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Run Congress like NFL?

Posted Friday, November 23, 2012, at 3:27 PM

Run Congress like NFL?

With the U.S. edging toward the fiscal cliff, you wonder what it will take to get Congress to work. The political parties in recent years have felt their jobs were to frustrate each other, not to deal with immigration reform, entitlement spending or energy policy. With its image down there among roadkill and replacement refs, you'd think the president, representatives and senators would be chastened enough to take better care of the nation, although it would be naive to expect politicians to have a sense of shame.

Speaking of replacement refs, why can't Congress be more like the NFL? Notwithstanding the occasional players' or referees' lockout, pro football is a spectacle of grandiose achievement, a juggernaut of efficiency that deals decisively with problems like players' head injuries. If a player can't play anymore or a coach stops winning, he gets bounced. If a franchise doesn't succeed, it is moved. If a network doesn't deliver, it loses its contract. Unlike the nation's status in Congress, the best interests of the league stay uppermost and it rolls on forever, richly financed, expertly analyzed and tops in the public's estimation as proved by the TV ratings. Admittedly, staging football games is simpler than passing laws, but building the NFL into the marvel it is took the type of ingenuity and will that we do not see in the management of the country's affairs in Congress.

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James R. Campbell
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