Is this the year “twenty-ten” or “two-thousand-ten”?
Is the emergency number “nine-eleven” or “nine-one-one?” If you are dealing with a kid, it better be 9-1-1. There have been cases where small children have been unable to call because they could not find 11 on the phone.
As for the date, I don’t care what you call it as long as we get through the year in decent shape.
That, by the way, is not a foregone conclusion. It is way too early to see if we are going to dig ourselves out of the economic hole we are in. The economic policies of the Obama administration are, in my opinion, one of the biggest gambles we have ever made. I hope they turn out to be right. Remember that we had to do something. The entire economy of this country was spiraling toward the septic tank of history when Obama took over. Nobody has ever done this before, so we don’t have experience to guide us.
But the thing that bothers me the most is the way our Congress is not operating. The partisan rancor in Washington is like nothing we have ever seen in my lifetime. The two parties used to be able to get it together for the good of the country.
I do not ever recall a time when one party would decide to stand against a plan of the president purely in order to hand him a defeat, regardless of what that meant for the country. But that happened with the health care debate.
I kept waiting for the Republican leadership to say, “The present system is a good system, and we should leave it alone.” Or, “The Obama plan is flawed. Here is our plan.” Neither of those things ever happened. They just said the Obama plan was bad and they were going to defeat it in order to defeat Obama. We cannot afford that. Slogans like “Too much government” or “There will be death panels” do not help us find our way, and in fact are designed to keep us from finding our way.
If I have a prayer for the New Year, it is this: Please, God. Let our leaders do what they believe in their gut is best for the country. Not what they have been bribed to do, not what partisan politics dictate they do, not what their religious leaders would have them do, but what they believe in their hearts is best for the country. It is our only way out.
Dugan Barr has practiced law in Redding since 1967. He has tried more than 200 civil jury cases to verdict. He is married and has five children. The offices of Barr and Mudford, LLP, are at 1824 Court St. in Redding and can be reached at 243-8008.