by Benjamin J. Kirby
Tonight I walked outside and looked up at the stars. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. It's cool, but not cold -- not by a far sight.
Up in Washington, they're bracing for a snowstorm. I don't know why, but whenever they get a snowstorm there, I always get nostalgic for D.C. Which is not to say I'm not frequently nostalgic for my old city, anyway -- I am.
It's true. I guess my case of Potomac Fever is incurable. And I'm mostly okay with that.
I don't think we'll get back to Washington, at least not in the foreseeable future. And that's okay, too.
I'm more and more okay with it every day. The Washington, D.C. I grew up in professionally in the 1990s is not the same place it is today. You can tell when all the restaurants change, it's true.
But you can also tell by the way they get the business of the people done... or not done, I guess. Sure, when I was there, we had the infamous government shutdowns. It was awful, and I remember being really freaked out not being able to go to work. How long would it last? What did it all mean?
Those were, more or less, anomolies, and Speaker Gingrich paid a steep political price for his antics.
Today, this is more like business as usual. The conversation used to be about the size and efficiency of government. Now it's about whether we should even have government at all.
Worse, the machinery of our government has never been more disonnected from the mechanisms of driving our economy. As the first sequester furlough notices going out -- which will hurt real Americans with real jobs -- the Dow Jones celebrates a record high.
Who are we? What does all this mean?
Who have we become?
I still have hope, but the truth is, my interest in national issues has begun to wane. Maybe it's just the depressing nature of the national conversation, such as it is. Or maybe I just have a lot going on at home. Who knows.
I am still hopeful. I hope my friends who'll get snowed in tonight can dig themselves out and get around safely tomorrow.
I hope my government can dig itself out of political stalemate, too. I'll be watching from under the stars, here in Florida.