MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 16, 2013

Nice job; get back to work


— It appears Congress finally came to its senses Wednesday and agreed to reopen the federal government after a partial shutdown that has lasted 16 days.

We hope Congressional leaders and the White House are not waiting for a hearty handshake from the American public.

Congress finally stopped playing chicken with the United States’ financial future.

That it got this far is atrocious.

That it is finished is not cause for celebration.

There is much work ahead.

Too many people suffered for a half-month for anyone associated with the shutdown to be looking for bouquets of roses while trying to take a bow.

And way too many people also figured out that many levels of government might not actually be needed for daily survival.

Many people lost salaries while Congress fought a fiscal fistfight.

Many people looked toward Washington for leadership. Constituents saw a void the size of the Grand Canyon, which, by the way, was closed during part of the petulant tantrum thrown by everyone who could not reach a compromise.

Congress kept getting paychecks while government workers — including many in Muskogee — went without.

A few legislators had the decency to donate their checks to charity.

Some held steadfast to the attitude they should get paid because they were doing their jobs.

Hold on.

You weren’t doing your job.

We sent you to Washington to run government, not flip the off switch.

You failed on a monumental scale to do your job.

Don’t expect  thanks.

Have a doughnut.

Get back to work.