I knew it wouldn't be long, before something came up, that I could criticize this rune Congress for again. It was Rep Bishop's favoritism comment concerning NASA bypassing the ATK bid ("NASA bypasses ATK bid," Aug. 12). Then we have the Olympics and the rover, Curiosity.
Bishop's criticism of course is a bit hypocritical due to the fact that he and fellow members of his party wanting to shrink the big, bad federal government, but don't want to do it at the expense of federal jobs in Utah, be they government or government funded private jobs.
I'm not much of an Olympic watcher as I'm not interested at all in any events, but since results are part of the evening news, and I get pages in the paper every day, even being on the periphery of interest, I still become aware of who wins and who loses.
I was impressed, and quite proud, Monday morning when I heard that the rover, Curiosity landed successfully on Mars. And then it hit me! How come we can get two different groups such as our Olympic team and the people at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL is part of NASA) to be so successful but we still can't get our 535 members of Congress to get anything done, much less, even come up with any attempt at solving our current problems?
My opinion is that ideally, Congress should be able to see potential situations unfolding, the foresight to see what disruptions they could cause, and then to solve the problems before they become insurmountable conditions. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, some things are out of their control. On the other hand, I'd say most of our problems now -- the deficit, debt, health care, defense, infrastructure, etc, have been known for years.
Yet, no one, from any state, region, or party has been able to rise above all the disagreements and party bickering and get this once great institution back on track to put some solutions together for the benefit of the country and it's citizens. This is not how the system was designed to work.
Now, our Olympic team, some 500 women and men (more women than men -- how do you feel now about Title IX), working together, encouraging each other, staying focused, dedicated, and with the thought to do the best they can do, be the best in the world, as representatives of the United States.
This group is from all over the country, all sizes, shapes, colors, creeds, races, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and sexual preferences. They can get things done, accomplish the mission, get the gold. Why can't Congress? Maybe we do need more women there -- growing up with a mom, two sisters and now with a wife and two daughters, there are no problems these women couldn't solve.
When the signal came that Curiosity landed successfully on Mars, some 350 million travel miles away, the people manning mission control all jumped with joy, yelled and screamed, hugged and high-fived each other. What a wonderful sight.
This group, from all over the country, with at least 30 states involved (not Utah however) and with probably the same make-up as the Olympic team, with differences among and between them, got the answer given the mission.
It was a job to do, putting a small SUV on a planet most Americans wouldn't know what side of the earth its on, solved the problem. What does Congress have against success? They must be more concerned with sharing blame than giving congratulations.
Will I, could I, ever see the houses of Congress acting like Olympians or the JPL mission control -- shaking each other's hands, slapping fellow members on the back, congratulating each other? Is it too much to ask to see them cheering as a group over an accomplishment? Is it too much to see them getting some feeling of joint satisfaction, working together, getting a problem solved, working in deliberate purpose that they will not fail?
I did think this once, but than I woke up. I don't know if it will ever happen but it's a very pleasant, and pleasing, thought.
Thompson lives in Ogden.