggest calamities we experience are usually political in nature. Lately, they have been just in nature.

So far in 2011, the region has been hit by a blizzard, an earthquake and now a hurricane.

OK, maybe what we call a blizzard here is just the status quo in some place like Vermont, and our earthquake would barely earn a mention in California, and the effects we experience from hurricanes seldom come close what folks see on a disconcertingly frequent basis in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

But you have to admit that having all three in the span of seven months is a little weird.

While one veteran Washington journalist opined that it’s a good thing that members of Congress were out of town during the latest twin occurrences (to spare us the long-winded ramblings of news-bite-seeking lawmakers), some of us think it might have been a good thing if they had been here.

We think it might have been a reminder to the powerful — from someone or something — of how insignificant one feels in the face of the unstoppable.

It might have reminded them that power of the political kind is illusory — a lesson this Congress in particular could have used. When federal buildings began to rock, we’ll bet most of them would have run for the door, like everyone else, with nothing else in mind but getting out that door. Once outside, they might have straightened their ties, smoothed their hair and looked around sheepishly.

And as the hurricane approached, as they observed the local folks rushing around for batteries and ice and bottled water, they might have started to realize that "Washington” is more than a metaphor — it’s a place full of real people who roll their eyes when pols speak disparagingly of the place where they live and raise their families.

It might have given them a sense of scale. Caused them to reset. Reminded them that, when it comes down to it, each one of them is just another person among the teeming masses.

On second thought, never mind. An earthquake probably wouldn’t do it. That would take a miracle.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Aug 26, 2011 at 4:02 PM


Reader comments

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 Joe Vet

Interesting that most people are feeling the government is out of our control. These are the feelings that breed revolutionary thoughts. What we should be thinking is how we can change things since the government in the U.S. is for the people and BY the people. We possess the final say in our votes what actually goes on. The problem I see is the population has disconnected itself from being involved in the political process and politics is something THEY do. If we really want changes get involved, vote and speak up often.

As a veteran it is sad when it seems people are all to busy looking for handouts and ways to complain instead of ways to build and ensure our country remains great.

Wed, Aug 31, 2011

"...On second thought, never mind. An earthquake probably wouldn’t do it. That would take a miracle."

Good one! And unfortunately true.

Tue, Aug 30, 2011 CA

We're all 'real' people. We are the ones who have pretty much given up on the 'powers that be' in the capitol ever thinking WE are anything important. If I thought a swarm of locusts would wake them up to the 'real' world, I'd be praying for them to hit the capitol building hard.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

Contributors

Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

Free E-Newsletter

FederalDAILY

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question