Government’s inaction reminds one of the ‘Iceman Cometh'

Today's national political scene reminds me of Eugene O'Neill's play “The Iceman Cometh.” In the play several ne'er-do-well men hang out in a dingy bar waiting for Hickey, a traveling salesman, who shows up twice a year to buy them a few drinks, entertain them with his exploits, and sympathize with their self delusions. Their lives seem to be on hold as they eagerly await Hickey.

Our Congress is like these men in that it has inner conflicts that have led to little accomplishment, and it, too, waits for someone to show up and bestow a bit of dignity on it.

And for the Congress that someone is Robert Mueller, who has long been investigating Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Unlike the men in the play, who all look forward to seeing Hickey, some in Congress must dread Mueller's report because it could lead to impeachment proceedings of their leader. Others in Congress would find such proceedings much to their liking. Here, this rough comparison must end because Mueller hasn't shown up with his report.

In the play, O'Neill has Hickey show up to enjoy a gleeful welcome from his old buddies, but they soon find that Hickey has changed. Instead of sympathizing with their excuses for their inactivity, he urges them to face up to their weaknesses and overcome them. Their responses are predictable. They are resentful and feel forsaken by the man who has always helped to make them feel worthwhile. They would prefer to remain idle.

I wish that Mueller's report, when it comes, would have a chastening effect on our executive and legislative branches of government. That, too, I'm afraid is an idle wish.

Walter Wildung, Independence


Reapportionment needed to end all gerrymandering

With the shutdown of the government it is time for a new reapportionment act establishing that each state will have a minimum of one (1) House seat, with each House seat to represent 80 million American citizens. This would eliminate all gerrymandering lawsuits, reduce the number of U.S. Representative by 385 positions, and, based on a minimum salary of $174,000 per year, reduce government spending by a minimum of $66,990,000 per year.

This could be accomplished through attrition, starting in November 2018, as U.S. Representative’s terms expire. In six years this should reduce the number of voting U.S. Representative to 50.

This requires no Constitutional Amendment, read the Constitution.

Eric Bahl, Independence